News Centre

Our first two days in New Caledonia


We arrived in wonderful New Caledonia. The weather was very humid which was a nice change from the cold weather we had been used to in Auckland for sure. The night was spent at a lovely French restaurant by our hotel eating delicious ham and cheese crêpes for dinner and immersing ourselves in the French culture. Close to our hotel is the beach, which looked amazing at sunrise the following morning. As we returned to our hotel many of us were exhausted and full from the delicious cuisine, so a big sleep was needed for the busy day to come.

Bright and early everyone awoke to the sea view from our hotel rooms. After breakfast we packed our bags and walked in the beautiful morning sunshine to the high school Lycée Blaise Pascal, passing along the way the beautiful beach and bright flowers everywhere. There was not a cloud in the sky. Eventually, after a 15 minute walk we arrived at the high school and were welcomed by our New Caledonian hosts, who we had dearly missed and were excited to be reunited with. There was a welcome and dancing, followed by a powhiri and speeches.

After this we walked down to the Noumea aquarium in the heat, everyone chatting in French and getting to know one another. Finally, at the the aquarium there were all sorts of exotic fish, turtles and sharks swimming in massive tanks. Everyone enjoyed this unique experience. After this we walked back to school for a homemade New Caledonian lunch prepared by the students and participated in the favourite ‘speed dating’ activity which seemed to be a good way to practice our  French.

Soon after a bus took us to our next destination- the zoo. The trip there was absolutely beautiful with large mountains on the horizon, colourful houses on the hills and flowers everywhere. We spent a couple of hours touring exotic bird cages and seeing many peacocks- some of which to our surprise were perched in trees. We learned about the native animals of New Caledonia and took many photos in the warm sun. The day slowly came to an end with the bus taking us back to the high school, and everyone was taken home with their individual correspondents to be fully immersed in the French way of living.

Francesca Adams