Patricia Newell-Dunkley Photographs by Reginald J. Dunkley

Greetings once again from down under as we continue our South Pacific Island Tour and visit Noumea the capital of the French Territory New Caledonia, which is located on the main Island Grand Terre, with its bubbling multi-ethnic community of citizens being European, Polynesian, Indonesian, and Vietnamese population as well as Melanesians.

Noumea is sophisticated and uncomplicated, casual but classy. This tranquil city is surrounded by pristine white beaches, picturesque bays, crystal clear waters as far as the eye can see and famous for its blend of French and native Kanak influences. Three hours by plane from Sydney with top-notch luxurious accommodation, and diving, surfing, snorkelling, plus sun bathing bliss.

Actually it is a little piece of France set in sparkling azure waters, it has an atmosphere of The French Riviera with its luxury boutiques, the latest Parisian fashions and imported Asian textiles. Stunning jewellery stores packed with beautiful black and white pearls. Perfume, Footwear, Silk Scarves, Sandals and Handbags from France and Italy bearing famous brand names like Hermes, Hugo Boss, Dior, Chanel, Jean-Paul Gautier and lots more including duty free French Lingerie.

Tuggerah Lake pelican and egret

Tuggerah Lake pelican and egret

For those not interested in haute couture, there are also handmade, local artefacts and souvenirs at craft markets. Musicians entertain shoppers while browsing for bread, sweets, flowers, fruit, olives, vegetables, and handmade chocolates.

There are many points of interest such as The Aquarium des Lagons. Small in size but excellent to visit with Turtles, Sea Snakes, and mysterious nautilus.

Amedee Lighthouse located on Amedee Island.

Noumea Cathedral, Roman Catholic, dedicated to Saint Joseph, in Noumea New Caledonia.

Plage de la Baie Des Citrons, Ten minutes from the city centre, this trendy beach attracts locals and visitors alike, with calm shallow waters perfect for young children with lifeguards patrolling the beach. With a strip of restaurants, bars and nightclubs along the main road for breakfast until the wee hours.

Shelly Beach surfer

Shelly Beach surfer

Jean Marie Tjibaou Cultural Centre a tribute to Pro-independence Kanak leader, who was assassinated in 1989. Designed by Renzo Piano Italian designer of Paris’ Pompidou Centre, displays include Sculpture, Paintings, and Photographs of Kanak Culture, in a harmonious contemporary setting which is awesome.

Noumea, French New Caledonia, is a tropical paradise with high end shopping, which is a perfect combination for a very happy holiday.

Surfer Mick Fanning has made a triumphant return to Jeffrey’s Bay South Africa, to take out the 2016 J-Bay title beating Hawaiian John John Florence, just a year after surviving a shark attack at the very same Beach. At that event the 35year old Fanning was assisted in his escape by fellow Australian surfer Julian Wilson.

The very sad sage of Malaysia Airlines MH370 goes on, with the company leading the underwater hunt for the plane now fearing that they have been scouring the wrong area for the past two years. Ministers from Australia, Malaysia, and China have agreed to suspend the search for the missing plane if it is not found by December 2016. There have been many conspiracy theories but mainly that the Captain crashed the plane on purpose. The list goes on unendingly: Shot Down. Terrorist Hijacking. Plane Switch. Island Landing.Cockpit Fire. Alien Abduction. Nth Korea Hijacked MH 370. On The Moon. Life Insurance Scam. Imaginations have run wild and it certainly is a mystery as to how such an aircraft could disappear with today’s expertise, and one unlikely to be solved unless of course they finally do find the aircraft. What we really need is another Agatha Christie.

Whale watching is in full swing and excitement grows as the first sighting for 2016 of Migaloo the White Whale was reported on the 22nd July at Port Stephens, he was with a smaller female heading north. Migaloo is Australia’s most well known humpback whale, when he was first sighted he was the only known all white whale in the world. As he migrates up the East Coast of Australia from Antarctica to the warmer waters of tropical North Queensland, his distinctive all white colouring allows people to report sightings There is now a website setup to log Migaloo travels, you can follow this celebrity as he makes his way. Tap him up and enjoy the experience.

Here at Shelly Beach we now have four resident Currawongs, these beautiful large, black and grey birds are extremely friendly and happily carol on the back doorstep. My tame Yellow Wattle Thrush is having a hard time being fed, but waits in turn. Meanwhile, Pixie the Pomeranian scuttles past them all to the garden. It has been extremely cold but the surfers are still braving the water, with excellent waves.

My books “The Complete Guide to Painting and Decorating Porcelain, Wallis the Woman I Love, and Letters of a Travelling Woman” are available on Amazon, Xlibris , my website alternatively Patricia Newell-Dunkley.

Cheers. Patricia.