Spooky Lake is in a wilderness area in the Southeastern tip of Grande Terre, New Caledonia. It is an easy walk from the Baie du Carenage and we often trek there for exercise (it's uphill from the anchorage). Sometimes Spooky Lake is bone dry and the lake bed is covered with really strange, alien looking grass. Sometimes, like in this photo, the lake is brim full, calm and resonating to a chorus of chanting frogs. Miniature orchids, with blooms no more than 2-mm wide adorn the forest trees. It looks like it is a crater formed long ago by a meteor strike, surrounded by a ring of jagged rocks, rust red from the iron content. A Mountain Bike trail and passable road goes right by the lake but not many people know it is there. When the sky is black with rain clouds, the forest and grasses in the lake are fluorescent green. Spooky.
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.