New Caledonia

New Caledonia is an overseas collectivity of France, but is due to hold a referendum on independence between 2014 and 2019. The main island is larger than most Pacific islands but is quite underpopulated. It has some of the best diving in the world, with vast coral reefs. It has a large mining industry and a growing tourism sector.

French is the official language. Noumea, in the far south, is the capital and has numerous interesting museums and a cultural centre. It is very westernised, has good public transport and is an easy place to get around. Small villages are scattered throughout the island.

Place (France)

New Caledonia flag

Why you should go:

Go before it becomes the world's newest country.

Why you shouldn't:

You don't speak French and don't want to learn.

Map of New Caledonia