Travellers will also be intrigued by the lifestyle of the descendants of convicts and European settlers, often referred to as “Caldoches.” Inheriting a mix of French and Oceanian influences, they juggle between Western active life and Oceanian tranquillity, always retaining a strong attachment to the land and the sea.
Between “hunting trips” and “fishing outings,” rural Caldoches, affectionately nicknamed “Broussards”, have retained much of the pioneering spirit of their ancestors. With a true cowboy flair of the Far West, never far from their horses, they often manage large farms or cattle ranches, isolated on the plains of the West Coast. A rustic and authentic lifestyle that attracts tourists eager to witness a rodeo at a fair or hear some unusual local expressions and accents.
Around the capital, the Greater Nouméa, which concentrates nearly two-thirds of the country’s population, the “French touch” is more pronounced. With its many bakeries, wine shops, impressive cheese sections in supermarkets, cafés and restaurants, Noumeans unquestionably appreciate the finer things in life. The nightlife comes alive along the bays, and a rich programme of shows, concerts, and sporting events punctuates the year.
Last but not least, the local melting pot is enriched by a significant number of inhabitants of other Oceanian origins (Wallisian, Tahitian, Vanuatuan…) or Asian origins (Indonesian, Vietnamese, Japanese…), each contributing their piece to the identity puzzle of the “New Caledonians”.