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.
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.
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.
Address: 45 avenue du Maréchal Foch
Directions: downtown Nouméa.
Phone: 27-41-79Related to:
- Historical Travel
- Arts and Culture
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.
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
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.
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.
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 Aquarium is definatly worth a visit. Its fairly large and comprenhensive, with a big variety of ocean life.
Great to walk around, do the tunnel thing, see fish/sea creatures you have never encounted before :)
- Family Travel
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.
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.
Directions: Amedee lighthouse is situated 28 Nm from Noumea towards the barrier reef.
- Gay and Lesbian
- Family Travel
- Budget Travel
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.
Address: between Baie des Citrons and Anse Vata
Phone: 26-27-31Related to: