Noumea New Caledonia
Everything you Need to Know about Noumea
If you looking to travel to New Caledonia then you need to know a lot about Noumea.
Our travel experts have sourced out most of the information, advice and tips about Noumea that you will need.
All the information is Free, so check it out and please be sure to enjoy your trip.
Little Bit About Noumea
Noumea is the capital city of New Caledonia. It can be found in the south of the main island of the islands. This island is called Grand Terre. Those who travel by boat to New Caledonia will probably arrive in the New Caledonia port which is in Noumea.
History of Noumea
While the islands are an autonomous French region, it is the British which landed in the place known as New Caledonia first. This was in 1851.
The French got there three years later, in 1854 (they had already established a presence in the north of the island at this point). It is this settlement which eventually become Noumea, although it was called Port-de-France up until 1866.
Most frequent questions and answers about Noumea
In the archipelago, the climate is tropical. The group of islands get influenced by the trade winds. There are 2 seasons namely hot and cool season. The hot season extends from December to March and the cool season extends from June to August.
The intermediate seasons from April to May and October to November are characterised in the region as comfortable temperature to plan a visit. The temperature during this season is around 26 degree Celsius.
During the hot season, the temperature might shoot up to 35 degree Celsius. The country also faces rain showers and thunderstorms during this season making the sea rough and highly dangerous for sporting activities and other fun. On the other hand, the cool season has very little rainfall. However, the temperature is very low around 17 degrees Celsius. The sea breeze can pull the temperatures even lower at times.
Kiwi’s with New Zealand passport don’t require a visa to travel to Noumea. You will get a 90 day Visitors visa automatically while traveling to Noumea.
South Pacific Franc is the currency used in Noumea, New Caledonia. Though some hotels might accept Australian Dollars, they charge extra
Apart from this, Euros and New Zealand dollars are also accepted. Unfortunately, the exchange rate is less favourable. The currency can be exchanged only at the bureau de change offices.
Many here do not accept credit cards. Even some of the big developed resorts do not accept credit cards. Cash is the only form of currency accepted
Carry snorkelling equipment, water shoes that will help to walk on the coral reefs.
Get some loose fitting clothes to enjoy the wind. One can also get a sun hat, a light sweatshirt to wear in the evening. Also make sure to take insect replant and sunscreen.
It is wise to take your own water or buy it from the shops while in Noumea.
The Noumea port city is located in the Grande Terre Island. It is the largest Island of New Caledonia. The port’s cruising season is in the mid – May and in mid – December. The Cruise covers Noumea and its surrounding beauties in one day. Also, the port is the cruise port of the Australian cruises in the Pacific.
The airport in Noumea serves only domestic flights. The only international airport of New Caledonia is a one hour drive from Noumea.
The official language of Noumea, New Caledonia is French. Though it is very difficult to find a person speaking English, in Noumea French, Japanese and English are the 3 most widely spoken languages in the hotels. Some locals speak only the Melanesian language.
There are 30 spoken languages of the Kanak population. At least one – third speak one of the Kanak languages. The tourists’ guides widely speak Japanese and French.
Best Beaches in Noumea
The Noumea beaches are the world’s most beautiful beaches with white sand surrounded by blue waters. The land has a touch of both Melanesian and French culture. This makes the beach cuisines the mix of two.
The Amedee Isle is located 40 km away from the coast of New Caledonia. It is called the Le Phare Amedee. The beach has stunning white sand with beautiful blue waters. It provides a lot of snorkelling opportunities.
The beach is shallow with crystal clear water. The waves are silent making it ideal for the glass boat rides to watch the corals. The corals here give magnanimous sight to the water. Under the water, they rule a different world that is pristine and pure.
The beach has the country’s tallest lighthouse. The lighthouse closes at 6 PM and opens at 7:30 AM. The view of the island from the top of the lighthouse is breathtaking. One can find large reefs, the turquoise lagoons and the great mountains of Grand Terre,
Apart from the fun at the beach, one can also enjoy the Polynesian Cuisine under the lighthouse. There are also Tahitian dance shows organised under the lighthouse. The lighthouse marks the entrance of the Noumea port.
There are speed boat services available on Amedee beach. The one-day taxi boat trip is a must to do an activity on Amedee Island. This little piece of paradise can be enjoyed in the boat ride as the waters here are a conserved and protected marine park. One can enjoy multi-coloured corals, dolphins, turtles in the crystal clear water during the boat ride. The ride is like floating on air as the water is completely transparent to the seafloor beneath.
It is a few minutes away from the Great Barrier reef. Though the boats might not take to the main Barrier reef, the second barrier reef, locally called the Outer Barrier reef can be visited. It has crystal clear turquoise water and gives nature’s bliss.
Lemon Beach – Baie des Citrons
It is one of the best seaside spots in the Caledonian capital. It is located at less than 10 minutes from the city centre. It is also called the Lemon Bay. Some say that it got its name due to the lemon trees that were planted in 1900. However, they are not found today. Some others claim that it was named after the ship that sank here. The ship is said to have carried 6 huge trunks.
The Bay is always filled with a number of visitors and it never decreases. There are bars, shops and restaurant in the shore of the bay that run late in the night.
The bay is ideal for a long walk along the seaside!
Anse – Vata Beach
The bay is ideal for sporting activities and to enjoy nature’s beauty in the blue waters. One can go for sailing hiring a small yacht or can do swimming as the water here is shallow and is crystal clear.
It is also rich in biodiversity with beautiful fish and turtles and other sea animals. The corals here are soft and one can walk on them with their water shoes on.
The Anse Vata bay has the most enjoyable beach of all the beaches in Noumea. It also hosts windsurfing and snorkelling and all other water sport activities. Apart from this it also offers kayaking.
It is called the Orphelinat Bay locally. It is located between the Bay of Moselle and the Bay of Lemons. As the sisters of St Joseph Cluny took care of the orphans here between 1866 and 1884, the beach was named the Orphan beach. Today the beach is an industrial area with many industrial sites that do smelting of nickel here.
Also, the place has the Cross of Lorraine. It was installed in 1973 in memory of New Caledonia rallying for independence in 1940.
There is also an anchor installed here. It belongs to the US and is a memory of the Second World War.
Best Places to Visit in Noumea
There are many places that you need to visit while visiting Noumea in New Caledonia. Some of these places will take your breath away. Check out our selection of best places to visit
Madeleine Reserve and waterfall
The waterfall is a one hour drive from Noumea. The reserve is located on a 400 hectares of land. It is close to the Provincial Park of Blue River. It has a variety of species. Bathing is prohibited here. This is mainly because the site is damaged due to camping, vehicles and pollution.
In order to attract the tourists an alternative was done. Flora special reserve was created in 1990. One can go for a swim here and is free
Jean – Marie Tjibauo Cultural Centre
It is on the narrow Tinu peninsula in Noumea. It is 8 km long. The information about famous Kanak culture and other indigenous culture of New Caledonia can be found here.
It was opened in 1989. It also has models of Kanak conical shaped houses. The entire complex is built at the tip of the peninsula. The structure of the building is admirable to withstand heavy storms.
The National Aquarium of Noumea has very rare corals and fish. The corals of varied colours are found here. The aquarium also has many sea animals like turtles, starfish, octopus, and much more
Museums – There are plenty of museums in and around the Noumea. Some display the history of the Caledonian culture and the others show about the French arriving in the Island There are 4 museums in the region namely
The Geological Museum,
The city of Noumea Museum
Museum of Maritime history
The Museum of Caledonia
Place des Cocotiers
It is also called the Coconut tree square. It is spread across 4 hectares of land. It gets its name because of the coconut trees in the area. The soldiers who arrived on the island planted these coconut trees, after which the locals began to refer the place as Place des Cocotiers.
The park has a fountain called the Celestial Fountain. It was built to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the French conquest of New Caledonia. The fountain is the zero reference point of the road mileage in New Caledonia.
There are many cafes and stores amidst garden amidst the tall coconut trees.
Mount Ouen Toro
The Mountain is 132 metres high. Climbing the mountain gives a spectacular view of the city. The corals and their beauty from the top are simply mesmerising.
The different shades of the waters can very well be spotted at the top of the hill. The evening is best suited to climb the hill to enjoy the sea breeze.
The Amedee lighthouse can also be seen from here.
Piere Vernier walk
The walk railings are located in the St Marie Bay and are ideal for an evening walk. The long roads along the beachside make the evenings breezy and most beautiful.
As Noumea is located in the peninsular region, one can enjoy both sunset and sunrise.
Blue River Provincial Park
The park covers the basins of the Blue River. It is the only river running in Noumea. Rivers are very rare here as the region is rich in limestone. Limestone absorbs the rainwater forming caves underground.
The park was established in 1998. It has a variety of species. It is ideal for camping and picnics. They also offer walking and cycling along the rails of the park
Le Site De Tereka
It is the only place which offers land-based activities. One can climb the rocks and do canyoning here. The spot is located along the coast.
The blue water view expands in different shades as one begins climbing. As he reaches the top the whole of Noumea is visible with blue waters surrounded on all sides.
Best Places to Shop in noumea
There are many shopping places in Noumea. Our travel experts have selected 3 of the best places to do your shopping while in Noumea.
Kenu Mall Noumea
Kenu is New Caledonia’s largest supermarket. It can engage half a day of a tourist with its local goods and 30 or more shops. One can bargain well. Ask the guide to take to the shops that offer good deals.
The mall has shoes, perfume, jewellery and handbag stores. The famous French store Decathlon too has a shop here in the mall.
Noumea morning market
It has freshly arriving fruits. The bananas are very common. Apart from fruits, the place also has handcrafted jewellery being sold.
The prices are cheap. Though the locals do not understand English, one can bargain very well as they speak required English for bargaining in one or 2 words.
Port Moselle Market
It was inaugurated in 1991 and is the best place to buy locally produced goods. Apart from domestic use goods, the market also has shops for selling freshly grown like bananas, pineapples, yams, sweet potato, plantain, etc. It also sells handcrafted local goods. There is a French bar in the market.
One can just grab snorkelling glasses and jump into the waters of Noumea beaches. Every beach is full of corals supporting varied types of living organisms.
The beach is silent in the months of April and November and is ideal for the animal lovers. Especially snorkelling at Grande Terre is an excellent experience
There is a huge number of diving spots on the Island. Especially the reefs in Dumbea Pass are exotic for diving. They have under giant underwater stalagmite. They are called the Needle of Prony
Visit Mangrove Forest
Noumea has around 230 hectares of Mangrove forests. The Rhizophora trees are predominant here.They are highly vulnerable and have lost 25% of their surface area.
Visitors can find crabs and mullets here. The water is dark and sandy unlike the beautiful crystal clear waters in bays of Noumea.
Fishing in Noumea
There are many places to fish in Noumea. All you have to do is ask the locals where the best fishing spots are and simply cast your lines from the rocks or the beach .
If you are looking for some serious fishing then a local fishing tour is the best place to get started. There are many fishing guides and tour packages available in Noumea New Caledonia.
Those that stay in Noumea will never have to venture far away to experience some of the best of what the islands have to offer. Due to its location, the beaches close to Noumea are some of the best that you can find in the region. If you wish to see some of the rich wildlife that Noumea has to offer, as well as some wildlife from outside of the islands, then there is a zoo and an aquarium within the boundaries of the city. This makes the place perfect to head if you have a family in tow. Everybody will have a fantastic time!
Due to the uniqueness of the islands from a cultural viewpoint, there are several historical and heritage tours that will take you around the area. They will introduce you to the native culture of the area (i.e. before the Europeans arrived), before taking you through the role that Noumea played in World War II (it was the main based for American forces engaged in fighting throughout the Pacific). Of course, if none of that is your scene, then you will be able to explore markets, quaint cafes, and gorgeous buildings. Despite being a smaller tourist location than most others out there, you will always find something new to discover around every corner!
Best Places to stay in Noumea
The place is full of Beach resorts. They offer varied types of services here. Some places are highly luxurious with well-furnished rooms with comfortable sofas, kitchen set. The hotels provide local cuisine and French recipes. One can also choose to cook on their own.
There are also hotels that provide decent pricing. But dining has to be done outside in such hotels. The beach facing rooms are one of the best experiences in these resorts. They also provide honeymoon packages. The beaches glitter their colour and are at the prettiest on full moon days. With the sky clear and the moonlight brightening the blue water, one gets mesmerised in its beauty.
Noumea 5 star Accommodation
For those who just want to relax and unwind in New Caledonia with the best hotels, we have something special for you. We have selected some of the best 5 star rated accommodation in Noumea, these are the cream of the crops and you will never want to return. If you have luxury in mind and wiling to pay a little bit extra to get the comfort and style then we have the best for you. Check out our selection of New Caledonia hotels 5 star here.
Noumea New Caledonia
While several cultures have established a presence on the New Caledonia islands. Over the years, Noumea in New Caledonia is very much focused on the French culture, as well as a dash of Melanesian culture thrown in for good measure. You can easily tell this based upon the architecture of the region, as well as the cuisine that you can tuck into during a stay in New Caledonia, Noumea.
This is a major region for the islands, if you look at a Noumea, New Caledonia map, you will see that most of the major things to see and do on the islands can be found within close proximity. For example, the closest international airport which has flights to the island can be found 50 kilometers away. This is La Tontouta International Airport, which is the airport that you will probably be flying to if you are heading to New Caledonia or Noumea. If you are travelling between the islands, then you will most likely fly from Noumea Magenta Airport, which offers local routes