An interesting Gallery of Art: Naturami
Open by two local married painters: Anne Marie d'Anglebermes and Patrick Duffieux
Phone /Fax: (687)28 25 42
Cell: 91 99 97 or 78 81 41
Address: Valleee des Colons - 81, rue Charleroi Baie de Sainte Marie.
Transportation: #2 blue line bus at stop Charleroi
Open Tu-Fri 8:30-11:30 and 14:30-17:30 Sat 8:30-11:30 and Monday closed
There aren't terribly many large animals in this place, understandable I suppose given the population of New Caledonia.
There are a lot of birds, and it's quite a pretty place to stroll around and have a look.
I recommend getting there from town either by Taxi, or on the Noumea explorer.
Admission is 300XPF for adults and free for kids, which is a bonus.
The highlight for me was seeing the Kagou, a native bird of New Caledonia.
Just past the Protestant church is the plce where New Caledonia's 54 seat congress meets.
More of political than architectural interest, it is also supposed to house a small collection of local rocks and shells inside, which are open for public viewing.
Noumea's premier beach stretches in the south of the city, flanked by hotels, restaurants, souvenir shops and the like.
It is also the beach preferred by the younger, sportier crowd like surfers and topless sunbathers.
"Arrive at Base"
We stayed in a good little hotel right near the beach in Noumea. One of our first actiuons was to hire a little Citroen and drive around the town, getting to know lots of streets, shops, etc. I was able to practise my rusty old school French in the shops, as French speakers, even when they can also speak English, make a point of not doing so for tourists.
"Sights in Town"
We watched the locals playing "boules" or petanque down by the beach, and enjoyed the wonderful old South Pacific Cathedral, based more on Pacific cultures than on European architecture. The huge nickel mining area to the north of the town was impressive in size and scope, but didn't do much for the environment.
"The Bus System"
The public transport system at that time was based on fleets of minibuses with no fixed time-tables. They would just pull out when full, and the people waiting would just have to get the next one, which would stand there until full also. It is a great system, and worked perfectly.
Our next step was to book a few days at Ile Des Pins (Island of Pines).