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Imagine a place where you can go swimming in a crystal clear pool where there is nobody anywhere around, in fact, not a single human dwelling anywhere on the entire watershed. The water is not too chilly, just right for a refreshing dip after a 35 minute walk to get there. How many rivers do you know of like that? Just about everywhere in the world today rivers are muddy, contaminated, or in such remote places that it is a major ordeal just to get there, or in places high in the mountains where the water is seriously cold, or maybe deep in a jungle were your relaxing dip risks attack from all kinds of insects, snakes, leaches and other unwelcome critters.
This sphere memory is extraordinarily pleasant - a relaxed, happy, cooling dip in the pool followed by a picnic lunch on the warm rock terrace, the quiet sound of the small cascade of waterfalls, and that wonderful fresh aroma of river and green things growing. We saw orchids and cherry red flowers growing along the path on the way here. An eagle was the only creature to notice us as we sat by the pool.
If you want to visit this place don't wait too long - in the not too distant future it will be invaded by miners stripping the mountains for nickel and iron. Hopefully they won't get around to it this decade but you never know. Want to come here? Get a copy of the Cruising Guide to New Caledonia or the Rocket Travel Guide to New Caledonia to find out just how to do it.
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.