Nouméa is the capital city of New Caledonia, the French special collectively located on the peninsula of Grande Terre. A curious blend of Asian exotica and a distinct French Riviera style – and topped with the picturesque turquoise bays reminiscent of Mediterranean charm – Nouméa hits the sweet spot for an around-the-world experience. Nouméa is perhaps one of the classiest islands yet unspoiled by overcrowding, and makes the perfect getaway for adventurers, eco-travellers, and romantics alike.
What to see and do
Lovingly regarded as the Pacific’s French Riviera, and embraced by glittering blue waters, Nouméa is built around a culture of water activities. Go sailing on the Caledonian lagoon on a luxurious yacht, dive into the gorgeous ridges of the lagoon’s coral reefs, go fish for exotic catches at its many prime fishing spots, or tune it up a notch and streak through the waters with its many water sports. From beginners to professionals, this city has all the spills of aquatic adventures to offer.
Back on land, a spectacular mix of cultures dots the city’s streets. Nouméa Market just beside the marina of Port Moselle is quite the energetic scene; its multi-ethnic stalls are stocked full with fresh produce, flowers, breads and cakes hot off the baker’s oven, and unique arts and crafts circling a central café. Head here during the weekends for a special treat by a local string band that completes the lively atmosphere.
Or you could take to the outback and get in tune with nature with some of the peninsula’s green hiking trails. Near Nouméa lies the 132m hill Ouen Toro, which is easily navigable via roads winding up its tree-lined slopes. Enjoy the quiet environment teeming with natural wildlife as you head to the summit, where two World War II relic guns stand sentinel. From here, you can enjoy the breath-taking panorama of Anse Vata, baie des Citrons, and the lagoon.
Nouméa is served by city buses, which will take you anywhere within the city for a flat fare. These are the cheapest ways to get around, as the routes cover hotspots between the city and Anse Vata, and in and around the region. A novelty train also travels around the city roads, taking visitors around the main attractions for a set daily fare. Taxis are also available throughout the streets for a quick ride around.
Getting to Nouméa
La Tontoua International Airport is situated about 50km from the city of Nouméa, and handles all international flights coming into the island. Airlines processed here cover a large range of major cities worldwide, such as Paris, Sydney, Auckland, Tokyo, and Seoul. From Tontoua Airport, two types of transfers can take you to Nouméa. Coach transfers can be arranged from the reservation offices in the Airport, or taxis can be flagged outside the terminal. The bus rides are considerably cheaper than taxi fares, and are hence a go-to option for most travellers.