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All the flavour and ambience of a bustling, sophisticated provincial french town with the friendly charms, adventure and heavenly climate of the pacific islands.
Noumea is situated on Grande Terre, New Caledonia’s main island. In the late 1800’s Noumea had a strong frontier quality with adventurers, miners, government officials, traders, seafarers and convicts all calling the place home. Gradually, other ethnic groups added to the mix – Chinese, Vietnamese, American servicemen during World War II and settlers from a variety of Pacific Islands. Many came to seek their fortunes, particularly in the nickel and gold mines.
99,926 (2014 estimate)
French and Kanak dialects
French overseas territory and local government
French Pacific Franc
Guest favourites, the most booked Shore Tours at this port
Our handpicked Shore Tours are a must for any guest.
To get a taste of just how influential the Melanesian Kanak culture is, look no further than the superb Tjibaou Cultural Centre. This really is one of the Pacific’s most distinctive architectural landmarks, making it a must see for any tourist to the city.
Lemon Bay Beach and Anse Vata are popular areas with Noumea’s locals and tourists alike. Lemon Bay is a sheltered beach, perfect for families with kids. Have a swim or relax in a quiet cafe or restaurant. Anse Vata gives you a real taste of France. As you wander its promenades, their unmistakable beauty will instantly transport you to the French Riviera.
New Caledonia’s Barrier Reef is the worlds longest and second largest, behind Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. The country also boasts the world’s largest lagoon. Within it you’ll find the picture perfect islands of Amedee and Canard (Duck). Join one of our tours and eat, drink and swim till your hearts content.
Your ship will usually dock at the Gare Maritime Terminal in the heart of Noumea. Souvenir shops can be found in the terminal and at Coconut Square.
Taxi service is very limited, however, there is a local public bus system in place. You might also like to join one of our Tchou Tchou Train tours for an excellent overview of Noumea’s most interesting attractions.
Noumea is perfect for lovers of French cuisine. There are many quality restaurants specialising in their own Plats Du Jour (dish of the day), as well as local and other regional specialties, utilizing fresh ingredients from the area. Try the strip at Lemon Bay Beach for a great selection. Quarantine authorities do not generally allow food such as fruit and vegetables, dairy and meat products or sandwiches to be taken off the ship, however commercially packaged confectionery, chips and bottled drinking water are allowed subject to inspection.
If you intend to purchase any duty-free products while visiting Noumea, you must bring your passport ashore with you. It’s important to remember that many shops and restaurants close in the middle of the day for the traditional two-hour siesta. It may appear that the city has closed, but restassured; once two o’clock comes by, everything re-opens.
Any souvenirs that are made of plant material or animal products must be declared to quarantine authorities on arrival in Australia or New Zealand. Plant material such as certain seeds and animal products including feathers may be restricted or need to be treated at the owners’ expense on arrival in Australia or New Zealand.
Situated just north of the Tropic of Capricorn, New Caledonia’s climate is tropical. It’s warm and dry most of the year with afternoon trade winds helping to keep humidity low.
Major credit cards and charge cards are widely accepted. Automatic teller machines can provide currency to foreign card holders.
Public telephones are available throughout Noumea. Mobile coverage is generally available as long as global roaming is selected prior to leaving home. WiFi is available at the Gare Maritime Terminal and Coconut Square. Internet Cafes are also available in Noumea City Centre.
To make your day ashore as enjoyable as possible, please wear comfortable flat soled shoes, lightweight clothing and a hat - and don’t forget your swimwear! You are also advised to bring sunscreen and bottled water. Remember to take a jacket during the cooler months. When visiting local villages, huts and churches please respect the local customs. Males, wear t-shirts with sleeves - no singlets. Women should wear skirts or shorts that fall below the knee and have covered shoulders. Please also remove your hats when entering buildings.
There are a range of tours available for you to really get the most out of your time in Noumea. Tours can be booked onboard at the Shore Tours desk and are subject to availability. Passengers are required to meet at a specific location for each Shore Tour departure. Please refer to your tour ticket for the correct time and place.
Coral is an extremely precious marine organism. In an effort to preserve its natural beauty and habitat please avoid touching it in all circumstances. During your time ashore we also ask that you dispose of your rubbish thoughtfully. Furthermore, just as with Australia’s beaches, blue bottles can visit occasionally in the summer months.