The capital of New Caledonia, Noumea is a little piece of France in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Before World War II, New Caledonia was a little known and seldom-visited French possession known for its penal colony and its natural resources. (Nickel smelting still plays a major role (70%) in the island economy, with tourism a growing second.
In 1774, James Cook thought the island’s rugged hills resembled those of his native Scotland. Hence he christened the island New Caledonia. The island and its outlying groups became a French colony in 1854 and an overseas department of France in 1956.
Today was not only Sunday but the celebration of the colony’s founding, with a twin event run by the locals, and a bus strike.
We took the day-long excursion to the Amadee Island Marine Reserve and Lighthouse. The tour was very well organised, and relaxing. We swam a little, ate a sumptuous lunch and listened to the concert.
Back on board just before sailing, we took in the Motor City Production Show in the Vista Lounge before dinner. After dinner, there was a ventriloquist with a full house; we managed to see/hear most of it before shuteye.