New Caledonia (French: Nouvelle-Calédonie) is a special collectivity of France located in the southwest Pacific Ocean, 1,210 kilometres (750 mi) east of Australia and 16,136 kilometres (10,026 mi) east of Metropolitan France. The archipelago, part of the Melanesia subregion, includes the main island of Grande Terre, the Loyalty Islands, the Belep archipelago, the Isle of Pines and a few remote islets. The Chesterfield Islands in the Coral Sea are also part of New Caledonia. Locals refer to Grande Terre as "Le Caillou", the stone.
New Caledonia has a land area of 18,576 square kilometres (7,172 sq mi). The population (Jan. 2011 estimate) is 252,000. The capital of the territory is Nouméa.