2018 South Pacific Specialist winner visits New Caledonia

Our 2018 South Pacific Specialist competition winner Leah Gage, redeemed her prize- a Famil holiday in New Caledonia this month. Leah is the Director of In2 Travel Australia, and this is what she had to say:

I highly recommend to any tourism professional, interested in selling the Pacific Islands region, to join the South Pacific Specialist program. This training has enhanced my knowledge of the destinations in the region, and given me the confidence to be able to provide accurate, comprehensive information to my clients.

The SPTO website and the weekly Pacific Pulse e-newsletter are a great resource for current information, regional events and contacts. South Pacific Specialists have the opportunity to attend the South Pacific Tourism Exchange. This annual event provided me with an excellent opportunity to source new products, renew business relationships with existing operators, and to network with industry peers.

Tchou Tchou noumea june 2019

It is only two hours flight from Brisbane, but New Caledonia felt like a world away. Known as the “French Riviera” of the South Pacific, New Caledonia is the perfect destination for a short break or a romantic escape. If you like water sports New Caledonia boasts the largest lagoon in the world, an UNESCO World Heritage listed site since 2008, and supports a multitude of activities including diving, windsurfing and kitesurfing.

Noumea is New Caledonia’s capital and largest city. I was introduced to the major sights of Noumea on the cute little Tchou Tchou tourist train, which included a stop in the city centre. Here, I took the opportunity to shop for French perfume… my tip is to head to Passion Beauté – Rozanne, for unbelievable prices on your favourite fragrances. Le Tricot Raye boutique is an excellent place to find unique New Caledonian gifts and souvenirs.

I enjoyed the beautiful beaches and cafes located at the Baie des Citrons and Anse Vata, especially Les 3 Brasseurs; a great micro brewery and restaurant….try one of their Flammekueches (its a cross between a savory tart and a pizza).

Tour of Great South New Caledonia june 2019

An informative tour with a local guide at the Tjibaou Cultural Centre, showcased the local Kanak heritage and culture. The striking architecture of this complex was designed by the world-renowned architect Renzo Piano. The Aquarium des Lagons features local New Caledonian marine life and is well worth a visit. The 4WD tour to the south of the island highlighted a different world to cosmopolitan Noumea, with its mountains, remarkable red earth and crystal blue river. My time in New Caledonia was an exploration of the unique blend of French culture and kanak traditions. You too should visit soon….its only a few hours away.

I highly recommend to any tourism professional, interested in selling the pacific islands region, to join the South Pacific Specialist program. This training has enhanced my knowledge of the destinations in the region, and given me the confidence to be able to provide accurate, comprehensive information to my clients.

The SPTO website and the weekly pacific pulse e-newsletter are a great resource for current information, regional events and contacts. South Pacific Specialists have the opportunity to attend the South Pacific Tourism Exchange. This annual event provides me with an excellent opportunity to source new products, renew business relationships with existing operators, and to network with industry peers.

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