New Caledonia is Emerging as a new Gay Lesbian Travel Hotspot

New Caledonia –
a French Territory in the Coral Sea between Australia and New Zealand – is emerging as a hot travel destination for international gay and lesbian travellers seeking the “nouvelle” and a little French bliss. Rainbow Tourism Launches South Pacific Website Focusing on New Caledonia as Gay Travel Destination.

The South Pacific island nation has several hotels with gay welcome mats and tour operators who have created “pink packages” that include visits to gay clubs and restaurants. The local community boasts the Homo-Sphere association, which holds events for locals and visitors around gay owned and gay friendly venues.

To collate the buzz about cosmopolitan and stylish Noumea and her hidden gem islands (the Loyalty Island and Isle of Pines), Rainbow Tourism New Caledonia website was created. It is the place to go for information and images of authentic Melanesian culture, world-class sporting events, cruise shore excursions, dining and shopping – and where to find a bilingual tour guide if you want an insider’s view to New Caledonia.

You could imagine you’re in the south of France. In fact you’re two hours from Brisbane. Just a short flight from our east coast, Australia’s next-door neighbours speak French, eat snails and enjoy duty-free wines from Bordeaux. This is Noumea, capital of New Caledonia, a slice of paradise being rebranded as a long-weekend getaway for Australians.

New plane schedules and holiday packages have brought the stunning French territory into line with Bali and Fiji as a place where Australians can make a dash for a three-day suntan.

The main island – Grande Terre – is 400kilometres long, covered with dense jungle which rises to the highest peaks. To reach distant valleys and meet some of the 30 Melanesian groups still living traditional lifestyles calls for local knowledge; fortunately English expat John Brighton’s VIP Tours offer full-day hinterland trips calling on tribal villages (email j.brighton@mls.nc).

Many short-break visitors restrict themselves to the idyllic Isle of Pines, a short flight from Noumea or a little more than two hours by high speed catamaran. Once there, they usually abandon themselves to hedonism. This is a place with luxurious hotels, lush gardens, breathtaking lagoons and beaches – and seafood cooked fresh from the ocean.

*Tips and Secrets!

*Wine: European wines are duty free.
Australian favourites are scarce, but French wines are available for a fraction of the cost paid in Australia.

 

* Drives: Hire a car and head for the mountains and stark red soil of the Great South district. Blue River Park has lakes, mountain streams and rainforest walks; nearby are the pretty Madeline Falls. You may even spot the cagou – a small, flightless bird that barks at sunrise and sunset. The road near Yate follows dramatic mountains, escarpments and palm-lined beaches.

 

The New Caledonia regional site is part of the Rainbow Tourism Network which publishes dedicated sites for Vietnam, Australia and New Zealand. It has other gay destinations and countries coming online in 2011.

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