Noumea is a port city on Grande Terre Island - New Caledonia's main (largest) island. Noumea is also country's capital and among the most westernized Pacific Ocean island cities. The city covers a total area of approx 46 km2 (18 ml2) and has population around 100,000.
Port's cruising season is between mid-May and mid-December. The island was discovered in 1774 by James Cook (1728-1779, British explorer, cartographer, Royal Navy Captain). He also gave the name New Caledonia as the islands reminded him the Scottish Highlands. The Romans named "Caledonia" the lands of England and Scotland, located north of Britannia.
Noumea Town offers more sunshine days than other Pacific Island capitals, as well as great beaches in close proximity to downtown. New Caledonia's capital is among the most rapidly growing in the South Pacific.
The city is served by Noumea Magenta Airport, located just 3 km (2 ml) northeast of downtown. The airport serves only domestic flights by (Air Caledonie) linking to the islands Ile Art, Ile-des-Pins (Isle of Pines), Kone, Koumac, Lifou, Mare, Ouvea, Tiga, Touho. The nearest international airport (La Tontouta) is in the Paita suburb (approx 52 km / 32 ml northwest of the city). It serves the airlines Air New Zealand, Air Vanuatu, Aircalin (domestic) and Qantas, linking to Australia, NZ, Vanuatu, Fiji, Tahiti, Wallis and Futuna, Japan. These interconnected airports include Auckland, Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney NSW, Nadi, Luganville, Port Vila, Wallis Island, Papeete, Osaka, Tokyo.
Noumea cruise terminal
Port Noumea cruise terminal is located very close to downtown, with Des Cocotiers (downtown's Coconut Square) located just at 5-min walking distance from the terminal at Moselle Marina. Terminal's building is surrounded by an outdoor handcraft market. Terminal's main facilities are on building's second floor.
The cruise terminal has info center (providing complimentary city maps), kiosks for tour operators (offering shore excursions), cafeteria, adjacent large car parking. Taxis are available only via phone ordering, as the terminal has no dedicated taxi ranks. Disembarking cruise tourists are welcomed with live performaces of traditional songs.
Noumea cruise port has max berthing capacity 1 liner at a time. When the port is visited by two ships simultaneously, the second ship is docked at the container terminal, from where its passengers are transported to the cruise terminal via free shuttle buses. In cases of 3+ cruise ships, the other vessels will be anchored at sea and their passengers ferried to the terminal via ship's tender boats.
Noumea tours, shore excursions, hotels
City Tours and Shore Excursions
It is easy to explore Noumea walking. You will find pretty, small city with plenty charming cafes and bistros with local dining opportunities. You will feel the French provincial atmosphere. Noumea is amazing during the winter months (especially from November through January) when the Poincianas (also called flame trees) become all red colored.
You can explore variety of ocean life – over 1500 fish species and more than 350 coral species.
Among the interesting places for visit and things to do are:
- Le Petit Train: Anse Vata trip to the center by miniature train
- New Caledonia National Aquarium: explore the ocean life, Route de L’Aquarium
- Tjibaou Cultural Centre: original design, enjoy dance, music and theatre performances
- Museums: the Geological Museum, the City of Noumea Museum, the Museum of New Caledonia and Museum of Maritime History.
- Place des Cocotiers: flame trees garden with cafes and stores.
- Anse Vata: tourist center, a place for water activities like sailing, swimming, kayaking and windsurfing.
- Mount Ouen Toro: explore Noumea views from the 128-meter tall Ouen Toro.
- Island Excursions: most popular destinations are Isle of Pines and Ilot Amédée.
- Pierre Vernier Walk: take a leisurely walk surrounded by coconut trees along St Marie Bay.
- Blue River Provincial Park: located on 9,000 hectare in the Southern Province. Blue River Provincial Park is great wildlife reserve with area for camping, picnics, walking and river swimming.