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Kitesurfing is the rising star of water sports in New Caledonia. On a lovely weekend with a good trade wind blowing hundreds of kitesurfers soar over the world's largest coral reef lagoon. This is a high tech sport and requires training. There are several kite surf schools in Noumea and many of them come to the Ilot Maitre Reserve to teach students. This marine reserve has a special area zoned just for kite and wind surfing, next to l'Escapade Island Resort and extending out over the shallow reef flats to the east of the lagoon island. Because there are no waves on this reef flat, even at high tide, kite and wind surfers can enjoy high speeds without the bumps.
Noumea is the capital and vacation centre of the Islands of New Caledonia in the South Pacific. Noumea is a "French" city, but the 91,000 inhabitants are a very mixed cultural group with French, Melanesian, Polynesian, Indonesian, Vietnamese, and lots of mixtures of these. Over 60% of the population of New Caledonia lives in Noumea.Noumea is a peninsula on the southwestern end of Grande Terre and the central business district (Centre Ville) is next to one of the best natural harbours in the South Pacific. The lagoon side of the peninsula has two picturesque bays with white sand beaches and is called Anse Vata and Baie des Citrons. These twin bays are the international tourism capital of New Caledonia with hotels, restaurants and bars on the landward side of "La Promenade".First settled by the French in 1854, Noumea retains close political ties with France. It has excellent schools and public facilities - parks, recreation areas, exercise paths, schools and medical facilities. Today it is the fastest growing city in the South Pacific. There are 23 hotels in Noumea ranging from one to five stars and over 100 Restaurants.