Lonely Planet has unveiled its list of favourite 10 countries to visit in 2012. New Caledonia has broken into the Top 10 list at eighth position, the only destination in the South Pacific.
Despite its fabulous island scapes and unique mélange of Gallic and Melanesian cultures, New Caledonia rarely makes it onto tourists’ short lists. Maybe the tide will turn this coming year.
Gay and lesbian visitors from nearby Australia and New Zealand have long known about the gay welcome mat in Noumea and the Loyalty Islands.
Nouméa could be easily mistaken for city in the French Riviera. But beyond the très French panache of the capital and the west coast of the main island, Grande Terre, the indigenous Melanesian culture quickly comes to the fore. The rebirth of Kanak traditions has been gaining momentum for the past 30 years, and today is at an all-time high.
Head to the Loyalty Islands or Ile des Pins and you’ll enter another world. Stay on Grand Terre and you’ll think you’re in gay Paree.
Rainbow Tourism Accredited Accommodation in New Caledonia includes The GLP Hotel Group, with 6 budget-to-luxury level properties. One in Noumea CBD, 4 on magnificent Anse Vata Bay in the lagoon, and one on a private island just offshore.