What if you could be there, free from the stresses of civilisation, and unpacked in under 3 hours from Brisbane?
Melanesia’s Loyalty Islands (part of New Caledonia) have opened their doors and their hearts to Aussie and Kiwi visitors, and lesbian and gay travelers report no negative reactions despite the heavy religious way of life of the villagers.
Few travelers have heard of New Caledonia; even Parisians are not sure where this French Territory is. (250 kms west of Vanuatu). Fewer even venture offshore of Grand Terre except to go to Isles des Pines which has been developed over the past 20 years. Those who do venture out to the Loyalty Islands (40 min. by air or several hours by ferry) will discover a place not unlike the settings for Lost Survivor.
Some of the most beautiful beach and mountain scenery in the world, and a way of life where wealth is not material but human, where nature has been preserved on behalf of the ancestors (both convict and Kanak) and the generations to come (both tribal and migrants).
We spotted a pod of dolphins and a large sea turtle swimming in this cove on the reef, just offshore.
As a photographer, I was skeptical that the Loyalty Islands would look as good in person as in the travel brochures and catalogues. I had to experience the lagoon, the blue hole, and the cliffs myself in order to believe that this country really is nearest to paradise.
I was rewarded with a beautiful afternoon for exploring and videotaping, after flying through a rainstorm in the morning – very bumpy but I saw a rainbow under the wing! I can attest that the sea is crystal clear – in multiple shades of turquoise – and the sand is white as pure grain sugar.