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Thursday, 11 September 2014

New Caledonia, off the Australian Coast

New Caledonia, off the Australian Coast
New Caledonia (French: Nouvelle-Calédonie)[nb 1] is a special collectivity of France located in the southwest Pacific Ocean, 1,210 km (750 mi) east of Australia and 16,136 km (10,026 mi) east of Metropolitan France. The archipelago, part of the Melanesia subregion, includes the main island of Grande Terre, the Loyalty Islands, the Chesterfield Islands, the Belep archipelago, the Isle of Pines, and a few remote islets. The Chesterfield Islands are in the Coral Sea. Locals refer to Grande Terre as "Le Caillou" ("the stone").New Caledonia has a land area of 18,576 km2 (7,172 mi2). Its population is 256,000, and consists of a mix of Kanak people (the original inhabitants of New Caledonia), people of European descent , Polynesian people , and Southeast Asian people, as well as a few islanders originating from Algeria. The capital of the territory is Nouméa.
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