This is an trip not to be missed.
You are picked up from your hotel, delivered to the Mary D which takes you out to the lighthouse (about 1 hour)
The trip includes fish feeding, snorkling, shark feeding out on the reef, a fantastic lunch with wine and a cultural show.
You can climb to the top of the lighthouse if you wish (I didn't, but I hear the views are spectacular)
The lighthouse was built in France, and shown in Paris. Then dismantled and shipped and re-erected on the attol.
Getting the taxi boat over to Ile Aux Canards (Duck Island) was well worth it.
Good swimming, you can hire snorkels and get amongst it. Excellent snorkelling, and a great place to get away from it and relax.
It's a short taxi ride from Anse Vata.
A great way to discover Nouméa, these open-sided motorised “trains” depart regularly on a circle route that includes all of Nouméa’s major attractions, incl. the main shopping area, botanic gardens, beaches and Tijabou Cultural Centre.
This fine museum on the northern side of the square is devoted to the history of Noumea.
It is housed in a fine colonial building, and has varied and interesting exhibits ranging from the early life-style of the city dwellers to the varied cultural mix and even World War II!
Situated in Anse Vata. It contains rare and unusual marine life, from sponges and coral through to the big fish with sharp teeth. It probabaly is not the biggest aquarium in the world but it is very colourfull non the less and gives a wonderful indication as to what the wildlife in the south pacific has to offer, the marinelife anyway.
The main square of central Noumea is a very pretty place with fountains, statues and lots of shady trees. It seems to be a favourite with tourists and Kanaks alike. It is also surrounded by some of Noumea's best bookstores, cafes and souvenir shops, and is where the country's best tourist office is located, so should probably be your first port of call in the city.
Without a doubt the worst part of the city is its Nickel refinery. Its situated to the north of the city centre and unfortunately cant be missed. To many of Noumeas inhabitants it is decribed a an eyesore but brings lucrative revenue to the island. Its downright filthy and a blemish to this beautiful city.
The furnace of Doniambo', is a multi-chimney and is very large in size making it one of the largest nickel refinerys in the southern hemisphere
A day trip that i truly enjoyed was taking a bus to the lookouts on the hills surrounding Noumea. The give some wonderful views of the port and the city as well as some of the picturesque beaches and small islands that litter the sea near the port. In my opinion it is definately a must.
OK, enough of sightseeing! :-)
For many visitors, Noumea's main attractions are the beaches.
There are several of them, but as I am not a fan of beaches, I only checked out the two most popular ones. I must admit they are very good for beaches in a major city!
Baie des Citrons is the shorter, quieter of the two main beaches. It is also the more sheltered one, usually better for swimming. It tends to attract a more "senior" crowd.
The "national" museum of New Caledonia is easily the best museum in the whole South Pacific. Its first floor houses a comprehensive array of traditional Kanak artefacts, complete with whole traditional houses and boats, while the second floor has good collections from the wider South Pacific region.
Not to be missed!
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.
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.
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.
The residence of the French High Commissioner is a beautiful, colonial-style villa nearby, which is of course not open for the public.
You can still get a decent view of the exterior across the fence from the western side.
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.