New Caledonia is part of Zealandia, a fragment of the ancient Gondwana super-continent. Zealandia separated from Australia 60–85 million years ago. It is speculated that New Caledonia separated from Australia roughly 66 million years ago, subsequently drifting in a north-easterly direction, reaching its present position about 50 million years ago.
New Caledonia offers a wide range of efficient medical services in both public and private hospitals, and an adequate selection of chemists. Hotels can generally recommend an English-speaking doctor or dentist. However more serious cases may require evacuation to France or Australia. Health insurance is advised.