New Caledonia is situated in the south-western Pacific Ocean. New Caledonia is 2 hours flight from Australia (1 500km), 2 ½ hours flight from New Zealand (2 000km), 9 hours flight from Japan (7 000km), 14hours flight from Los Angeles (10 000km) and 21hours flight from France (18 000km).
New Caledonia is ranked the third largest group of islands in the Pacific by its surface area (18 575 km2) after Papua New Guinea and New Zealand and is made up of a number of islands:
The Grande Terre is the most populated and the richest island in New Caledonia. A long mountain chain runs the length of the island (Central Mountain Chain) with its highest peaks being Mount Panié in the north (1 629m) and Mount Humboldt in the south (1 618m).
New Caledonia has been described as the island of ‘eternal spring’ which benefits from a tropical oceanic climate where it is hot and sunny all year round. There are two seasons, separated by brief shoulder seasons. The seasons are:
-the ‘hot’ season (southern summer) from December to March with average temperatures of 25 -27°C, accompanied by short tropical rains
-the ‘fresh’ season (southern winter) from April to November with temperatures averaging 20 – 23°C; it is a lovely temperature for swimming.