With its turquoise waters, picturesque plazas and friendly locals, Noumea is an enchanting introduction to New Caledonia. The laid-back city is perched on a large peninsula jutting out into the Pacific Ocean and has no shortage of sandy beaches and scenic bays.
Things to do in Noumea
Place des Cocotiers is the beating heart of Noumea, shaded by swaying palms and hot-pink hibiscus trees. If you want to soak up Noumea's French roots, stroll around Quartier Latin, a Parisian-inspired neighbourhood dotted with chocolatiers, boutiques and bougainvillea-strewn buildings.
Trendy Baie des Citrons beach attracts sunseekers with its sparkling water, golden sand and a lively strip of bistros, bars and nightclubs. Anse Vata, located just 10 minutes from the city centre, is another favourite for its strong winds perfect for kitesurfing and windsurfing.
For a glimpse of local life, head down to the La Marche market. The colourful bazaar sits beside the marina at Port Moselle and is brimming with freshly caught fish, local fruit, oven-baked bread and gourmet cheese. Weekends are particularly atmospheric with live music.
Want to explore under the surface without getting wet? Aquarium des Lagons offers a fascinating glimpse at New Caledonia's underwater ecosystem. Inside you'll find a kaleidoscope of marine wildlife, from turtles and sea snakes to sharks and stingrays.
Getting around Noumea
Local buses are a great way to get around Noumea. You can also hail a taxi on the street or head to the main rank at Place des Cocotiers. If you want to visit the nearby islands, jump aboard the Coconut Taxiboat.