If the city beaches are not your thing, you can hire speedboats to fery you across to a number of nearby islets.
Ilot aux Canards, shown on this photo, is the closest one, right in front of Anse Vata.
The territorial museum in Noumea is well worth visiting. Not only does it have ethnographical displays on the peoples of New Caledonia, but there are displays of other cultures from neighbouring countries as well.
A good place to spend a couple of hours exploring.
The main tourist area in Noumea is Anse Vata, where a lot of the hotels, restaurants, and souvenir shops are located.
It also has a good beach, where people swim, snorkel, windsurf and so on. Even if you don't stay here, it's a short bus ride from town.
Fantastic day trip aboard the Mary D. All inclusive day - boat ride to lighthouse island, lunch (which was fantastic including wine), glass bottom boat tours, boat ride to the edge of the reef where you can snokel.... all for 12,000 CFP. This converted into $173 AUD.
Climbing the 247 steps up to the top of the light house is well worth it. For some reason the cost of climbing the lighthouse is an additional charge... albeit 150CFP. The view from atop of the light house is spectacular.
Check out the web site for the Mary D enterprises. They run the day trip. The company will collect you from your hotel and return you at the end of the day.
You can book you a place at their web site. I would recommend doing this in peak season.
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.
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.
The beaches are amazing here, and the best thing is, you can walk to some awesome beaches from the heart of the city, it may take you about half an hour, but it will give you a chance to take in the scenery. Most of the beaches are top less, so girls, it gives you a chance to loosen up a bit and just enjoy yourself, while guys, it gives you something else to enjoy apart from the awesome sand and warm water.
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.
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.
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.
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.