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New Caledonia (Nouvelle Caledonia) I.

Published: 9.6.2010
New Caledonia is a group of islands placed in south - west part of Pacific Ocean, to which belongs: the island of the same name (New Caledonia - surface 16,3 thousands of square kilometres), Belep - the other group of islands, Chesterfield Islands, Pen (Kunie) Islands, Loyaute group of islands, especially Ouvea, Lifou and Mare, Kupi.

Many small islands, which form Bellon and Huon group of islands, and great number of small islands and cliffs around main group of islands. Total surface of the state makes 18575,5 km². Mont Panie (1628 m) is the highest peak.


New Caledonia has tropical monsoon climate, which is hot and humid. The temperature is minimally changing during the year: in winter (since April till August) the average temperature makes 19 - 23° C, whereas in summer (since November till March), the temperature makes 24 -26° C. Yearly total precipitation makes 3000 mm in east part of islands´group and 700 mm in west part.
The rain saison dominates since December till March. It is during time period when the cyclones attack the islands. So, cloudy weather and powerful tropical hurricanes are characteristic for such time period. Since September till December, trade wind saison is dominating, when the weather is very windy but the sky is transparent.


Nová Kaledonie
Main Island of New Caledonia (Grande Terra) is practically created with mountain range, passing from north-west up to south-east. Mt. Panie (1624 m) and Mt. Humboldt (1
618 m) are  the highest peaks. Mountain ridges are covered with eternally green forests, high grass and tropical bushes on mountaneous hillsides. New Caledonia coastal line is narrow and very articulated, especially in west. It is bordered with coral rifts, forming barriere cliff, more than 600 kms long, passing the whole periphery of the island.

Nová KaledonieNK 3

The island of New Caledonia is main agricultural area of the state. You can find, in its east part, vast table land plateaux of volcanic
origin, steeply sinking to the coast. As far as the rivers are concerned, they are short and stormy, and its number is quite sufficient. On the other hand, the coasts, especially in western areas, are covered with green copse.

NK 4

The other islands present mostly not too high peaks of old subterranean volcanos, bordered with coral cliffs. Practically all east and south-east coasts of the state are bordered with eucalyptus bushes, coco-trees, banyans (sorts of fig-trees) and bouganvilles (blooming bushes). However, most of small islands have a lack of vegetace, predominantly palm groves and various sorts of grass.

Text: Maxim Kucer

Photos: Wikimedia Commons

JesianeLauchantoiseau, Nasa Goddard Space Flight Center, Michael Coghlan


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