New Caledonia for Helloworld AU Relay & World Tourism Day.

One day / 10 photos. One an hour from sunrise to sunset. Bourail to Nouméa, New Caledonia.

If you follow me on Instagram, you might have seen last month I was in New Caledonia. I was invited to this beautiful part of as part of The South Pacific as a part of World Tourism Day for Helloworld AU's Relay.

A fun and challenging day, which definitely had me thinking on my feet and pushed outside my comfort-zone. The idea behind the Hello World AU Relay was to be following my day in "real time" and capture the feeling of being in New Caledonia, creating images that showcase the destination, the culture, the food and  the finer details.

Sunrise began at the Sheraton New Caledonia Deva Resort & Spa with an early morning, relaxing dip in the warm ocean just out front. Float and watch the sun come up for the day - an easy task! The relaxing wasn't to last too long, as I then hiked to the top of the nearest hill for a 'postcards from paradise' image overlooking the reef. Another quick dip and cool down in the crystal clear UNESCO World Heritage Lagoon before meeting my friendly driver and guide for the day, Franck. We hit the road running (literally) as I raced from one destination to the other, editing on my laptop in the passenger seat and attempting to learn basic french on the go.

Our first stop on the road was to visit the traditional Kanak hut of the Petit Couli tribe, which was originally built in 1881 in Sarraméa. It was a pleasure to be invited to visit and photograph their homes and learn a little more about the history of this place. Unfortunately we didn't get to stay too long as lunch was served and we were off to a traditional lunch called Bougna of the Melanesian people. On the road again stopping only briefly in the Cowboy Country to a beautiful horse named Bebe and his owner riding across their farm. Just quickly, two things I never knew about New Calendonia: 1. how close it is to Australia (only a short 170min flight) and 2. admit-tingly I've only ever looked as far as the reef, but I never knew just how beautiful the countryside is!

We arrived Nouméa and my schedule was to check out the city centre, however the city centre is closed on Sunday. Sleepy Sunday's.. I like that! So instead we drove around looking at the different bays and I was closely keeping an eye on the wind, so I could pick my snorkelling spot for the following day. I checked into my hotel and went for a quick swim in the pool with my housing for my 8th shot of the day. A short refresh just before hiking to yet another postcard worthy view, 132m up at the Quen Torro, looking out over the Anse Vata and Vaie des Citrons (Lemon bay).

Before handing the relay over to my friend Rob in the Philippines, my last stop on the itinerary was to enjoy a cocktail and watch the sun go down at l'endroit. A Sunday spent in paradise and an early night after such a huge, but rewarding day!

The next day I woke up and hiked to the top of Quen Torro again, before heading out on a water taxi and spending the entire day on Duck Island (a local recommendation).  The reef is sheltered from the afternoon wind and I took my Aquatech waterhousing out and kind of just lost track of time in the sea. X

On a side note, recently I have had a few emails regarding my camera equipment and in an (un)funny turn of events I need to say a MASSIVE thank you to Canon Australia for helping me out in an emergency situation and the death of the only material possession in this world I care about. You see, whilst I was in Wollongong my baby (camera, lens and tripod) fell off a cliff. Hazards of the job.

Anyway, my travel gear -

  • Canon EOS 5DsR and 5D Mark III bodies
  • EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM
  • EF 50mm f/1.2L USM
  • EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM + EF Extender 2.0x III
  • EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM
  • and for underwater shots I've been using AquaTech Imaging Solutions sports hosuings and experimented with the EF 17-40mm f/4L USM in New Caledonia. BUT I really want to get myself a new baby, the dreamy EF 14mm f/2.8L II USM as I used last year in Samoa.

I hope this helps.

M. x