New Caledonia is an archipelago that belongs to France, but is located in the south-west Pacific Ocean, east of Australia. The archipelago includes the main island of Grande Terre, the Loyalty islands, the Belep archipelago, the Isle of Pines and some remote islands. The Chesterfield Islands of the Coral Sea are also part of New Caledonia. The territory capital is Nouméa. The islands are remarkably depopulated and there are vast desert areas. There are hundreds of kilometres of paths, trails, more than 42 parks and reserves, and crystal clear rivers with waterfalls. Grande Terre is surrounded by the second largest barrier reef in the world and by the protected lagoon created by this barrier reef. The world heritage-listed lagoon in 2008 has almost 24000 km2 and supports a diverse and lush fauna with tropical fish, turtles, sea snakes, sharks and places where dolphins and whales can be seen. New Caledonia is a paradise for sports lovers, mainly nautical, and for nature lovers, who can delight both the most beautiful white sandy beaches and the spectacular landscapes of Mount Panié. This magical place painted blue and green is actually a paradise for any human being.