New Caledonia: New hot spot for Australians, according to Flight Centre
NOT only is this place it home to stunning water bungalows, it’s one of the cheapest spots for Aussies — and now it’s finally being discovered.
EscapeJune 19, 20176:21am
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- August 31st 2016
- 2 years ago
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IT’S been touted as an alternative to Bali, Bora Bora and even Paris.
It’s one of the cheapest spots for Aussie holiday-makers, and it’s only a two-hour flight from Brisbane.
And finally, Australian travellers beginning to cotton on to the island paradise of New Caledonia.
A new report on travel trends from Flight Centre has revealed New Caledonia as the No. 1 emerging destination among the company’s Australian customers, with 42 per cent growth in bookings last year.
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The inaugural Turner Report — named after Flight Centre CEO Graham Turner — also identifies Japan (up 18 per cent), Vanuatu (up 17 per cent) and Uluru (up 12 per cent) as growth destinations.
Launching the Turner Report, Mr Turner said Australian travel had more than doubled in the past decade, and travellers getting better deals than ever.
“Australians are on the move more than ever before and we firmly believe this is the Golden Age of Travel,” he said.
“Flights are becoming more affordable and in 2017 we have advertised some of the cheapest fares we’ve ever seen.”
As one of the destinations where fares have dropped — and cruise options have multiplied — it’s no surprise that New Caledonia is one of the new growth areas.
And it’s not just Flight Centre that’s pinpointed the country as a hot destination.
Last month, the country was named as one of the top 10 most affordable countries for Australian travellers by Cheapflights, while Expedia last year named it as one of the best value-for-money alternatives to Bali.
With beautiful beaches, the crystal clear water of world’s largest enclosed lagoon, and French culture and cuisine to enjoy, it’s no wonder the islands are taking off.
Here’s where to find the best of New Caledonia’s islands:
• Loyalty Islands
Lifou: The largest of the three islands that make up the Loyalty Islands, with 10,000 residents, Lifou has immaculate beaches, precipitous volcanic cliffs, deep tropical forests, immense caves and a long history.
Ouvéa: Regarded as one of the most beautiful atolls in the South Pacific, only 35km long with a 25km white sand beach, it has a single beach front road bordered with coconut palms facing the lagoon.
Mare: Half the size of Lifou at 650sq km, it has a wild beauty with deeply carved cliffs, basalt rocks, dark forests, long undisturbed beaches, numerous caves and pools with an array of fish and turtles.
• Ile Aux Canard (Duck Island): Just off the coast of Noumea, it is easily accessed by water taxi from Noumea’s most popular beach, Anse Vata bay. Great for snorkelling, relaxing on the beach or at the bar.
• Amédée Island: Home to a towering lighthouse built in the 1890s, it is a ‘must do’ on any visit to New Caledonia, offering glass bottom boat excursions to view New Caledonia’s incredible underwater world.
• Ile des Pins (Isle of Pines): A relaxing getaway only a short 20-minute flight from Noumea, this breathtaking island, known as the ‘Jewel of the Pacific’, has picture-perfect beaches and private bays just waiting to be discovered.
Originally published as Paradise spot that’s just two hours away