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Now here is your iconic deserted island. A spec of sand with one solitary palm tree (still not very grown up) and some beach vegetation. The vegetated part is only 87 X 27 metres and if you add in the sand beach the island is just 200 metres long and 52 metres wide.
But it IS a nice beach, with soft white sand, and the coral reefs surrounding the island are outstanding. Plus the anchorage is one of the most protected ones out close to the Great Barrier reef. And all this is just 12 nautical miles from downtown Noumea so people can, on a calm day, zip out here in less than an hour.
This sphere image was done on Friday afternoon and by the next day the Easter Weekend holiday makers were revelling in the sun and sand and clear lagoon waters.
At this moment, however, it was a lovely deserted island. By the way, the dark irregular shape in the water just off the beach to the southeast is a dense shoal of small baitfish. At dawn the next day they were breakfast for a mass of joyous seabirds and leaping, thrashing, predatory fish.
New Caledonia is the closest South Pacific Island to Australia and New Zealand. It is a French Territory and although the official language is French the culture is a blend of Melanesian, European, Polynesian, Vietnamese, Chinese, Indonesian, and more. There is one large mountainous island called Grande Terre and 6 smaller islands - the three Loyalty Islands, Belep and the Isle of Pines.The islands are remarkably unpopulated and there are vast areas of wilderness. There are hundreds of kilometers of walking treks, camp grounds, more than 42 parks and reserves, and crystal clear rivers with sparkling waterfalls. Almost one third of the population is located in the capital city of Noumea. Nickel mining is the primary industry and is the major contributor to the high standard of living in the country. Grande Terre is surrounded by the second largest barrier reef in the world and the protected lagoon created by this barrier reef is the largest in the world. Listed as a World Heritage Site in 2008, the lagoon is 24,000 square kilometers and supports a diverse and luxuriant fauna of fish and invertebrates.The vibrant, clear and rich colors are one of the first things that visitors notice when they arrive. Noumea has a complete range of hotels, resorts, restaurants, and activities to welcome visitors.