New Caledonia (French Nouvelle-Calédonie) - a special
administrative and territorial entity of France, located in the
Pacific Ocean. It is represented by a large island of the same name
and a group of small islands in the southwestern Pacific Ocean, in
Melanesia. It borders in the southwest with the economic zone of
Australia, in the north - with Vanuatu, in the southeast - with
Fiji. The population is 245,580 people (2009). The capital is the
city of Noumea (98 thousand). Monetary unit - French Pacific franc.
The largest island of New Caledonia is the Grand Ter, it has mostly mountainous terrain (the highest point is Mount Pannier, 1628 m). The shores are heavily indented and have many convenient bays, access to which is difficult by coral reefs. Grand Ter is surrounded by a long reef ridge. The island is composed mainly of ophiolite complexes. Climatic conditions are quite favorable. This circumstance contributed to the transformation of New Caledonia into a European resettlement colony. There are many rivers on the island, fertile red earth soils prevail. Forests occupy about 15% of the territory. A number of valuable tree species grow, including various species of coniferous agatis and Araucaria (Araucaria columnaris is depicted on the emblem of New Caledonia). The fauna of New Caledonia is relatively poor, however, there are endemic species. The island has a very large number of geckos.
The climate of New Caledonia is tropical, accommodating two seasons: a hot and humid period from November to March with temperatures from 27 ° C to 30 ° C and a cooler dry period from June to August with temperatures from 20 ° C to 23 ° C, which are connected two short intervals. The tropical climate varies greatly under the influence of the ocean and trade winds, which reduce humidity, the value of which can be close to 80%. The average annual temperature is 23 ° C, with historical extremes of 2.3 ° C and 39.1 ° C. Annual precipitation varies from 3000 mm in the eastern part of the archipelago to 700 mm in the west. There are also dry periods due to exposure to El Nino. Between December and April, tropical cyclones can cause the wind speed to exceed 100 km / h, and individual gusts of wind to 250 km / h, and the amount of rainfall can be very plentiful. The last cyclone that affected New Caledonia was Cooklon Cook in January 2017. The season of trade winds lasts from September to November-December: the weather is very windy, but the sky is clear.