Here's the inside poop so far:
This place is expensive. Really expensive. Makes Switzerland look cheap. Kind of nice though.
There seems to be about zero interest in endemic species here, with the sole exception being a small park (the Blue River park) which has a tiny bit of regrowth forest and a few cagou, an endemic bird that's the national emblem, which we didn't see. Kind of nice though.
There's apparently an endemic Araucaria which is even more rare than the Wollemi pine, the Araucaria nemorosa. To give you some idea of how little interest there is here, no one at the botanical gardens had ever heard of it, much less any endemic araucaria, and the only Web sites (apparently) that refer to it by its alleged French name, Boise araucaria, after the land feature where it was found, are in German or English. So, I don't think we're going to find one to look at it.
Sadly, there was apparently a New Zealand led expedition to the endemic araucaria that left about four or six weeks ago. Wish I'd have known about it.
Well, it's off to the McDonalds now to get a picture of the Monster Burger sign - they're doing a tie-in with Monsters Inc which I presume is/was showing in the cinemas here.
After that, it's off to the territorial museum of NC, which is currently closed due to siesta, or whatever they call it here.
I'm glad I came, but I wish NC would expand its tourism beyond a simplistic base of "the South Pacific with a touch of Parisian chic". It's all very well to laze by the beach drinking a $50 bottle of Chablis, but really, I'd rather go to Hawai'i to do that, where you can do it for far less money. Still, it is pretty here, and I did see some lovely fish snorkelling out around the Ilot des Canards.
That's it for now. Next update from Sydney. A bientot.