About New Caledonia
New Caledonia is located in the Southwest of the Pacific Ocean, just east of Australia and metropolitan France. Home to the Diahot River – the longest river in the entire country – most of the island is covered in wet evergreen forests, with savannahs dominating the lower elevations.
Perhaps most famous for its unique birds and plants, New Caledonia has the richest diversity of species, along with one of the most beautiful mountain ranges; all of which have attracted many western tourists over the years.
A large proportion of the population belong with the Kanak community. The Kanak people are part of the Melanesian group with their social organisation traditionally being based around tribes, where they identify themselves as either “land” or “sea” clans depending on their original location or the occupation of their ancestors.
With the most common language spoken in New Caledonia being French, over half of the population is Roman Catholic.
Wood carving is a speciality of the locals in New Caledonia and is deemed a contemporary reflection of their beliefs of the traditional tribal society which includes totems and masks. Arrows are also made which are shot off the top of the roofs of Kanak houses, into the air while women also practise the art and make everyday items including bowls and food containers.
Due to there being very few tropical plants and fruits in New Caledonia, the cuisine relies heavily upon rice, fish and root vegetables.