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Noumea, New Caledonia

The capital of New Caledonia, Noumea is a little piece of France in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Before World War II, New Caledonia was a little known and seldom-visited French possession known for its penal colony and its natural resources. (Nickel smelting still plays a major role in the island economy.) Today, travelers are drawn to New Caledonia for its scenic beauty. The island is famed for its white-sand beaches while its barrier reef is the world's second longest. The offshore waters also offer superb diving and snorkeling.

In 1774, James Cook thought the island's rugged hills resembled those of his native Scotland. Hence he christened the island New Caledonia. The island and its outlying groups became a French colony in 1854 and an overseas department of France in 1956.

Points of Interest

  • Aquarium of Noumea
  • Mt. Ouen Toro
  • Baie de Citrons / Lemon Bay Beach
  • Parc Forestier
  • Promenade Vernier
  • Anse Vata & Anse Vata Beach
  • Duck Island (Ilot Canard) or Amedee
  • Maritime Museum

More about Noumea, New Caledonia Points of Interest

  • Aquarium of Noumea -

    The aquarium, founded in 1956 by biologist Rene Catala, boasts an extensive collection of fish and other aquatic life forms of the area.

  • Mt. Ouen Toro -

    At the southern tip of the Noumea peninsula, Mt. Ouen Toro (420 feet) offers stunning views of Noumea. A hike to the summit puts you a stone's throw away from Anse Vata Beach.

  • Baie de Citrons / Lemon Bay Beach -

    With big shade trees to picnic under, a broad expanse of sand on which to stretch out, and clear shallow water to cool off in, Baie des Citrons Beach is 'where everyone in Noumea goes swimming.'

  • Parc Forestier -

    Perched high above the city, Noumea's zoological and botanical gardens covers 74 miles with an extensive collection of birds and other animals from the region.

  • Promenade Vernier -

    The Pierre Vernier promenade stretches along the south coast of Noumea, is an entirely walking trail sheltered from the road by a fence, and is great fun for families and sportsmen who find a place to stretch their legs in a unique setting by the sea with the mountains that hem the horizon. 

  • Anse Vata & Anse Vata Beach -

    As one of Noumea's most popular resorts, Anse Vata is a favorite spot for swimming, windsurfing, sailing and kayaking.

  • Duck Island (Ilot Canard) or Amedee -

    Duck Island is a natural marine park located in the lagoon surrounding Noumea; Amedee is a tiny islet on the barrier reef marine reserve. Both offer the opportunity to sunbathe and swim in a South Pacific paradise.

  • Maritime Museum -

    The Musee Maritime of New Caledonia is located on the road to Nouville, within walking distance from the town centre. It was open in 1999, in the premises of the former maritime terminal, which were made available by the Noumea Port Authority. 

12 Excursions

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Best of Noumea

3 hours | Noumea | NOU-105 N O U - 1 0 5

Moderate Activity

From $69.95

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Forrest Parc and Cagou Encounter

2.5 hours | Noumea | NOU-120 N O U - 1 2 0

Moderate Activity

From $49.95

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Historical tour: Maritime Museum and WWII Museum

2 hours | Noumea | NOU-125 N O U - 1 2 5

Moderate Activity

From $49.95

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Penal Colony History of New Caledonia

3 hours | Noumea | NOU-140 N O U - 1 4 0

Moderate Activity

From $59.95

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Lemon Bay Beach On Your Own

4 hours | Noumea | NOU-180 N O U - 1 8 0

Easy Activity

From $15.95

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Tjibaou Cultural Centre

2.5 hours | Noumea | NOU-245 N O U - 2 4 5

Easy Activity

From $69.95

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Scenic Drive with Cheese & Wine Tasting

2.5 hours | Noumea | NOU-290 N O U - 2 9 0

Easy Activity, Includes snack

From $114.95

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The Tchou Tchou Train

1.5 hours | Noumea | NOU-295 N O U - 2 9 5

Easy Activity

From $39.95

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Forest Parc Segway Experience

2.5 hours | Noumea | NOU-570 N O U - 5 7 0

Strenuous Activity

From $124.95

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Dumbea River Kayak Adventure & Swim

3 hours | Noumea | NOU-760 N O U - 7 6 0

Strenuous Activity

From $79.95

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Zodiac Ride & Duck Island Marine Reserve

3 hours | Noumea | NOU-800 N O U - 8 0 0

Strenuous Activity

From AUD$124.95

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Amedee Island Marine Reserve

6.75 hours | Noumea | NOU-810 N O U - 8 1 0

Wheelchair Accessible, Moderate Activity, Includes meal

From $204.95

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