Destinations

New Caledonia’s seven bucket list-worthy festivals

Christian Fleetwood

With natural and cultural attractions on offer all year round in New Caledonia, the hardest part for travellers planning a trip will be picking a time.

As well as being one of the Pacific Islands’ most beautiful destinations, New Caledonia is also perhaps its most vibrant nation – a whole host of festivals and attractions celebrating the island’s food, history and modern culture await tourists throughout the year.

The events are also based all over the country, which means that depending on wherever visitors are based in New Caledonia, they’ll be able to make it to at least one of the year’s events.

Why not suggest to clients that they should plan their next trip to New Caledonia to coincide with one of the country’s fun, family-friendly festivals?

To help them get started, here’s Travel Weekly’s five favourites:

Giant Omelette Festival (April 2019)

Yes, you read that correctly.

Every year in April, the town of Dumbea in the South Province of New Caledonia hosts a Giant Omelette Festival. The festival occurs in celebration of the legend that Napoleon and his army feasted on a similarly over-sized egg dish, having demanded it be made by the people of Bessieres, while travelling through the south of France.

Enjoy shows, concerts and other attractions, including a merry-go-round and the famous giant omelette.

French Cheese Festival (June 2019)

Held in two of New Caledonia’s finest hotels, Le Meridien Nouméa (4 to 15 June) and Sheraton New Caledonia Deva Resort and Spa (20 to 22 June), the French Cheese Festival celebrates French flavours and cuisine, and is the main event of the year for cheese connoisseurs.

A remarkable selection of over 130 varieties of artisan cheese, chosen by famous cheese master Gerard Poulard, will be available for tasting alongside complimenting wines.

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Bastille Day (July 2019)

With New Caledonia’s French connection, celebrating la Fête nationale in Noumea is one of the most authentic ways to experience the French culture of New Caledonia. On this side of the ditch, we call it Bastille Day, but colloquially the event stands for the same thing, a commemoration of the Storming of the Bastille – one of the turning points of the French Revolution.

Bastille Day in Noumea is a major celebration, so expect to see a parade of lanterns through the mainstreet, a community dance in Place de La Marne, followed by a spectacular display of fireworks. Vive la France!

New Caledonia International Marathon (August 2019)

Established in 1983, the New Caledonia International Marathon is an Olympic-level qualifying event for the French Championships.

World-class runners battle for victory in a course that covers over 42km of New Caledonian coast, along a spectacularly scenic route around Nouméa’s bays.

The event has become a major event in the New Caledonian sporting calendar,  and continues to attract a high-level of competitors from around the world.

Francofolies (September 2019)

Linked to the famous Francofolies Festival in La Rochelle, France, the local event is a three-day celebration of French and Pacific Island music and culture.

Enjoy a concert line-up of local and international artists, while basking in the New Caledonian sun.

South Pacific Golf Championship (September 2019)

Arguably the biggest golf event in New Caledonia, the South Pacific Golf Championship is one of the 13 tournaments held in the PGA Tour.

The 2019 tournament will return to Tina Golf Course, Noumea, with events at Exclusiv Golf Deva, Bourail, providing a further opportunity to explore the destination’s offerings.

The South Pacific Open Championship in Sheraton Deva Golf and Tina Golf, is a cult favourite among tour professionals.

Underground Gourmet (Late 2019)

Returning for the second year-in-a-row, Underground Gourmet is a celebration of everything food in New Caledonia that above all aims to bring to life the culture and cuisine of the country’s Kanak people. Featuring local chefs, produce and underground cooking techniques, the event will take place at Le Meridien’s properties in Noumea, the Isle of Pines, and at Sheraton New Caledonia Deva Spa & Golf Resort.

More information on the event is yet to come.

For more information on what New Caledonia has to offer in 2019, click here.

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