New Caledonia located 1200 km east of Australia and 1700 km North of New Zealand has three distinct regions. The main island is a large island that would take 4 hours to drive from one end to the other. It is the island that contains the 100,000 person capital city of Noumea. Most of the Europeans that settled here live in or near the capital of Noumea while white settlers seem to congregate to the west shore and the indigenous Melanesians tend to live along the east shore.
To the south is the unique Island of Pines or “Isle des Pins”. This island is a forested with some beautiful beaches and of course, 5 star resorts.
To the East are the three main Loyalty Islands of Ouvea, Lifou and Mare. Ouveau is a beach paradise island that has 20 mile long beaches that stretch on forever. Mare is a cultural island that is rich in the culture of the indigenous people of the area and does not cater too much to the beach life due to its simpler beaches. The island of Lifou in between these two islands caters to a cross section of beaches and culture as it does have some long sandy beaches as well as contains a cultural look into traditional life on these islands.
Although not mentioned as one of the three main island groups, there are the Belep Islands to the North of the main island.