New Caledonia: A taste of France in the heart of the South Pacific

A heady mix of breathtaking beaches, majestic lagoons and a splash of French culture, New Caledonia is a tropical paradise teeming with intrigue and allure.

By Carla Griscti 18/07/2018

A mix of breathtaking beaches, majestic lagoons and a splash of French culture, New Caledonia is a tropical paradise teeming with intrigue and allure. We hopped aboard the opulent setting of the Masteka 2 to discover what this magical island has to offer. Picture an exotic island nestled in the heart of the South Pacific and visions of golden sands, turquoise waters and swaying palm trees immediately spring to mind. But with its diverse landscapes and distinct French heritage, New Caledonia offers so much more than an archetypal island idyll. Located in the Coral Sea about 1200km off the coast of Queensland, New Caledonia is a jewel in the South Pacific. Combining laid-back island living with a hint of French and Melanesian charm, this tropical playground offers everything an intrepid traveller could ever wish for, and plenty more. © ARTFOCUS NC / NCTPS French traditions and natural beauty combine stretching from the charming capital of Nouméa to the picture-perfect Isle of Pines where a world of corals, caves canyons and shipwrecks await. A sea of blue, green and turquoise hues beckon cruisers from afar on this UNESCO World Heritage Site. A popular location for honeymooners and cruise lovers alike, New Caledonia’s glistening lagoons are simply breathtaking by any vessel, be it a speed boat, jet ski or gigantic cruise liner. But for something decadently different, exploring the islands aboard the extravagant Masteka 2 will guarantee endless surprises. Following a multimillion-dollar refit early last year, this vast 37-metre luxury superyacht dazzles with international high-end appeal. Having previously split its time between Sydney and Fiji, Masteka 2 is the first foreign-flagged superyacht to secure a charter licence in the territory, and now has full reign of New Caledonia’s wild archipelago. © Pauline Massé / NCTPS Interiors are modern and elegant, with cream leathers against glossy walnut finishes, and five spacious cabins — including a luxurious master suite with king-sized bed, dressing room and plunging spa bath — that can sleep up to 12 people comfortably. Food comes courtesy of the incredibly talented Chef Shayne Turbin, who serves a delectable menu of classic European cuisine fused with local island influences, while outside spotless decks play host to endless alfresco and water-fuelled delights. Cruise along the open waters, jump on the jet ski, or relax atop the bridge deck’s eight-person Jacuzzi with a glass of the finest French fizz in hand. A glimpse of New Caledonia from Masteka 2 is adventure and luxury rolled into one. © Toko / NCTPS Masteka 2 is available for charter with Ocean Alliance and has a weekly rate starting from $100,000. Visit www.oceanalliance.com for more information. On land: deluxe suites at Complexe Château Royal, Nouméa, from $375 per night www.complexechateauroyal.nc/en/ www.complexechateauroyal.nc/en/ Getting there: flights from Sydney to New Caledonia with Air Calin from $285 one way au.aircalin.com/en Cover Image: © Pauline Massé / NCTPS
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