A day in Nouméa

I generally travel every year for my birthday. And as part of that annual ritual, I randomly picked New Caledonia (by glancing through the map and finding something closer to Sydney). I had never heard of this island prior to that moment. I then started researching the place and its capital Nouméa.

PIN for later reference

PIN for later reference - A day in Noumea
PIN for later reference – A day in Noumea

About New Caledonia

New Caledonia is situated in the south-west of the Pacific Ocean. It is one of the Pacific Island countries, known for its beautiful beaches and the lagoons around the island. The island is a special overseas collectivity of France. Since Nouméa is the capital city of New Caledonia, I decided to go to Nouméa. As the flight duration between Sydney and Nouméa is about 3 hours, Nouméa makes a perfect weekend getaway.

The main language spoken at New Caledonia is French and there is definitely a language barrier to travel around. But the people are so friendly and they go out of their way to communicate and make the travelers comfortable.

Visa

As I had an Indian passport at that time, I needed a Schengen visa which had to be granted by the Consulate of France. Honestly speaking this was one of the most stressful visa processes that I have ever gone through. For applying for a visa, one needs to take an appointment from the Consulate of France, and the slots are made available only 10 or 15 days prior to the date of travel. And due to this reason, I was not sure even till the last moment if I was actually traveling to New Caledonia or not.

Planning

  • Flights – The flight duration from Sydney and Nouméa is less than 3 hours.
    • AirCalin runs frequent flights between Sydney and Nouméa.
  • Accommodation – I stayed at Le Pacifique and I must say it was a very comfortable stay. The rooms were clean, it was right opposite the beach and the staff was very friendly.
    • Address: 123 Promenade Roger Laroque, Nouméa 98800, New Caledonia.
    • Contact Number: +687260512.
  • Apart from my flights and my stay, the only other thing that I had planned was the Canopy tour that I wanted to do on my birthday.

On my birthday

I am so sorry Raksha, it’s pouring out here and we have canceled all the Canopy tours”, the tour lady said apologetically. For the first time in my life, I was not upset (Strange! Maybe there was something magical in the air of Nouméa 🙂 ). It was 10 AM and I decided to head out and explore. The main street along the coast (opposite to my hotel – Le Pacifique) was buzzing with restaurants, tourist offices, jewellery stores, stationery stores, souvenir shops, and ice cream stalls.

I started my tour with the first stop at an ice cream shop, where I bought a cup of Swiss chocolate ice cream (yummy and super delicious – came very close to Swiss chocolate ice cream in Movenpick). After my ice cream, I window shopped through the jewellery and souvenir stores. Even though I was tempted to buy a piece of jewellery, I stopped and I remembered my mother lecturing me not to buy any jewellery.

I made my second stop at a tourist office, where I booked my Nouméa city tour for the afternoon 3 PM. Since I had plenty of time, I strolled along the coast, experimenting with my camera (yes, I took lots of pictures).

IMG_6705
IMG_6714.CR2

Even after spending an hour clicking pictures, I still had plenty of time. I had two options –

  • One, to visit the aquarium and
  • The other, to take a taxi boat to a nearby island called Duck Island.

Duck Island

Duck Island was about 20 mins boat ride away. The water bed was crystal clear and had off-white sand. The island had a restaurant in the middle, with an exhibition of sculptures all around. The views of both Duck Island and Main Island (Nouméa) were spectacular.

  • The tickets can be purchased at the wharf.
IMG_6808.CR2
The tiny boat that took me to Duck Island

Duck Island had plenty of sculptures. I was mesmerised by the huge sculptures that were everywhere on the island. They were very creative and each one of the sculptures had the beauty of its own. Of course, I clicked pictures of every single sculpture that was exhibited.

IMG_6748
IMG_6766.CR2
IMG_6768
IMG_6783
IMG_6769.CR2
IMG_6779.CR2

Once I was done with my photographic sessions, I settled down at a table in the restaurant, with one of Sidney Sheldon’s novels. A perfect location, beautiful beach, very good novel, and a delicious lunch made the day all the more special. I loved every minute I spent on the island and I think it was one of the best decisions I took that day. And I came back to Nouméa just on time for the Nouméa city tour.

Nouméa City Tour

At about 1:30 PM, it was time for me to get back to the main island for my 3 hours city tour. The city tour was in a yellow long road train :), a colourful way of seeing the city, huh!

IMG_6893
The yellow road train

We had an English speaking guide. She briefed us about the tour and elucidated the history of Nouméa, whilst we were driven through some of the most beautiful and expensive suburbs. As part of the tour, we were also taken to three viewpoints of Nouméa – all breathtaking and stupendous.

IMG_6840
View of Nouméa
IMG_6848.CR2
View point 1
IMG_6881.CR2
View point 2
IMG_6898.CR2
View point 3

Is it safe for solo female travelers?

Yes, Nouméa is extremely safe for solo female travelers. However, I would be very careful at night as it gets really lonely and isolated. Other than that I did not have any issues or concerns while traveling in Nouméa.

Closing notes

The drop-dead gorgeous landscapes, the beaches, and the super friendly people made me fall in love with this beautiful country. I will definitely plan to visit New Caledonia again for a longer duration. And I did visit this island for the second time. During my second visit, all I did was visit Amedee Island and scuba dive at the pristine waters of New Caledonia.

PIN for later reference

PIN for later reference - A day in Noumea
PIN for later reference – A day in Noumea

8 Comments

  1. Hey Raksha, I must say that you are living your life so beautifully… You are travelling to the different parts of the world.. Getting to know and meet new people and understand their culture… However, at the same I see this as a tough one too, (I may be wrong) as new place, new people, new language makes a woman solo traveller quite discomfort….

    I wish I could explore this world too..

  2. I first came to know about New Caledonia few months before through popular Korean drama- Boys over flower.
    I was amazed to see that island coz never heard before and now reading this post gave me more depth.

I would love to hear your thoughts, please drop a comment!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.