New Caledonia (GPS: 21 30 S, 165 30 E) is located in Oceania, islands in the South Pacific Ocean, east of Australia. The country’s area measurements are total: 18,575 sq km; land: 18,275 sq km, water: 300 sq km. This sovereign state is slightly smaller than New Jersey. The total irrigated land is 100 sq km (2012).
One of the essential features of New Caledonia: Consists of the main island of New Caledonia (one of the largest in the Pacific Ocean), the archipelago of Iles Loyaute, and numerous small, sparsely populated islands and atolls.
It’s significant, and at the same time, the principal city, Noumea’s GPS coordinates are 22 16 S 166 27 E. Noumea’s local time is 16 hours ahead of Washington DC during Standard Time. The capital’s time difference: UTC+11.
Settled by both Britain and France during the first half of the 19th century, the island became a French possession in 1853. It served as a penal colony for four decades after 1864. Agitation for independence during the 1980s and early 1990s ended in the 1998 Noumea Accord, which over two decades transferred an increasing amount of governing responsibility from France to New Caledonia. In a referendum held in November 2018, residents rejected independence and decided to retain their territorial status, although two other referendums may occur in 2020 and 2022, per the Noumea Accord.
New Caledonia’s names conventional long form: Territory of New Caledonia and Dependencies, traditional short way: New Caledonia, local long form: Territoire des Nouvelle-Caledonie et Dependances, local short state: Nouvelle-Caledonie, etymology: British explorer Captain James COOK discovered and named New Caledonia in 1774; he used the appellation because the northeast of the island reminded him of Scotland (Caledonia is the Latin designation for Scotland). British explorer Captain James COOK discovered and named New Caledonia in 1774; He used the appellation because the northeast of the island reminded him of Scotland (Caledonia is the Latin designation for Scotland).
New Caledonia’s terrain is typically coastal plains with interior mountains. The country’s mean elevation: N/A, elevation extremes; lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m, highest point: Mont Panie 1,628 m.
The general climate in the country; tropical: modified by southeast trade winds: hot, humid.
The total number of border countries is 0; none are the neighboring nations with the indicated border lengths. New Caledonia’s coastline is 2,254 km, while its marital claims are: territorial sea: 12 nautical miles, exclusive economic zone: 200 nautical miles. Waterways: N/A. Land use: agricultural land: 10.4%; arable land 0.4%; permanent crops 0.2%; permanent pasture 9.8%; forest: 45.9%; other: 43.7% (2011 estimate).
The population in New Caledonia 282,754 (July 2018 estimate), urban population: 70.2% of total population (2015), major metropolitan area’s population: NOUMEA (capital) 181,000 (2014), while New Caledonia has N/A. Their spoken languages are French (official language), 33 Melanesian-Polynesian dialects. The main religions in New Caledonia are Roman Catholic 60%, Protestant 30%, other 10%. The nation uses a civil law system based on French law; the 1988 Matignon Accords (signed in the Matignon Hotel) set up ten years of development. The Kanak community received substantial autonomy but agreed not to raise the independence issue. It is a(n) parliamentary democracy (Territorial Congress); an overseas collectivity of France, National holiday(s) Fete de la Federation, 14 July (1789).
Economic overview for the country: New Caledonia has 11% of the world’s nickel reserves, representing the second-largest reserves on the planet. Only a small amount of land is suitable for cultivation, and food accounts for about 20% of imports. In addition to nickel, substantial financial support from France – equal to more than 15% of GDP – and tourism are keys to the economy’s health. With the gradual increase in two new nickel plants in 2015, the average production of metallurgical goods stood at a record level of 94 thousand tons. However, the sector is exposed to the high volatility of nickel prices, which have declined since 2016. In 2017, one of the three major mining firms on the island, Vale, put its operations up for sale, triggering concerns of layoffs ahead of the 2018 independence referendum.
Natural resources of New Caledonia: nickel, chrome, iron, cobalt, manganese, silver, gold, lead, copper.
When you visit this country in Oceania, consider the natural hazards in New Caledonia: Cyclones, most frequent from November to Marchvolcanism: Matthew and Hunter Islands are historically active, while infectious diseases are noted: active local transmission of Zika virus by Aedes species mosquitoes has been identified in this country (as of August 2016); it poses a significant risk (a large number of cases possible) among US citizens if bitten by an infective mosquito; other less common ways to get Zika are through sex, via blood transfusion, or during pregnancy, in which the pregnant woman passes Zika virus to her fetus (2016). Also, note that New Caledonia faces the following environmental issues: Preservation of coral reefs, Prevention of invasive species, Limiting erosion caused by nickel mining, and forest fires.
You may also be interested in the countries next to New Caledonia around its 0 km border – No border countries.