Noumea is a garden town and has may green or paved areas with restaurants and childrens play areas. "Le Place Des Cocotiers" is a park in the centre of town that is divided into four main areas. "Place Feillet" has a rather nice music rotunda that was constructed in 1879 and "La Place Courbet" has a cylindrical fountain where all places around Noumea are measured from! Markets and events are held every Thursday at "La place De La Marne" but the centre piece of the park is "Le Square Orly" where a statue of Governor Orly looks over a swan filled lake and restaurant area.
Taking the ‘Petit Train’ from the cruise ship passenger terminal is a favourite passtime for first time visitors to Noumea.
You will be given a great commentary as you pass by the local market, the Port Moselle Marina and the Southern Province Government House before continuing your way to Baie de l’Orphelina, the Port Plaisance Shopping Center, the Yacht club and the Marina’s housing complex.
You will also visit the Baie des Citrons, one of the most popular beaches in Noumea and the current “Hotspot” where there are many restaurants, cafes, bars, and nightclubs. You then pass by Ansa Vata beach, which is considered to be a paradise for water sport lovers.
The Ouen Toro look out point will provide a breathtaking view of the blue lagoon and the surrounding islands and while you are enjoying the magnificent view, champagne, soft drinks and local pastries are served. Leaving Ouen Toro you continue towards the Le Meridien hotel, and on to the Promenade Pierre Vernier, the popular coconut lined waterfront.
Turn towards Faubourg Blanchot, one of Noumea’s oldest residential districts with many old colonial homes you go by the Military Barracks built over 100 years ago and still in use before stopping at the heart of the city, the beautiful Coconut Square where the main shopping area is located, here you can get off the train to do some shopping, your ship is only a 10 minute walk away, or return to your ship by the train.
You don’t want to miss snorkelling in the world’s largest lagoon, as you will discover hundreds of varieties of underwater life located just 30 minutes from Noumea. Depending on weather conditions you will gain an excellent view of the manta rays, sting rays and hundreds of varieties of fish and coral. The amazing barrier reef of New Caledonia offers swimmers and snorkellers some of the best viewinf in the world as you witness firsthand the unspoiled and vibrant coral located along the reef.
In the heart of the city, around the beautiful Coconut Square, you will find the main shopping area. The entire area is full of souvenier shops where you can purchase all items from postcards, sarongs, t-shirts, shells and wood carvings. Anne and I felt that Noumea in general is very expensive however we did manage to find this sarong shop that had a number of sarongs for under AUS$10.
Every day when the cruise ships are docked at the cruise terminal, local villagers come to the waterfront (in front of the ship) and perform traditional dances. This proves a master stroke by them as the constant drum beat and chanting draws the crowds to watch. While this is happening the ladies set up stalls and begin to sell drinks and local wares. This is a great experience and will entertain you while disembarking.
A wonderful way to experience the diverse culture of the island its to visit the Tjibaou cultural centre. It gives a intersting look into the islands melanesain and islander hertiage as well as more recent occurances. Its definately a must visit if only for its wonderful architecture
You can experience the amazing power of helicopters as you are whisked away into the sky for the most incredible views of New Caledonia you will see. You can see all of Noumea in only a few minutes, as you will pass over all the major points of interest. A wonderful ride covering Baie de la Moselle, Ile Nou, Pointe Chaleix (the Navy Base), Baie de l’Orphelinat, Baie des Citrons, Anse Vata Beach, Club Med, Ilot Canard, Ilot Maitre (Escapade Resort) and ships at the quay.
COST AUS$180.00 for 30 minutes.
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.
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........
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
Apart from the obvious, swimming, sunbathing and relaxing, the Isle of Pines would have to be one of the most spectacular and picturesque areas that the South Pacific has to offer. Kato and Kanumera Bays are spectacular in themselves and a walk around the shores of both bays should not be missed. There are plenty of photo opportunities to be had along the way and you can treat yourself to coffee and cake at one of the resorts at the end of these bays.
This is the place to come and learn about Kanak culture, there are plenty of interesting exhibits.
Admittance is 500 XPF
You get to learn a bit about Jean-Marie Tjibaou as well, the Kanak leader who was assassinated in 1989.
Perhaps the most prominent architectural landmark of Noumea, this impressive cathedral was built in 1888. It is well worth going inside to see the coloured windows - while the main entrance is often closed, you can usually get in through the side-entrance on the left.
Near Port Moselle, this is the best place in Noumea to stock up on fresh bakery products, fruit, vegetables or fish.
There are also some handicraft stalls with better prices than the souvenir shops in the centre.
Be sure to come in the morning as it closes really early.
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.