VE3LYC and KD1CT will be active from Matthew Island (IOTA OC-218) 3 Days between 1 - 9 September 2014 as TX4A.
They will be active on HF Bands.
QSL via VE3LYC direct, OQRS.
Matthew Island is about 500km East from Noumea, New Caledonia.
QTH locator RG57up.
Capital city of New Caledonia- Noumea.
Official Language- French.
Local languages- Drehu, Nengone, Paici, Ajie, Xaracuu.
Currency- CFP franc XPF.
Time- UTC +11.
International Phone Code- +687.
Internet domain- .nc
Matthew Island is count for DXCC Award country list as New Caledonia WAC Continent- Oceania.
New Caledonia is in WAZ zone-32. International Telecommunication Union ITU zone New Caledonia- ITU QTH Locator New Caledonia- RG37.
RSGB IOTA Award - Matthew and Hunter Islands IOTA OC-218.
MATTHEW ISLAND (NEW CALEDONIA)
Matthew Island is a small uninhabited island in the South Pacific located to the south-east of the Vanuatu archipelago. Located at 22 degrees 21 minutes South and 171 degrees 21 minutes East, this Island is small, arid and without fresh water. The island was first discovered by Captain Thomas Gilbert of the British Royal Navy, who named the island after the owner of the ship. Originally the island only existed of East Matthew and was formed from basalt. West Matthew was formed later on in the late 1940s and is composed entirely of lava flows and slag. The volcano is still active on this island and the latest tremors were felt in 2008, 2009 and 2011.
The Matthew Island and Hunter Island are claimed as a part of the Anatom Island and until 2007 were claimed by France as part of New Caledonia. The archipelago is part of the Melanesia subregion and includes the main islands of Grande Terre, the Loyalty Islands, the Isle of Pines, a few remote islets, the Chesterfield Islands and the Belep archipelago. These Islands have the richest diversity of plants, animals and birds. The biodiversity is caused due to the Grande Terre’s mountain range, which has various landforms and miniature climates where these species thrive. Not only have specific species evolved on these islands but entire genera are unique to the islands.
The islands are home to the New Caledonian crow and the kagu, an endemic flightless bird. There are also 11 species of fish and 14 species of crustaceans that can be found only on these islands. The Nautilus related to the ammonites and is considered a living fossil can be found in the waters surrounding these islands. Many of the species found on these islands are remarkable for their size. The largest species of lizards, pigeon and skink has been rediscovered on these islands in 2003, making these Islands heritage sites and preservation areas for the endangered species.
Tjibaou Cultural Centre
The Tjibaou Cultural Centre is a tribute to the pro-independence Kanak leader Tjibaou who was brutally assassinated in 1989. Displays showing the Kanak culture including sculptures photographs and portrays can be found in the cultural centre. Behind the main building are traditional platforms where the We Ce Ca dances, the original dance of the people of Kanak, are held every Tuesday and Thursday.
This market place sits in a cluster of round buildings with blue roofs. It has a lively atmosphere and is an interesting place to wander around for tourists. It sells a wide range of produces including fruits and vegetables, cakes, bread, meat and fish, olives and different arts and crafts. The fish market is a fascinating place as it sells seafood of every shape and size be it squids, lobsters, prawns, crabs and fish. On any Saturday and Sunday a group of local musicians play instruments to keep shoppers entertained and keep the mood of the market upbeat.
The Mwa Ka was originally made by the Kanak community as an end to the mourning of the French annexation of New Caledonia. The erection of the Mwa Ka or the 12m totem pole was symbolic in the way that it showed the Kanak people’s way of burying the past suffering caused by the French colonisation. This magnificent totem ploe topped by a chief’s hut stands as a building where discussions are held. Mounted on a concrete double-hulled pirogue, this pole symbolises the central post of a case.
Parc Zoologique et Forestier
A great way to spend time with the family, the Parc Zoologique is the best way to teach children how to respect Nature and all the creatures that are a part of this world. Native species such as the fruit bat, notou, cagou, baboons, monkeys and various birds including parakeets and peacocks are found in this park. Children can feed the geese and ducks or can pet donkeys, deers and goats.
Grotte de la Reine Hortense
One of the New Caledonia’s most important and impressive caves, the Grotte de la Reine Hortense was where Queen Hortense is believed to have taken refuge during wars between the tribes in 1855. A path leads through a beautiful tropical garden to the entrance of the cave where large stalactites hang from the ceiling of the cave. The local women are very friendly and can inform tourists about the history of the cave and the local legends that follow the cave.
Musee de L’Histoire Maritime
The Maritime Museum has many exhibitions on the early seafaring days in New Calcedonia. The collections in the Museum are ever increasing with objects from the wrecks of La Boussole and L’Astrolabe, which sank in the cyclone near the Solomon Islands. The Association Salomon organises expeditions to the shipwrecks for tourists to see the wonders of the deep.
Place des Cocotiers
A famous landmark dating back to the late 1800’s, Place des Cocotiers, is the perfect place to get a bird’s eye view of the world. A popular petanque pitch and a giant chessboard can be found near the band rotunda, while in the other end lies luscious gardens with palm trees and large trees. Concerts and street markets are held here and the Jeudis du Centre Villa street market offers tourists different themes every week. The stalls sell local dishes and small trinkets and there are entertaining music and dances.
There are many opportunities for hiking for tourists in this region. From short walks to multi-day hikes, the hike allows tourists to explore the River Provincial Park. The hikers can explore the entire length of Grande Terre. There are also plenty of beaches to visit. There are good snorkelling areas where tourists can see the corals and the fish in their natural habitat. Wind surfing is also available for tourists who wish to enjoy some adventure sports. These lagoon waters are listed as World Heritage sites and tourists can enjoy the view upfront. There are changing rooms, toilets and places for refreshments.
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