Local attractions

New Caledonia and it’s capital Noumea, have something for all ages…

Check out the tourism website at http://www.office-tourisme.nc/en/  

The local New Caledonian Weekly paper publishes events of the week. You will find the PDF’s here: http://www.office-tourisme.nc/en/new-caledonia-weekly

Nouvelle Caledonie: Pacific Heart offers more information on sights and activities. Read more at:  http://en.visitnewcaledonia.com/noumea

You can also check out this website for more information on local attractions, things to do and places to visit: http://noumea.arounder.com/en/

I. Within Noumea:

Guided tours of Noumea are available in either air conditioned buses or on the “le petit train”. If you love biking you can choose to see Noumea with a bike.

Within the city there are many local attractions; some of the ones not to miss are:

. Aquarium des LagoonsDiscover New caledonia’s aquatic ecosystems; freshwater, mangrove, reef and deep sea. Read more at: http://www.aquarium.nc/en/

. La Place des Cocotiers/Coconut Square: the starting point for a stroll around the city centre, the area is a series of landscaped, open squares. It’s best known for its Music Kiosk and the Céleste Fountain, the zero kilometre marker from where all distances are measured

. Moselle Market: don’t miss the market with its colourful, lively atmosphere, its fruit and tropical fish.

. Saint Joseph’s Cathedral: its forecourt overlooks a large part of the city centre. Its two bell towers are 25m high

. Baie des Citrons/Lemon Bay: this beach is particularly good for swimming. And in the evening, it becomes the “in” spot for Noumea’s young people.

. Baie de l’Orphelinat/Orphanage Bay: from Mont Vénus, view the bay bathed in early morning

. Anse Vata: a long beach, a beautiful walk, a picnic area. Don’t miss the amazing spectacle of windsurfers skimming across the water, propelled by the trade winds, or watch the sun set.

. Ouen-Toro Park: a paradise for walkers, joggers and paragliding enthusiasts. A protected reserve, it shelters a section of dry forest and a population of sandalwood trees. This hill gives a great vantage point of Noumea. Its criss crossed by walking tracks with dry forest with its unique protected ecosystem. The summit offers a magnificent panaromic look out point guarded by two old Australian canons and overlooks a popular paragliding spot.

. Promenade Pierre Vernier: landscaped 4-kilometre route along the waterfront, for a pleasant and safe walk or an exercise route.

. Parc Zoologique et Forestier/Forest Park and Zoo: home to 600 animals and 126 plant species, 35 of which are endemic.

Read more at: http://www.office-tourisme.nc/en/parc-zoologique-et-forestier-michel-corbasson

. The Tjibaou Cultural Centre: opened in 1998 on the Tina peninsular, it is dedicated to Kanak culture. Exhibitions, shows, concerts and more. The cultural centre sits in a magical setting at the edge of a lagoon and provides insight into the indigenous Kanak culture along with other Oceanic cultures. Concerts, shows and conferences are hosted year round at the centre.

Read more at: http://www.adck.nc/presentation/english-presentation/the-tjibaou-cultural-centre-and-adck

If you love museums visit:

. Musée de l’histoire maritime. Read more at: Maritime museum

. Musée de la Nouvelle Calédonie et Mwâ KaRead more at: Museum of New Caledonia :

. Musée de la seconde guerre mondiale. Read more at: Museum of World War 2

. Musée de la ville de Nouméa. Read more at: Museum of Noumea city

Just 3 minutes from Anse Vata by taxiboat  L’île aux Canards – Duck Island is a real getaway. Read more at: http://www.ileauxcanards.nc/

Baie de l'OrphelinatCathédrale St Joseph


For those who have time to kill before and after the conference and would like to venture further afield, Noumea offers some excellent choices to visit islands within islands:

II. Close to Noumea:

. L’ilot Maitre with its vast marine reserves, luxury hotel with over water bungalows and water sports leisure centre.

. L’ile aux Goelands with its fauna reserve.

. The Phare Amédée island with its 56 meter tall light house is a sought after place to relax and is surrounded by marvelous sites for under water diving 

Read more at:  http://www.amedeeisland.com/

Taxi boats and boats travel regularly to Noumea islets: Check out Colleen excursion, Mary D and Plage loisirs (See the full list here).

. Flying over the lagoon

For Helicopter flights check out: Hélicocéan, Hélisud.

Phare AmédéeGoeland

 III. Further afield:

. For information on whale watching, fishing, cruises,  jet ski’s and various water activities, check out: Locajet, La maison du lagon, Pacific charter, New Caledonia fishing safaris. (See full list here)

. Diving and snorkeling

All dive clubs in Noumea offer reef dives for certified divers or beginners. Check out: Abyss, Amédée diving and  Aquanature. (See full list here). 

. Isle of Pines: 20 minutes by air from Noumea or 2 hours and 15 minutes by catamaran, this island is a delight for visitors. The adventurous can attempt the climb to the summit of the island and explore magnificent caves and lookouts. For the sea lovers, slip on a mask and fins to explore the beautiful underwater world. For food lovers, you will not be disappointed with range of delicious sea food and take the opportunity to sample the traditional bougna, (a traditional meal made from vegetables with chicken or fish, wrapped in banana leaves and cooked in an earth oven) and for the not so adventurous, just enjoy basking in the sun on the islands beautiful beaches.

Several professional organizations and centres have guided snorkeling and diving trips close to Noumea and further afield.

. The Riviere Bleue Park in Yate (approximately an hour’s drive from Noumea) stretches over approximately 9000 hectares and is a worthwhile place to visit. Covering a large area of varied scenery, from the artificial lakes edge to the forests, many species of flora and fauna unique to New Caledonia can be found here.

Ile des pinsRivière Bleue

All photo’s courtesy of Fabien Malclès