This blog is about life in New Caledonia today from the perspective of a Franco-American who lived on the island from 2005 to 2007, and is back in 2012 through 2015. The blog presents facts, figures, opinions and thoughts about life on the island. I welcome comments, questions and feedback on any and all of these blog posts or via email at julie.harrisguiader@gmail.com. You can find out more about who I am here and on Google+.

Bonne visite !


23 thoughts on “About

  1. hi Julie, fellow American : ) ! Really enjoyed reading your blog today. was very interesting. (I have to admit you make our country sound even more interesting than it is- HA!) thanks for a great read and some great info.

  2. Hi Julie, I’ve enjoyed reading your blog! I’m from New Zealand and my husband and I are visiting Noumea during the first 2 weeks of Sept this year so I’ve been trying to find out what daily life and the cost of staying there will be like. We aren’t after an expensive holiday but will do some touristy things. So just a couple of questions: Is a budget of 100,000CPF enough for a two week stay? Would that would cover food from a supermarket,a few nights dining out,doing the odd tourist attraction (we mainly prefer bush walks/beach etc so those would be free), daily coffees at a cafe etc and catching the bus around? Also will we get away with speaking english? We are doing basic french lessons so will try our best.Thanks for your help!

    • Thanks for your kind comments, Eden. I will respond to you by email! (Basically, for other readers, English is not spoken very often or at all in New Caledonia, but it should be in hotels. For your budget, all depends on whether accommodation is included in the 100,000 amount. More by email!)

  3. Bonjour, Julie!

    Thank you for providing much sought-after news, and articles about New Caledonia, in English : ) It’s very much appreciated. I visited earlier this year for the first time, and am looking forward to returning there again in 2014. It’s a fascinating place, and I will be exhibiting some images I took there in next year’s Adelaide Fringe Festival.

    AI am particularly interested in the arts, Kanak culture and independence, nature and conservation.


    • Lovely to hear from you, Marc. I’m happy to try and provide as much useful content as I can on New Caledonia. I’ll keep your interests in mind as we go forward – we share many of the same!

  4. Hi Julie,
    I must admit to feeling very disappointed with the news about La Nouvelle-Caledonie. I was offered a job there 25 years ago but turned it down because I had let my French fluency go. I was a level 3 at one time. I’ve been in love with this country for many years despite little-published stories about unrest and hurricanes. I’ve been reading up on it more lately, and the enticement has gradually faded away. The people I know who live there tell me they like it. One says she has no intentions of going back to France, and the local one tells me the only problem is that it is getting more and more expensive. I knew there had to be problems there like every place else, but it seems to be getting worse lately. It might be best to visit New Caledonia on YouTube instead. France is looking better every day now.

    • Hi Amary – New Caledonia has a lot to offer, and despite some of its challenges, we really love it here. We asked to stay a 3rd year and will be asking for a 4th year, to show you how much we want to stay. We love the simple, outdoor life, the natural beauty and swimming with turtles. We love the Melanesians, and some days the feeling of living in the 40s or 50s. It is hard to find the perfect place to live in, but as we are protected from so much economic strife, enjoy such good weather and feel so much less stress than when we lived in France, for us life isn’t as hard here as it is in other places. I hope you won’t give up completely on Caledonia! – Best, Julie

  5. Hi Julie,
    I am thinking of making a trip to either New Calefonia or Vanuatu in January for 2 weeks. My main purpose will be to improve my French by studying at a school. Is New Caledonia better for this than Vanuatu? Also, is it difficult to get people in New Caledonia to speak French? I’m at a good intermediate level, but I’ve found if sometimes difficult to get native speakers to respond in French.

    • Hi Philip – I love both countries! It’s not hard to get people in New Caledonia to speak French as that is their primary language. Not very many of them (and certainly not students) speak English, so speaking French won’t be a choice! Vanuatu speaks both English and French – so do your research if you choose Vanuatu, and go to a French-speaking area. Good luck and let me know what you decide! – Julie

  6. Hi Julie,
    I have enjoyed your blog since I discovered you and your writings two years ago. I first heard of NC years ago from my paleontology professor Peter Ward. He conducted research involving the chambered nautilus years ago in NC. Now, looking to make a three to four week trip around New Caledonia in June or July of 2016 to discover NC myself. What would be your NC “bucket list” if you had only 4 weeks? Outer islands? Ending where?
    Thank you in advance,

    • Great to hear from you, Carl – and what a great question! If I only had 4 weeks in New Caledonia from June/July – I’d start with the outer islands – Ile des Pins, Lifou, Maré and Ouvea. I’d then go to the northern part of the main island (to Poum, Hienghene and then Poindimie). I’d end at Noumea to fly out, rest, relax and spend an afternoon at the Centre Tjibaou. 🙂 I’d love to hear from you to hear how your trip goes! All the best! – Julie

  7. Hi Julie, and thanks so much for your awesome blog! I have a 10 year old son in a French immersion school here in San Francisco (French International School), and would love to accelerate his speaking skills. Do you think there would be a way to temporarily get him into a N.C. school, perhaps for two or three weeks at some point in the next year? Would the schools welcome that, or do you think they would be very restrictive in allowing “guest learners”?

    On another note, I have a catamaran in the Whitsundays and am planning to visit for a month starting in mid-June next year. He would be with me then, though we could certainly come earlier.

    Thanks much,


  8. Hi Julie – I just discovered your blog this evening and am thrilled with the detailed and kid-centred information. Russell above has just asked the exact same question I was going to ask you – I have 3 children doing French immersion and am trying to organise a total immersion experience in a school. Are you able to email me privately with your advice?
    Cordialement, Angie

    • This is so awesome, Mike and Catarina! Great photos – and it looks like you had a good time in New Caledonia. You even got outside Noumea! I love it. Thanks so much for sharing. (Also love your content on Cuba – we’re looking to go there this year. :))

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s