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New Caledonia

Driving Directions New Caledonia

NEW CALEDONIA or Nouvelle Calédonie is the most southerly of the Melanesian countries in the Pacific Ocean. It is a French overseas territory, but there has been ongoing unrest in the country between the indigenous Melanesians and the French settlers over the question of independence.

The main island, Nouvelle Calédonie, is 400 kilometers or 248 miles long and rises to a height of 1,639 meters or 5,377 feet at Mount Panie.

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The island divided into two natural regions by the mountain range that runs down its center – a dry west coast covered with gum tree savannah and tropical east coast. It has a Mediterranean-type climate with rain­fall at its heaviest between December and March.

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The country is rich in mineral resources, particularly nickel, which accounts for 90 percent of the country’s exports. Other exports include coffee and copra. The main tourist resorts are on the east coast of Nouvelle Calédonie.

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