Saturday, 30 May 2015

Lexa Cain's Summer Blog Hop - What's Your Favourite Summer Vacation Spot?

Welcome to Lexa Cain's 


Lexa gave us the following guidelines:

Is your favorite vacation spot 
a sunny beach, a bright city
or a secluded cabin
A romantic getaway

or a place you loved as a child?  

We want to see it 
and know why it's your favorite!

Join Lexa Cain's Blog Hop

If you want, you can join this fun Summer Vacation Hop!

1) Sign up on the Linky list.

2) On Saturday May 30, put up a post "My Favorite Vacation Spot" and tell everyone about it!

3) Link to the 6 Blog Hop Co-hosts: 
Lexa Cain: http://lexacain.blogspot.com/
Melanie Karsak: http://www.melaniekarsak.com/
T.F. Walsh: http://www.tfwalsh.com/blog/
Vanessa Morgan: http://vanessa-morgan.blogspot.com/
Jolie Du Pre: http://www.preciousmonsters.com/
Stuart R. West: http://stuartrwest.blogspot.com/

4) On May 30-31, visit the other blogs and see where their favorite getaways are!

Special Giveaways! 
Summer Reads that Thrill & Chill
There will be a giveaway featuring 
6 exciting novels on the Co-hosts blogs!

Image result for images blog dividers

HERE IS MY ENTRY - NEW CALEDONIA

My favourite holiday (vacation) spot is whatever destination is next on my travel list. So, on June 25th, Geo and I are flying to New Caledonia (Nouvelle Caledonie), yet another little pearl in the Pacific. It doesn't get much of a write up in travel magazines, so I'm planning to get some travel articles published when I return.


So as you can see, from where I live in Queensland, Noumea, the capital of New Caledonia, is only a 2-hour flight direct from Brisbane. We've wanted to visit this island for ages. It's still 'ruled' by the French colonists and French is the official language. A positive bien sur. 



My initial research has shown that there is a lot to do in the two weeks we have allocated. Noumea itself has tour ships arriving quite often, so there is a lively market in local trinkets and artisian chocolate and the very popular Noumea Market where everybody buys their fruit, veges and snacks. 

Photo of Chocolats Morand Noumea

(This will be my first stop. Just like in Paris, a delicious treat each day. You can also do a chocolate-making course. Yummo!) 

Image result for noumeaImage result for noumea

Our hotel (Le Hotel Paris, of course) is close to the waterfront where we can jump on boats and explore islands like the Isle of Pines which is supposed to be world class. Not that there's really anything there but the scenery. Sounds like my kind of place. (Maybe I could move there and write and sell coffee to the tourists!)

Image result for isle of pinesMap of isle of pines

For those of you who are interested:

1. Ile des Pins
Dig your toes into some of the finest, whitest, softest sand on the planet. Known affectionately as “The Closest Island to Paradise”, the water is transparent and perfect for swimming, snorkelling and diving while history buffs will enjoy visiting the ruins of the penal colony that once stood on the island. Enjoy the cool shade of the pine trees as you plan a way to stay here forever.  
2. Nouméa Markets
Get your haggling hat on and head out in search of the best deals for local produce, meat, fish and souvenirs. Epitomising the market culture with artefacts, jewellery and unique art pieces on offer, the Nouméa markets, located beside the Port Moselle marina, run every morning with their busiest days being Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Go for an early morning stroll and pick up something for an afternoon picnic.

3. Amedee Lighthouse Island
One of the tallest lighthouses in the world is located on one of the most beautiful stretches of reef in the world! Today there are day trips to Amedee Island where guests can visit the lighthouse, take a trip in a glass-bottom boat to witness the magical underwater sea life or go snorkelling with turtles. This is considered a “must visit” during your stay in Nouméa.
4. Chomp on chocolate
Who doesn’t like chocolate? Get your tasty fill as you learn about the chocolate-making process in Nouméa at Chocolats Morand. Try them all to determine your favourite and come home bearing gifts – if they make it back uneaten, that is!
5. Swim, dive or snorkel in the Lagoon
Snorkel and swim through the crystal clear waters of the South Lagoon, surrounded by New Caledonia’s claim to fame: the 2nd longest double-barrier coral reef in the world (second only to the one in Belize, Central America). A picture is worth a thousand words, so go swim for yourself!
6. Nosh on nem
Save a few bucks and dig into the local street food! Located in shops known simply as “snacks”, you can find anything here, from fancy French food to strongly Asian-influenced menu dishes. An inexpensive and tasty favorite is nem, similar to a fried spring roll stuffed with goodies.
7. Hide out in nature
Grotte de la Reine Hortense is said to be the cave where Queen Hortense, wife of a local chief, hid in 1855 to escape inter-tribal conflict on the island. It is now one of the most visited and best maintained caves, where visitors can learn about the history and shine a light in the dark depths of the interior.
8. Be a pearl
Considered to be Tahiti’s specialty, New Caledonia offers visitors the opportunity to learn about the unique styles and colours of pearls and even purchase some as souvenirs to take home. Even if you walk in completely clueless about pearls, chances are you’ll be blown away with what you discover in a short visit to Maison de la Perle in Nouméa.
9. Fly high
Whether it’s from a whirling helicopter or a floating kite, why not see New Caledonia from a new perspective? Try kite-surfing lessons on Anse Vata beach or book a tour with Helitourisme for a birds-eye view of paradise.
10. Peer into the past at a local museum
Immerse yourself in history as you step out of the tropical sun and into the cool Tjibaou Cultural Centre, featuring displays of Kanak painting, sculpture and artefacts, as well as live dance performances twice weekly. Also open to visitors and well worth a couple hours is the New Caledonia Museum which provides a thorough introduction to Kanak and regional Pacific Islander culture.

So there's plenty to do in New Caledonia. Thank you for coming by and reading my entry. Please click on this link to visit more participants.

My 'From the Couch' series continues next week. Tune in Wednesday for my next recliner...

And this is a link for a Mills & Boon and WD Smith romance writing contest which closes mid July.




55 comments:

Shah Wharton said...

Wow, beautiful place. Thanks for all the information. X

shahwharton.com

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

That's amazing you have a vacation paradise so close to you. Go enjoy!

Jo said...

I wish I could go there too. Sounds absolutely wonderful. There are some pretty good islands in the Caribbean but somehow it sounds as though there are less people/tourists in New Caledonia.

Yolanda Renée said...

Ideal, simply ideal. If only I were there right now. Sigh..... Amazing the beauty we find so close to home.

D.G. Hudson said...

Oooh - Denise - New Caledonia sounds like my kind of place and perfect for francophiles. . .lovely images and too bad it's so far away. Let us know how your holiday goes! Sorry I don't have time to join a blogfest right now - house is on the market, etc.

Roland D. Yeomans said...

Kite-surfing sounds like fun. And Alex is right: it is very cool to have a grand vacation spot located so close to where you live. :-)

My vacation spot is Shangri la ... and I even tell you how to get there!

Unknown said...

Thanks so much for the info on New Caledonia. It's on my bucket list. The pics are lovely.

Stuart R. West said...

Denise, those are gorgeous photos. Here in awful Kansas, we've never even SEEN a blue that vivid.

dolorah said...

Sounds like fun. I was surprised your fav spot wasn't Paris, but they speak French in New Caledonia, so I guess that is close enough. I want to go learn about Pearls :)

Deniz Bevan said...

What a lovely idea for a blog hop. And oh! New Caledonia sounds lovely! I'll have to add it to the long term wishlist...

Catherine Stine said...

Wow, the desserts and the blue water are enough to allure me!

kimlajevardi.com said...

Sounds amazing! Enjoy your trip.

cleemckenzie said...

I've never been there, but you've got me interested.

Unknown said...

It looks beautiful! I love all the little boats in the bay, and I bet the Hotel Paris is wonderfully relaxing. My favorite stop of each day would be the chocolate patisserie! Thanks for the great pics and cool info! :)

T.F. Walsh said...

Fantastic post. I live in Sydney and haven't yet been to New Caledonia... must do it next time I've going up toward Queensland:)

Nilanjana Bose said...

Why am I not surprised that you've found a bit of Paris near you? :) Have a great trip!

Kate Larkindale said...

I've always wanted to go to New Caledonia. It's a little piece of France that's a little closer to home for us in NZ…. You'll have to let us know if it's as amazing as it sounds!

Rhonda Albom said...

Exciting times ahead for you. My favorite spot is usually where I am or where I have just been, rather than where I am headed. But you are headed somewhere really amazing (so I have heard). Have fun.

Denise Covey said...

I expect so Rhonda!

Denise Covey said...

It looks like a great place to get my Francophile fix and only 2 hours away instead of 21!!

Denise Covey said...

Ha ha Nila. I'm so predictable. I could have said Paris of course, but that's my favourite winter holiday spot!

Denise Covey said...

Yep I'm sure it'll be great!

Denise Covey said...

I think those chocolate houses will get to know me quite well :-)

Denise Covey said...

Maybe one day, eh Clem?

Denise Covey said...

Thanks Kim!

Denise Covey said...

Me too!

Denise Covey said...

I'll let you know more after I've visited!

Denise Covey said...

Paris is my favourite but that would have been too predictable. New Cal is as close as you get to Paris in the Pacific so I have high hopes. Mmm, pearls do sound interesting. :-)

Denise Covey said...

Ah, Kansas Stuart! The Pacific it ain't!

Denise Covey said...

Sound great I think!

Denise Covey said...

Shangri la,,,oh nice!

Denise Covey said...

Yes, I expect to love it D .G. I will certainly let you know how it pans out.

Denise Covey said...

I hope to be sighing big time in 3 weeks! Meantime I have 2 books to edit!! As you know....:-)

Denise Covey said...

I'm sure New Cal will be very quiet at times when the cruise ships aren't in port. A little bit of both is always nice!

Denise Covey said...

Ah, I have plenty of paradise spots close by. I live at one of the best beaches in Australia but I holiday there every second week!

Denise Covey said...

It looks beautiful all right!!

Nas said...

Oh, my! I love it! And would like to read all about it after you return!

Denise Covey said...

No doubt you will Nas!

H.R. Sinclair said...

That's sounds like heaven! How will i get back to work now?

Michael Di Gesu said...

Hi, Denise!

Oh, what a GRAND VACANCE! I am SOOOOOOOO Jealous. Returned back from Florida to chilling winds and rain... Will summer ever come to Chicago. I think not! Lost the place for good in Tampa. SUPER BUMMED... But I just got lost for a while in those stunning pics from your post... How I wish I were there now....

BON VOYAGE and have a memorable trip!!!!!! I'll be thinking of you eating those amazingly tasty treats while sipping on exotic coffee....

VR Barkowski said...

Oh, it looks fabulous, Denise. Islands, beaches, and French influence, what could be more perfect? Take lots of pictures (I’m a huge fan of vicarious travel), and have a magnificent time!

VR Barkowski

Denise Covey said...

I will do a post afterwards, VR! At least i'll have a few interested readers!

Denise Covey said...

So sorry Tampa fell through, but it wasn't meant to be! I'll let you know how many kilos I gain, lol!

Denise Covey said...

Now you get back to work, hear!

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I so wish I could visit there. And your homeland is on my bucket list. Could be a few years yet.

Denise Covey said...

I hope to meet you here one day Susan!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Denise - sounds like my kind of holiday and with only a 2 hour hop. The landscape and seascapes will be magical ... I'd love to see the market, but think I'd be more enticed by the pearl information and the little museum ... though a swim, a few boat tours would be fun ... preferably not too much chocolat! Cheers - enjoy that break ... looks good - Hilary

Denise Covey said...

Thanks Hilary. You enjoy your break from blogging!

Kelly Steel said...

Sounds like a lovely vacation to go to. Hope you have an awesome time there!

Unknown said...

Looks awesome! Hope you get to go there

Denise Covey said...

Thanks Kelly!

Denise Covey said...

I plan to in 3 weeks!

Lynda R Young as Elle Cardy said...

Because I love cruising, I've been to New Caledonia a few times. I think my favourite of the islands is the Isle of Pines.

Denise Covey said...

I'm sure looking forward to it Lyn!

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