If you’re itching to be immersed in the French culture, treated to tasty crepes and surrounded by a never-ending supply of baguettes, well good news, you don’t need to journey for 30+ hours to Europe to fulfill your craving.

French confidence, language and even its tastes are hiding out in Australia’s backyard. Only around 2.5 to eight hours away from our large island sits two alternatives that even the French acknowledge as being “great” substitutes for the European country.

They are… New Caledonia and Tahiti.

Speaking at the launch of Good France (a celebration of French cuisine worldwide) at the Sofitel Wentworth Garden Court Restaurant in Sydney last week, Australia’s Ambassador of France said New Caledonia (Australia’s closest neighbour) and Tahiti are two paradise hubs of French culture which house the “best of France” outside of the actual destination.

French food 2

He described the two island nations as being “great representatives of France’s food and culture” but with a South Pacific twist.

“These two territories are great representatives of France.”

Australian Ambassador of France

The Ambassador explained that in addition to offering authentic French food, both Tahiti and New Caledonia have mixed in the “best of the Pacific” by throwing in their own unique flavours and traditions.

The sentiment was shared by New Caledonia and Tahiti representatives who collaborated for the first time in Australia to host the Good France Dinner.

New Caledonia

According to New Caledonia Tourism’s Australian Director, Caroline Brunel, the annual event highlights New Caledonia’s distinct gastronomic offerings and helps to strengthen the destination as a culinary hot-spot.

“Our key focus this year is to communicate to both trade and consumers the variety of culinary experiences on offer at this destination and right on our doorstep!”

Caroline Brunel, New Caledonia Tourism Australian Director

Meanwhile, for Tahiti Tourisme’s Director for Australia and New Zealand Robert Thompson, the event was an opportunity to celebrate the island nation’s French flare and the 50 years since Tahiti’s first overwater bungalow was built.

Tahiti Bungalow

Over-the-water accommodation was first introduced on Raiatea and Moorea islands in 1967, making Tahiti the first destination to place guest rooms over blue lagoons. Five decades later there’s now nearly 900 overwater bungalows spread across eight of Tahiti’s 118 islands.

“Nothing compliments Tahiti’s striking natural beauty more than her overwater bungalows. This luxurious style of accommodation blends seamlessly with the islands’ crystal-clear lagoons, laid-back culture and French sophistication.”

Robert Thompson, Tahiti Tourisme Director Australia and New Zealand

“Overwater villas are a huge part of what makes Tahiti so remarkable and why it has been the world’s pre-eminent island destination for five decades.”

Have you visited New Caledonia and Tahiti yet?