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New Caledonia

Fun Facts for Kids on New Caledonia - Image of a River in New Caledonia - New Caledonia Worksheet
Fun Facts for Kids on New Caledonia - Image of a River in New Caledonia

Situated 700 miles east of Australia, New Caledonia is an archipelago, or cluster of islands in the South Pacific Ocean. The main island is 250 miles long and 30 miles wide. It is covered in mountains and rain forests. A coral reef forms a lagoon. The islands are rich in minerals, such as iron and nickel.

New Caledonia facts For Kids

  • New Caledonia is in the Pacific Ocean.
  • It’s a territory of France.
  • The capital city is Nouméa.
  • They speak French there.
  • It has the world’s third-largest reef.
  • The currency is the Pacific Franc (XPF).
  • Home to unique plants and animals.
  • Kanak people are the indigenous inhabitants.
  • It’s known for its nickel production.
  • Loyalty Islands are part of it.


Nouméa, the capital city of New Caledonia, offers children an intriguing educational experience with its unique fusion of French and Melanesian cultures. Nestled on the main island, Nouméa is globally recognized for housing the world’s largest lagoon and the second-largest Great Barrier Reef, presenting an adventurous exploration of diverse marine life for kids.

The city’s notable features include its palm-lined streets, vibrant markets, and the renowned Tjibaou Cultural Centre that exhibits the rich Kanak culture and history. Along with its beautiful beaches, children will find it interesting that the city uses French as its official language and the Pacific Franc as its currency.

Kanak people

The Kanak people, the indigenous inhabitants of New Caledonia, a French territory in the South Pacific, form about 40% of the island’s population. Their culture is rich and vibrant, underpinned by a deep respect for nature and strong ancestral traditions.

Living in tribal communities led by chiefs, their societal norms are reflected in their unique round houses, or ‘cases’, constructed from natural materials, featuring pointed roofs. The Kanaks are renowned for their intricate wood carvings, pottery, and basket weaving – a testament to their rich cultural heritage. Even in the face of European colonization, their resilience and strength have enabled them to retain and preserve many of their customs and traditions.

Pacific Ocean

Located in the southwestern Pacific Ocean, New Caledonia is an incredibly unique and electrifying island that, despite being over 10,000 miles away, remains a territory of France. This remote island is a haven for biodiversity, hosting a myriad of plants and animals that are exclusive to its geographical location.

Surrounded by the world’s largest lagoon and the second-largest barrier reef, its waters serve as an amazing habitat for a spectrum of vibrant sea life, including colorful fish, sea turtles, and dolphins. However, the appeal of New Caledonia extends beyond its natural wonders. The island is a melting pot of French and Melanesian cultures, a distinctive blend that is evident in its food, language, and traditions, further enhancing its unique charm.

French Overseas Territory

New Caledonia, a French Overseas Territory located over 16,000 kilometers away in the South Pacific, offers a unique and captivating learning experience for children. Despite its geographical distance from France, the island’s official language is French and its currency is the CFP franc, commonly used throughout Pacific French territories.

The tropical paradise showcases a rich cultural mosaic of French and native Kanak influences. Moreover, its status as the home to the world’s largest lagoon and the second-largest great barrier reef underscores its importance as a sanctuary for marine life. This combined with its distinctive blend of cultures makes New Caledonia a truly fascinating place for young minds to explore.

Nickel mining

Situated in the South Pacific, New Caledonia is a collection of islands renowned as one of the globe’s primary sources of nickel, a precious metal utilized in a myriad of applications including electronic devices, stainless steel, and coins. Nickel mining is a pivotal industry that significantly bolsters the economy of New Caledonia, with mines spread across the main island, Grande Terre, employing complex machinery and techniques in the extraction process.

Despite the economic boost and provision of employment opportunities that nickel mining offers, it bears an environmental toll, evident in soil erosion and water contamination. This necessitates a crucial balance between harnessing the economic benefits of the nickel mining industry and preserving the distinct and stunning environment of the islands for the inhabitants of New Caledonia.

Coral reefs

Situated in the South Pacific Ocean, New Caledonia is renowned for hosting the world’s second-largest coral reef, the New Caledonian Barrier Reef, which stretches over 1,500 kilometers and offers a dynamic and varied underwater ecosystem.

The reef serves as a habitat to a plethora of marine species such as fish, crustaceans, and sea turtles. Moreover, it holds an impressive diversity with more than 400 species of corals inhabiting it, making it one of the most biodiverse coral reefs globally. What sets this coral reef apart is its unique double barrier system, a feature seldom found elsewhere.

Recognizing the rich biodiversity it hosts, the New Caledonian Barrier Reef has earned a spot on the UNESCO World Heritage site list, providing assurance for its preservation for the enjoyment of future generations.


The South Pacific’s subregion, Melanesia, houses an intriguing locale known as New Caledonia. This unique part of the world, a special collectivity of France, comprises the main island Grande Terre and several smaller ones.

Besides its vibrant cultures and lush landscapes, New Caledonia is renowned for its extraordinary biodiversity, housing numerous exclusive plant and animal species. It also flaunts one of the largest lagoons globally and the world’s second-largest coral reef.

The indigenous Kanak people contribute to the richness of this region by preserving their Melanesian culture through traditional arts, music, and ceremonies. Therefore, New Caledonia offers a fascinating learning platform for children studying Melanesia, showcasing a blend of natural beauty and cultural wealth.

Loyalty Islands

Located in the Pacific Ocean as part of the French overseas territory, the Loyalty Islands of New Caledonia present a captivating exploration for children with an interest in geography and nature. Comprising the main islands of Lifou, Maré, and Ouvéa, this archipelago offers more than just stunning beaches and coral reefs.

It also provides a unique window into the rich history and strong traditions of its native inhabitants, the Kanak people. Additionally, it serves as a thriving habitat for a diverse range of birds and marine life, adding to its appeal as an educational and recreational destination.

Isle of Pines

The Isle of Pines, a captivating part of New Caledonia, often referred to as ‘the closest island to Paradise,’ is an enthralling destination for children. This island, renowned for its majestic natural allure consisting of pellucid turquoise waters, pristine white beaches, and verdant forests, offers a glimpse into its intriguing historical past as a former penal colony.

The sacred cave, a notable landmark brimming with stalagmites and stalactites, adds to the island’s charm. To further pique the interest of young, aspiring zoologists, the island serves as a habitat for the unique New Caledonian crow. This bird, recognized for its remarkable intelligence and tool usage, is a fascinating sight on this island paradise.

Kanak and Socialist National Liberation Front (FLNKS).

New Caledonia, a unique location steeped in rich cultural history, is deeply characterized by the influence of its indigenous inhabitants, the Kanak people. The Kanaks, with their profound connection to the land and time-honored traditions, have significantly shaped the island’s heritage.

Their struggle for independence from France, led by the Socialist National Liberation Front (FLNKS) in the 1980s, is a key chapter in the island’s history. The FLNKS, a political party dedicated to representing the Kanak people’s interests, has relentlessly labored to preserve their culture, language, and rights. Despite New Caledonia maintaining its status as a special collectivity of France, the Kanak people and the FLNKS remain integral to the island’s political, cultural, and social dynamics.

James Cook spotted the islands in 1774. The French claimed it almost 100 years later. Today, New Caledonia is a self-governing dependent of France, although many native people want independence from France.

Simple Science for Kids All about New Caledonia - National Flag of New Caledonia
Simple Science for Kids All about New Caledonia – National Flag of New Caledonia

The Kanak culture is similar to other Polynesian cultures. Family and tradition are important. Families live in tribes with a respected chief who leads them. According to traditional culture, no one person owns the land, but everyone shares it.

Fun Facts about New Caledonia for Kids

  • 264,000 people live in New Caledonia.
  • New Caledonia has a total land mass of 7,241 square miles.
  • Most people are Roman Catholic or Protestant.
  • The official language is French, although several native dialects are spoken.
  • People in New Caledonia can expect to live 77 years.
  • 96 percent of adults can read.

New Caledonia Vocabulary

  1. Archipelago: cluster or string of islands
  2. Reef: coral embankment
  3. Dependent: dependent for support and protection
  4. Chief: tribal leader

All about New Caledonia Video for Kids

This is the best video we found for kids to learn all about New Caledonia:

A video about the history of the island New Caledonia.

New Caledonia Q&A

Question: What do people in New Caledonia eat?

Answer: Yams are a beloved traditional food, often considered sacred. Native people eat taro, fish, bananas and yams, although rice and frozen foods are becoming more common.

Map of New Caledonia

Here’s a map of the country of New Caledonia and all its cities and villages. Zoom in to get into street level or zoom out to see other countries around New Caledonia! You can see the terrain, but also see the roads, images of the buildings and even take a 3D tour through the streets of the cities of New Caledonia, as though you are actually there!