New Caledonia (S3.05)

New Caledonia Audio

In this episode we’ll be talking about the New Caledonia, a French unique collectivity in the southwestern Pacific Ocean, about 900 miles (1,500 km) east of Australia. It includes the island of New Caledonia, where the capital, Nouméa, is located; the Loyalty Islands; the Bélep Islands; and the Isle of Pines as well as a number of far-flung uninhabited islets.

The main island is by far the largest and contains about nine-tenths of the population. It is surrounded by a coral reef, which encloses a large number of lagoons. These lagoons, with their diverse reefs and associated ecosystems, were designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2008. Sighted and named by Captain James Cook in 1774, it was later colonised by the French and turned into a penal colony.

New Caledonia has a land area of around 18,000 km2 (or 7,000 sq mi), making it just slightly smaller than Israel or the US state of New Jersey. Its population of around 270,000 consists mostly of a mix of Kanak people (the original inhabitants of New Caledonia), other Melanisians and people of European descent.

Your hosts are Luke Kelly in Hong Kong (@thelukejkelly), Joe Byrne in Bern, Switzerland (@anbeirneach), Mark Boyle in Surrey in the UK (@markboyle86) and our guest John Killeen (@johnkilleen90), who visited New Caledonia last year. Theme music by Thomas O’Boyle (@thatthomasfella)

Image result for new caledonia flag

Map of New Caledonia

Here are a few handy links for learning more about New Caledonia;

  • You can learn more about the New Caledonian upcoming independence referendum here on Wikipedia. The referendum is due to take place on November 4th, 2018, although according to a recent report by Radio New Zealand, support for independence is waning.
  • There’s a handy map of Captain Cook’s voyages around the world on Encyclopedia Britannica. He’s a man worth knowing about!
  • Here’s an image of the weird forked flagpole we described in this episode.
  • More info on the delicious-sounding New Caledonian dish Bougna can be found here.
  • The US government film used in this episode is entitled ‘Our Troops in New Caledonia’ and can be found on
  • Find more on the ridiculously easy to hunt Kagu bird here.
  • You can view the photos that are described in this episode (courtesy of our friend John Killeen) below. None of John in the bath just yet, unfortunately.

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The music you heard in this episode was from the following sources;

A massive thanks to all of our patrons on Patreon who are supporting season 3. If you’d like to join them and see what rewards are available for supporters, and get a peek behind the curtain check out We really appreciate every penny!

Introducing Season 3 (S3.00)

S3 Intro

After a long wait, it’s time for an update on Season 3 of 80 Days: an exploration podcast! There are a few announcements about the future release schedule, some teasers of things to come and all the details about our new Patreon page, where you can sign up to support this podcast if you like what we do:

You can support us at lots of different levels from $1 per episode up to $10 per episode, depending on what kind of rewards you want to benefit from.

The show will always be free, but we’d really appreciate any pennies you can throw or way to help cover the costs of making it possible. We’re looking forward to sending out episode 1 of season 3 next week – the Australian Island of Tasmania.


Joe, Luke and Mark

Welcome to 80 Days: an exploration podcast, brought to you by three history and geography nerds in an internet-powered balloon. Every episode we take you to a little-known country, territory, settlement or city and explore the history, culture and people of each place over approximately an hour and a half. Click on the links below to find an episode you like, scroll down to see episode show notes, news and announcements and if you like what you hear, subscribe or sign up to support us on Patreon!


Season 5 (2021-22) 
kalinin Kaliningrad py Paraguay ga Gabon fr Paris Catacombs mn Ulaanbaatar 
bgvl Bougainville qc Québec jsy Jersey    



Season 4 (2019-20) 
FO-Faroe-Islands-Flag-icon  Faroe Islands pn Pitcairn Island dj Djibouti lu Luxembourg tt Trinidad and Tobago 
  Utah Vanuatu Nepal Tierra del Fuego Svalbard 

 Minisode: Swiss Exclaves   |  Minisode: Apollo 8 (Christmas Special)  |  Minisode: Christmas Stories 2020 new-star  |

Season 3 (2018-19) 
Flag of Tasmania - State badge of a red lion passant on white disk, on a defaced British Blue Ensign Tasmania sm San Marino us Wyoming sthel St. Helena  newcal New Caledonia
krl Kuril Islands sr Suriname LS Lesotho Turkmenistan-icon Turkmenistan ws-icon Western Sahara

za Minisode: Natal, 1497   | england Minisode: Runnymede, 1215   |    HK flag Minisode: Hong Kong Invasion, 1941

Season 2 (2017) 
sg Singapore Rapa Nui/Easter Island Easter Island  Seychelles nl Newfoundland Uruguay  Uruguay
cu Cuba (pt1); (pt2) gm The Gambia ge Georgia li Liechtenstein  jao Jewish AO

 2020px-sami_flag-svg Lapland (Christmas Special)

Season 1 (2016-17)
na Namibia nr Nauru pa Panama bt Bhutan us Alaska
lr Liberia isle-of-man-icon Isle of Man gi Gibraltar bn Brunei  hk Kowloon Walled City

Season 1 coming soon

80 Days – an exploration podcast is brought to you by three history and geography nerds in an internet-powered balloon. Inspired by Phileas Fogg’s whistle-stop tour of the world, we have decided to take the more leisurely approach, going one country, city or territory at a time and finding out as much as we can. Season 1 of this new podcast will be available to download very soon. In the meantime, we invite you to like our page on Facebook or follow us on Twitter so you can be kept updated for our launch and subsequent episode releases.

We’re looking forward to letting you hear our take on the world.

–Luke, Mark and Joe (80 Days)