Focus on La Francophonie

Our 2020 Focus on La Francophonie region is:
New Caledonia


Flag of New Caledonia

Location of New Caledonia


New Caledonia (French: Nouvelle-Calédonie) is a special collectivity of France located in the southwest Pacific Ocean. The archipelago includes the main island of Grande Terre, the Loyalty Islands, the Chesterfield Islands, the Belep archipelago, the Isle of Pines, and a few remote islets. French people, and especially locals, refer to Grande Terre as Le Caillou (“the pebble”). New Caledonia is divided into three provinces. The North and South Provinces are located on the New Caledonian mainland, while the Loyalty Islands Province is a series of islands off the mainland.

Capital & largest city Nouméa
Official language French
Recognized languages
Demonym New Caledonian
Government Devolved parliamentary dependency
President of France
Édouard Philippe
Legislature Congress of New Caledonia
Annexed by France 1853
Overseas territory 1946
Nouméa Accord 5 May 1998
• Total
18,576 km2 (7,172 sq mi)
• Land
18,275 km2 (7,056 sq mi)
• Water (%)
• 2017 estimate
278,500 (182nd)
• Density
14.5/km2 (37.6/sq mi) (200th)
GDP (nominal) 2011 estimate
• Total
$9.89 billion
• Per capita
Currency CFP franc (XPF)
Time zone UTC+11:00
Driving side right
Patron saint The Virgin Mary (as Our Lady of the Assumption)


Wikipedia: New Caledonia  Wikipédia: La Nouvelle-Calédonie

Worldatlas: New Caledonia  CIA Factbook: New Caledonia


New Caledonian Cuisine

Due to low levels of domestic horticulture, fresh tropical fruits feature less highly in New Caledonian cuisine than in other Pacific nations, instead relying on rice, fish and root vegetables such as taro. One way this is frequently prepared is in a buried-oven-style feast, known as Bougna. Wrapped in banana leaves, the fish, taro, banana and other seafood are buried with hot rocks to cook, then dug up and eaten.

Here’s a recipe for a Modern Bougna that you can make at home and a video to see how it’s done. Remember, the oven temperatures given in the recipe and video are in Celsius: 200ºC is approx. 400ºF; and 160ºC is approx. 325ºF.