Grande Terre (New Caledonia)

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A satellite photo of the island taken by Terra/MODIS (24 September 2012).

Grande Terre is the largest and principal island of New Caledonia.

British explorer James Cook sighted Grande Terre in 1774 and named it "New Caledonia", Caledonia being a Latin name for parts of northern Scotland. Eventually, the name "New Caledonia" became applied to Grande Terre and its surrounding islands.

The largest settlement on Grande Terre is Nouméa, the capital city of New Caledonia. Locals refer to Grand Terre as "Le Caillou", the rock.[1]

Grande Terre is oriented northwest-to-southeast and is 16,372 square kilometres (6,321 sq mi). It is 350 kilometres (217 mi) in length and 50 to 70 kilometres (31–44 mi) wide in most places. A mountain range runs the length of the island, with five peaks over 1500 meters (4900 ft). The highest point is Mont Panié at 1628 meters (5,341 ft) elevation.


Coordinates: 21°17′S 165°21′E / 21.283°S 165.350°E / -21.283; 165.350