New Caledonia, France in the Pacific Ocean

Our first stop on “The Islands” is Noumea, New Caledonia. A country discovered by the British but soon claimed by the French. It played an important roll for the Allies during WWII and is the largest single landmass of the pacific islands we will be visiting. The first thing that struck me while entering NC was the level of development. This could be any coastal place in southern France. The cars are fairly new and probably cost a higher average price level than NZ. We later found out that 30% of the country’s income, over 1 billion dollars, comes directly from the French government which is providing health care and other services. A lot of the money is likely bounced back to France paying for services etc., but it is still a significant sum given that the population is only 250k. New Caledonia is set to vote for their independence from France. Given that we saw a low % of locals working (70% of the population are Melanesians and will hereby be called locals), it seems like they all enjoyed a never-ending vacation with a lifestyle provided by French welfare without any question, or I am just being judge mental. If they vote yes to become independent from France the immediate change will be a 1 billion dollar drop in the New Caledonia economy as the French government will no longer fund New Caledonia. Such a massive change will likely lead to other negative events, such as rise in crime etc., that might have a negative impact on tourism which is pretty much the other 70% of the economy. It will be interesting to see if the locals realize that they have been fed with a silver spoon, if they vote to become independent.

For any travelers to Lemon Bay, New Caledonia we can recommend Beach Rock Cafe’ which offers free WiFi and a great view. Everything is rather expensive here, but I did notice that instead of pushing away a homeless man, the staff at Beach Rock Cafe’ gave him an espresso, which made me happy to see.

Melissa loved Anse Vata beach since she could sit in the grass instead of the sand! Pictures don’t do this beach justice.

 

2 thoughts

  1. Ska vi göra ett försök och skypa i morgon ca 7 – 8. Svensk tid?
    ??? Kramar från mamma o pappa
    Skickat från min iPhone

    > 27 nov 2013 kl. 07:18 skrev “Triple Living” :
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