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"Noumea: The Paris of the South Pacific" Top 5 Page for this destination Nouméa by hunwagner

Nouméa Travel Guide: 170 reviews and 494 photos

The capital of New Caledonia is easily the most European, and quite possibly the most beautiful city in the South Pacific. In fact, it feels and looks much more like a typical French city along the Mediterranean than a Melanesian capital - if you come here from another Pacific nation, be prepared for a bit of a culture shock!

Not only is the architecture very French, so is the population. French, many of them recent immigrants, easily make up the majority here, though the visible presence of the native Kanaks, as well as Francophone Asian and Polynesian immigrant communities still give Noumea a bit of a cosmopolitan air. What is conspiciously missing is the usual large number of English-speaking tourists - even on Australian cruise-ship days, the city just seems to absorb them all, and the most visible non-French visitors are actually young Japanese homeymooners!

It is easy to feel a bit out of place here, but then it is very easy to enjoy the city as well.
It is clean, safe and modern, full of fine pieces of architecture and green parks, has beautiful beaches right in town, and the food is brilliant.
As usual with French teritories, it is somewhat expensive, but there are ways to limit the damage, and budget travellers can in fact live more cheaply, and certainly more nicely, in Noumea than in grotty capitals of the region like Honiara or Port Moresby.


Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Beautiful, easygoing city with good beaches and great food
  • Cons:Enjoying all it has to offer would mean bankruptcy!
  • In a nutshell:Excellent base and intro for New Caledonia - but do see the countryside, too!
  • Intro Updated Jul 25, 2006
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“Nanga oho itimisi ifoloi - eko o dunia ilamo poli?”

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