Well you go to Noumea you will see that it has a certian level of chique about it. I found the people very warm and laid back as well.
The port of Noumea is probabaly its most photogenic attribute, as you dock into the city if you are arriving by boat you will htink that you are docking into a french port in the mediterainean
You can see a photo of this spot on my intro page. It's really gorgeous and worth a few hours if you have the time. As you walk along the shoreline coming from the city center, you wil pass some of the high-class haunts of Nouméa's wealthiest residents and visitors--a couple dazzling hotels, the yacht club, and many open-air cafés reminiscent of urban France. Once you get to the beach you will see that there are many tourists, but it's still a great place to hang out.
This is a fantastic place to hang out for a morning or afternoon. Most of the tanks display small reef fish, but they're very colorful and a delight to look at. Also on display are a few larger specimans, such as sea turtles, sea snakes, reef sharks, stingrays, and coral. The best room by far, though, is the one which is dark. Once you walk in you can barely see your way around. This is because you are in the fluorescent coral gardens and the only lights are dim ones just bright enough to bring out incredible natural colors from the displayed corals. The last tank in this room is most certainly the most interesting. Inside are several New Caledonia nautiluses. Every once in a while, one hits the window, and the shell makes a clanking sound like an underwater wedding toast.
Anyway, touristy though it may be, I had a great time and highly recommend a visit by anyone interested in the marine life of the Pacific.
Admission at the time was 600 CFP.
Definitely worth a visit. This facility holds a wonderful collection of cultural artifacts both from New Caledonia and other island nations of the Pacific, even Irian Jaya and Papua New Guinea. There are nguzunguzus from the Solomon Islands and some beautiful tamtam drums from Malekula and Ambrym Islands in Vanuatu. The only complaint is that the plaques were all in French without English translations. Quite a problem for those of us whose French is a little shakey.
Entrance at the time of my visit cost 200 CFP. Be sure to check on this--the currency in use has possibly changed by now.
One of the first sites we were shown during our initial tour of Noumea, was the Place des Cocotiers.
It's known as the central gathering place in the heart of the city's downtown. Concerts are held here, and when famous leaders are in town (as was President Chirac we were told), they come here to greet the locals.
The afternoon we arrived, it seemed to be a popular picnic lunch hangout for the area's local working people.
One of the more popular beaches in Noumea is Anse Vata. It's the heart of the tourist activities and is located opposite to many shops and restaurants in the centre ville.
It's a favorite hangout for the locals to come out and stroll along the lovely promenade........and a great front row seat to some stunning sunsets.
I highly reccomend you take some sort of tour. There are many to choose from. You can go by bus, petit train, horse drawn carriage or even on a Harley Davidson. Noumea is relatively large and I don't reccomend driving around yourself. Alot of winding streets and people tend to put there foot down a bit. To get the most out of Nomea you really have to get out there and see the many sights. Taking a tour is the best and safest way. Some tours include pastries and drinks others champagne. Ours did and the pastries were delicious! I think I paid about $45 and it was well worth it. Pictures coming soon.
Misty sprays from the salty seas
Swirly shells and balmy breeze
Mountain peaks and priestly palms
Blue lagoons, serene and calm
Fragrant flowers refresh the air
Suntan skin and long black hair
Distant drums bewitching beat
Sassy hips and dancing feet
Sunset's show at end of day
Shimmering waters in moonlit bay
Polynesians claim to see
So much more than all of these
Take a virtual ride with me
to these islands in the sea........
You have also to visit the monuments of the city, but don't waste your time just in Noumea, try to travel by boat to the others isles.
The old army barracks built in 1864 are still in use.
In front of them is a memorial to those New Caledonians who died in World War I.
South of the city centre, this is the main harbour for yachts in Noumea, and the place to hire one if you can afford to.
A few hundred metres north of the cathedral, this smaller Protestant church built in 1890 is also very nice and well worth at least a quick look from the outside.