This was the third visit to New Zealand and the first visit to New Caledonia.  New Caledonia is a three hour flight slightly northwest of New Zealand.

 

 

New Zealand

The short stay in New Zealand was on the North Island in the city of Auckland and included a day trip to Hobbiton Movie Set located three hours by bus from Auckland near small town called Matamata.

Auckland is the biggest city in New Zealand.  This stay included visit to Mission Bay, War Museum, and ferry across the harbor to Devonport Village. 

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New Caledonia

New Caledonia is a French territory similar to French Polynesia (i.e. Tahiti etc.) and uses the same currency as French Polynesia called the Pacific Franc.  It contains  several islands with the main and biggest one called Gran Terre and where the capital city of Noumea is located.  Stayed in Noumea with day trips to Ouvea Island and another day trip to Isle of Pines.

Noumea is the largest city and capital of New Caledonia.  It has several lookout areas from which there are scenic views of the city in different directions.  The city center has a pedestrian plaza called Coconut Square where locals gather during the daytime and office workers take their lunch breaks.  Nearby is the port where large cruise ships dock as New Caledonia is a popular port of call in the South Pacific.  Stayed at Anse Vata Beach area that is at the southern end of the city.

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Ouvea Island is a thirty minute flight from Noumea.  A two hour tour of the island covered the main areas to see.  There are not too many visitors and so fairly empty beaches.

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The Isle of Pines is a twenty minute flight from Noumea and is the most popular of the outer islands.  It is named for the extensive pine trees that can be seen all over the island.

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