New Caledonia is a territorial collection of islands of France located 750 miles east of Australia in the southwest Pacific Ocean.
Just over 7,100 square miles in size, New Caledonia has a population of approximately 256,000, a mix of Kanak people (the original inhabitants of New Caledonia), people of European descent, as well as those of Polynesian and Southeast Asian descent.
98% of the population speaks French.
Noumea, the capital served as a U.S. military headquarters in WWII for the South Pacific. It was first used as a penal colony for 40 years. It later became a centre for mining in silver and gold. Noumea is one of the most developed cities in the Pacific Islands.