By Sponsored Stories10 Nov 2017Just two hours from Brisbane, under three from Sydney, and under four from Melbourne, New Caledonia has long weekend written all over it, inducting you into a slice of France in a tropical island setting without the long-haul flight. It’s home to the largest lagoon in the world, excellent French restaurants that could rival those in Paris, and a warm and welcoming indigenous Kanak culture – welcome to New Caledonia! And as one of Australia’s closest neighbours, you can spend more time relaxing in a resort, swimming in crystal clear waters and indulging in incredible cuisine instead of sitting on a plane waiting to arrive… Here’s how you can make the most of a long weekend in New Caledonia. ACTIVITIES THAT CANNOT BE MISSED Hire a Jetski and discover the many picturesque islets around Noumea. Mix with locals at the Port Moselle morning markets and shop for the day’s freshest catch, browse for souvenirs, and try the local produce. Celebrate life with some French champagne. Discover Anse Vata Bay and Lemon Bay on a Segway. Explore the largest lagoon in the world by taking a day tour of Amedee Lighthouse. Visit the Tjibaou Cultural Centre to learn about the local Kanak culture. Try the sweet local prawns in one of the many restaurants in Noumea. Enjoy breathtaking views of sunset and Noumea from Ouen Toro Hill. Indulge in a relaxing spa treatment to enjoy some down-time and rejuvenate. Check out the huge cheese and charcuterie sections in the local supermarket and have a French-Pacific inspired picnic by the beach. Go on the quest for crisp baguettes and perfect croissants. Enjoy Noumea’s vibrant nightlife by visiting some of the trendy bars along the bays. WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW Australian and New Zealand citizens don’t need a visa to enter New Caledonia. The local currency is the Pacific franc, abbreviated to CFP or XPF New Caledonians drive on the opposite side of the road. French is the official language and English is commonly spoken in Noumea. Morning markets open daily from 5 – 11am (except Mondays). TIPS TO MAKE YOUR STAY MORE ENJOYABLE Unless you go to the Bank of France, you won’t find any Pacific francs in France and you’re even more unlikely to find any in other countries. So keep things simple: just withdraw some cash from the BNC or BCI branch ATMs on your arrival at the airport (if you have an ATM card) or go to the BCI foreign exchange office near the Cruise Ship Terminal if you’re a cruise ship passenger. Oh, and make sure you bring a European adapter so you can still charge your electronic devices whilst you’re in paradise… Visit Newcaledonia.travel for more information on this sunny and sophisticated island destination. Have any other tips for making a long weekend in New Caledonia even more amazing? Tell us in the comments below! This article was brought to you by: Other stories you may like WATER WORLDS: How to enjoy New Caledonia’s STUNNING lagoon These South Pacific jewels are definitely gonna get you in the mood for a cruise! Were you seen having a laugh with P&O Cruises? Or spotted exploring Kenya & more?