Why New Caledonia is the place for you this Bastille Day

DESTINATION - New Caledonia

Whilst you may think about France, freedom, and revolution when you hear Bastille Day, there is a way Australians can experience this iconic holiday closer to home. Located just under 3 hours from New Zealand, New Caledonia throws a thrilling Bastille Day celebration each year in the island’s capital Nouméa. Complete with live music, a parade, and a truly spectacular fireworks display, experiencing Bastille Day in New Caledonia is a must for any Francophile. The island celebrates Bastille Day a little differently, with the party starting the night before on the 13th of July.

Kicking off with a music festival, New Caledonians mark the national day with a street fair including roaming performers, food markets, a big community dance in Place de La Marne, and other entertaining attractions. The once-in-a-lifetime festivities are sure to get you up and moving as you engage with locals and take in the lively atmosphere. Paper lanterns are then distributed in preparation for the annual march. As spectators line the streets for the parade, the stream of illuminated lanterns is a spectacular sight with locals lighting up the city as they march through the streets of Nouméa. The night ends with a fireworks display and more live music from local folkloric bands, celebrating the diversity of New Caledonia’s culture. On the 14th of July, a conventional military parade of the French Armed Forces takes place to officially mark Bastille Day which includes an exhilarating air show with helicopters and planes flying low over the city.

New Caledonia’s French influence extends beyond Bastille Day, merging the local Kanak culture with that of France. This means you can experience an authentic French holiday filled with boutiques, restaurants, wine cellars, and markets all from New Caledonia.



There are many French-inspired boutiques along Rue Georges Clemenceau and Rue de l’Alma selling fashion, perfume, jewellery, footwear, and handbags imported from France. When shopping throughout Nouméa, you can get access to some of the most exclusive French brands duty-free.



New Caledonia’s largest market, Port Moselle is the go-to destination for the finest fresh produce and French cuisine, including fresh baguettes, patisseries, and cheeses. The market also contains a French-inspired cafe bar that serves up some delicious treats, including their famed croque-madame.



The dining scene in New Caledonia is also punctuated with classic French dishes infused with various local cultures including Melanesian, Wallisian, Tahitian, and Asian flavours. At Marmite et Tire Bouchon in Nouméa, you can enjoy a delicious three-course meal of foie gras infused in rhubarb-tamarind, Shrimp bouillabaisse, and locally inspired rice pudding with vanilla coconut milk.

Wine Tasting

Top off your day the French way with a relaxing degustation and wine-tasting session at Le Domaine du Faubourg or Q20, with some of the best French wines that you can’t find in New Zealand.


For more information on the destination, please visit:


Show More
Back to top button