I’m in New Caledonia, and what a wonderful welcome it has been! Having mostly adjusted to driving on the right-hand-side of the road (something neither of us had done before) we headed out to explore the Nouville Peninsula.
The Nouville Peninsula is located around 15 minutes from the capital city of Nouméa. Originally, we drove out there to see an old fort, the canons de Nouville, with the promise of excellent views. We thought it would be a quick drive there, a quick stop to check out the scenery and a quick drive back. But the Nouville Peninsula turned out to be so beautiful we actually spent the entire day there.
As you leave central Nouméa, the scenery changes dramatically. The lush palm trees are left behind and a much more arid landscape takes its place. As we drove along the Nouville Peninsula it evoked images of Middle Eastern coastlines in Oman or Yemen. Dry, brown hillsides contrast starkly with the bluest water you’ve ever seen.
Just before turning off toward the canons, we stopped at Kuendu Bay. As soon as we arrived, we knew we’d found a gem. The water was crystal clear, the beach lively and inviting but by no means crowded and there was even someone taking a horse through the sea.
It was the perfect place to spend a few hours relaxing and reading a good book. After a while it was time to see what we had come to see: the view from the canons de Nouville. There are two roads up to the fort; one that goes clockwise and the other anti-clockwise. Or if you prefer, one that is sedan friendly and another that is not. I’m sure they’re both fine if you have a four wheel drive but we just weren’t about to risk it in a hire car. So we took the better-made of the two roads (the anti-clockwise one).
The view did not disappoint. It wasn’t until I was standing there that I realised how enormous an island New Caledonia really is. Or perhaps more accurately, islands. New Caledonia is made up of hundreds of islands and this is a fantastic spot to see at least a few of them.
The canons de Nouville is also a great way to escape the crowds. We were up there entirely alone, free to take in the amazing landscape.