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Noumea Cruise Port is located in the New Caledonia capital city. It is among the top westernized Pacific Islands cities. The Noumea Cruise Port ship schedule is very busy in the period May 15 to December 15. Noumea offers unforgettable time, places, sunny beaches and friendly citizens. The island was discovered by Captain Cook in 1774. He gave the name New Caledonia because the place reminded Captain Cook the Scottish Highlands.
 
With a string of bays and beaches stretching along a peninsula protected by coral reefs, Noumea is a slice of the French Riviera in the South Pacific. The capital of New Calendonia, a territory of France, it's a perfect destination for gastronomes and cultural connoisseurs. Water sports enthusiasts and nature devotees alike can find plenty of diversion in and around this "Provencal" city.
 
The islands of New Caledonia, east of Australia and north of New Zealand, are becoming ever more popular stops for cruises originating in Sydney, Auckland and Brisbane, in addition to transpacific and world itineraries. Stops at Noumea may precede those at more isolated beaches on New Caledonia's islands, including the Isle of Pines, Lifou in the Loyalty Islands, and Poum to the north.
Noumea is the center of New Caledonia's epicurean and cultural scene, with restaurants serving French, Asian and brousse (bush) cuisine, and museums exhibiting art and Melanesian artifacts. Shoppers will find top wines and other goods imported from France. Its expansive waterfront is a sports playground for windsurfers and kiteboarders, joggers, and sun-worshipers.
 
The city also is a jumping-off point for land tours to spots like Forest Park and Blue River Park, where you might see a rare cagou bird or flying fox. You can hunt in the bushland or hike the hills that rise above the city and beaches. Other excursions include a host of boating possibilities, from sightseeing to snorkeling and diving to fishing. Noumea also offers a range of sailing options around its archipelago. There are numerous excellent mooring choices for sailors, and many sites still look untouched.
 
Along with South Pacific's Marshall Islands and Soloman Islands, the islands of New Caledonia all claim to be surrounded by the world's largest lagoon. It doesn't really matter. There are huge, fish-filled bodies of water between the mainland and outer reef. Noumea's unmatched waters and beaches, spans of hills and bush, as well as its vibrant cityscape make it an enjoyable port of call.
 
Where You're Docked
The cruise terminal in Noumea is in a boring commercial section of town on Moselle Bay. Noumea Cruise Port Terminal is located at the city center. The ships berth at Port Moselle Marina. The Noumea Cruise Port Terminal building is surrounded of an outdoor native market. The Noumea Cruise Port Terminal can’t take two cruise ships simultaneously. In this situations one berths at the container terminal. The passengers are transported to the Noumea Cruise Port Terminal by free buses.
 
The view of warehouse buildings changes substantially within a walk of 10 minutes or less, whether you head for the morning market or Coconut Square in the heart of the city. The cruise terminal has an information booth -- usually staffed when a cruise ship is in town -- with free maps and directions. Across the street is a Casino, which is not a gambling place, but a supermarket.
 
Hanging Around
After exiting the terminal, turn right and walk along the water to get to the daily morning market. Or turn left and then right, away from the waterfront, toward the delightful public park and shopping area known as Coconut Square. The square -- actually a series of four squares with a park in the middle -- is a good meeting place, with benches for resting, shops, cafes, the main tourist office and the fascinating Town Museum (see below). The Office de Tourism is at 14, rue Jean-Jaures on Square Olry, the closest block of Coconut Square to the ship terminal.  
whats out for sunburn, when you're outside for any extended period, wear a good sunscreen and sunglasses for protection from the powerful South Pacific rays. 
Getting Around
On Foot: The market and main shopping areas are short walks. Other beaches are a longer walk of 30 minutes or more.
By Taxi: Taxis are available at Coconut Square, the cruise terminal and at Anse Vata beach. Rates are regulated, but prices can vary with the density of the traffic.
By Rental Car: Agencies are housed near the cruise terminal. Ask at the tourism office.
 
There is a bus called "Noumea Explorer". It costs about A$15 for all day and it does cover the bays and the Cultural Centre. If you email: info@arcenciel.nc they may be able to send you a timetable and pick-up locations. it picks up at Town Museum which is Town Centre (Centre Ville) - Coconut Square. There are about 9 pick up / drop off locations.
 
The Little Train (Le Petit Train) is a motorised tour on normal roads, that runs several times a day. It is an area tour, but you can also hop off one train, and catch the following service. Check the timetable, though, because it may be cancelled or only offer two services on a given day.
The city is also serviced by 8 colour coded bus routes that costs 210 CFP if you buy your ticket on board (as of January 2010, still valid May 2014), or 190 CFP if you prepay. Others have recommended this only if you feel your French is up to scratch, as the bus drivers very rarely understand anything but French. It is sufficient to know that the bus goes to "Centre Ville", then hand over the money and state the number of tickets required (une personne, deux personnes, trois personnes, etc.).
You can buy a number of tickets in advance at the office on rue d'Austerlitz (it's more of a booth, actually) but you need to validate the appropriate number of tickets for the trip when you board the bus (that includes the ones you buy from the driver). Validation just means inserting them them into the yellow ticket machine located at the front of the bus. There is a ticket stand at the Moselle transfer station (located next to the cinema's) and also one located at the edge of the town centre at Place Roland. The bus line is called Karuia and all the timetables and more information can be found on their website.
The first trick is to recognise a bus stop when you see one. These are white-ish pillars, usually with a name on them, sometimes with a shelter from sun or rain, but usually with no indication of the line(s) that stop there unless it has a timetable attached. Bus line 10/11 runs along the main beach road and is good for tourists as it stops at Anse Vata, Lemon Bay, a supermarket, the markets/harbour, centre of town (important for bus transfers to other lines), the maritime museum, aquarium, Ouen Toro and Kuendu Beach. Bus line 40 runs from Moselle Centre ville (located next to the cinema) to The Tjibaou Cultural Centre. This is by far the easiest tourist attraction to get to via bus since you just have to ride it end to end. Bus line 50 runs to the Zoo however you have to get off at stop Pervenches and walk up the hill to the zoo entrance.
Also available for tourists is a "Noumea Explorer" service that runs an hourly loop pass the major tourist sites (Museums, Parc Forestier and Zoo, Tjibaou and hotels) hourly. That for 1500CFP a day (March 2010 price), is a great idea to be used to explore each of the sites for an hour before catching the bus onto the next location when it comes past again. The service takes a little over an hour, the stops are hard to locate at the start, and you need both a map that shows the stops, and also a leaflet from your hotel or a tourist office that gives the timetable.
 
Things To See and Do
Most of the tourist attractions in Noumea are closed on Mondays and open all other days. with the exception of Museum of Caledonia that is closed on Tuesdays. Each venue has its own entry costs, but in 2010 for 1700 CFP a "Pass' Nature and Culture" could still be purchased that provided admittance to the Tjibaou, New Caledonia, Noumea and Maritime History Museums, Zoo and Aquarium that could be used over 6 months.
Another good idea, is to grab the Free English publication "The New Caledonia Weekly" and check in it for local events and ideas. The best map was the "New Caledonia Visitor map" found in many places. This is an A1 sheet that can be a challenge in high winds, but at least it shows you where the "Noumea Explorer" stops are.

Whatever you do make sure you book a tour before you arrive if your cruise arrives on a Saturday afternoon or a Sunday because, just like Sydney in the olden days, Noumea shuts up shop at noon on Saturdays and doesn't open again until Monday morning.You should definitely take a trip to the Cultural Centre. The building is amazing - like nothing seen anywhere else in the world. Then you should go to Baie de Citron (or " Lemon Bay" in plain old English) which is about a 3km by bus or taxi ride from where the cruise port is. There are many restaurants lined up along the lagoon.
Noumea Morning Market is open 5 to 11 a.m. weekdays on Moselle Bay. Vendors sell fresh fish, meat, veggies and racks of souvenirs. At the edge of the market, on the waterfront, are the offices of tour operators, open daily at 9 a.m., closed one Monday per month. Tour boats can take you fishing, sailing or on trips to nearby islands like Amedee Lighthouse and Duck Island. The enchanting Isle of Pines, which is 2.5 hours each way by boat, will be too far for most cruise-ship port stops.
 
There are also two museums in the centre of Noumea - the Museum of New Caledonia, and the Museum of Noumea which is right by Place des Cocotiers. Both cost 200 francs. The Museum of Noumea is particularly interesting on New Caledonia's participation in the 2 World Wars, which may be something that older people would particularly appreciate. The city buses also go to Anse Vata and Baie de Citrons beaches, which would fulfil the scenic and lunch part of your requirements. The fare for the buses is 200 francs. If you take a taxi, it will be about 1200 to 1300 francs from the city to Anse Vata.
 
Museum of New Caledonia is close by the Post office in Quartier Latin. Many Kanak and Melanesian art and cultural items like spears, huts, weapons, decorations and boats are to be found in the exhibition rooms. Like most museums in Noumea, the descriptions are all in French with English and Japanese translations of usually the title only. Also as well as being closed on Tuesdays (instead of Mondays like the rest of the tourist attractions) the Museum of New Caledonia is closed for lunch from 11:30 to 12:15 every day.
 
City of Nouméa Museum in the old Town hall opposite Place des Cocotiers, this museum houses a miniature model of Noumea during World War II, as well as many other displays about living in Noumea during various historic periods. Most displays in this museum also have English placards.
 
Tjibaou Cultural Centre, designed by architect Renzo Piano, explores and promotes Kanak, an indigenous culture of the South Pacific. Stories are told through exhibits and collections of ritual masks and costumes, totem poles and sculptures. A pathway lined with traditional Melanesian huts from three different regions is a must-see. Open daily. If you want a bus to the center, ask at the tourism office on Coconut Square. Blue-line Karuia and Noumea Explorer buses run regularly to Tjibaou Centre from the city center.
 
Tjibaou Cultural Centre. Not only are the exhibitions interesting and informative, but the building is a stunning piece of architecture set in very attractive grounds. You don't have to go on a tour. The ordinary city buses go there from the middle of town. It's a blue line bus to Magenta/St Quentin, and it drops you right at the entrance. The cost is 200 francs. Buses are not so regular at the weekends, so it may be better to look at a tour then. Tjibaou Cultural Centre the iconic large modern wooden round houses, that you see on most postcards of New Caledonia, are located a little way out of Noumea (but accessible by buses--Noumea Explorer or Line 45 public bus) past the Magenta Domestic Airport. It houses a lot of contemporary Melanesian and other Oceanic cultures art work, as well as some traditional pieces. Also if you visit at the right time, there are regular performances of traditional dances and music here, as well as the resource libraries focusing on Oceanic cultures. There is a cafeteria manned by a character with severely limited skills of addition, so make sure you know what you should be paying. The shop has some exquisitely designed souvenirs which aren't cheap, but which are still worth it. Make sure you leave some time to walk around outside the building. The architect was Renzo Piano, and you need to look closely at the way he has captured the spirit of the Auracaria pines. The centre commemorates a leader of the Kanak independence movement, Jean-Marie Tjibaou, a former priest who significantly was a student in Paris in 1968. Tjibaou was murdered by another Kanak who regarded Tjibaou's signing of the Matignon Accords as a betrayal. For more, www.adck.nc

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. if you want to see plants that look like they belong in dinosaur movies. (Such movies have been filmed there.) The park is about 45 minutes from Noumea, so you'll need to rent a car. Follow the main road that winds around the mountains and valleys. Stop to look at a giant Kauri tree that stands about 120 feet high and is about 1,000 years old. Don't miss the Exhibition Building (Maison du Park) for detailed displays of the plants and animals found there. The land is 160 million years old. You may prefer to hire a guide in Noumea for this trip, which costs about 12,000 francs, including lunch. A guide can help you find a good stopping place to look for rare cagou birds, most of which live in the park.
 
Amedee Lighthouse Island, 45 minutes by high-speed ferry from Noumea, is a bit touristy, but everyone -- especially children -- seems to have a good time strolling, swimming, snorkeling and climbing coconut trees. You can take a ship's excursion or find a tour operator, either at the cruise terminal or at the waterfront next to the daily outdoor market, a 10-minute walk to the right as you exit the terminal.
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:
 
Aquarium des Lagons between Anse Vata and Baie des Citrons (local bus 10/11), the Aquarium has a great collection of Nautilus, as well as lots of information about the local marine life of the island. Last admissions are at 4 pm (or as the times are given locally, 1600).
 
Beaches
Noumea's waterfront is a series of bays with beaches. You could walk for hours. 
Best beach for walking and jogging: Cote Blanche
Best lively beach with bars and restaurants across the street: Lemon (Citrons) Bay
 
New Caledonia is home of one of the largest Lagoons in the world. So naturally water sports are very popular. Wind Surfing Anse Vata during the afternoons is very popular with Kite and Wind Surfers. There are a few hire companies on the beach that are very friendly and have a wide range of equipment.
Snorkeling it is highly suggested to snorkel while in Noumea. The water off Rocher a la Voile around and into Baie des Citrons has coral literally meters from the shore line, making it very easy to see the coral and fish that inhabit there.
Baie des Citrons is also very protected from wind, making it even more enjoyable for the novice. But also if you are prepared to pay for a water taxi ride, Ile aux Canards just off Anse Vata (maybe half a kilometer away) has a snorkeling track in a marine park that has even better coral to see. The visibility can be poor after rough weather, and the charges for almost everything are appallingly heavy (600 CFP for a chair, the same for an umbrella, and the service is surely the surliest found anywhere in Nouméa, aside from the Tjibaou cafeteria). You get there by water taxi from the lower level of the faré ("native hut") half-way along the Plage Loisirs or Anse Vata beach. The price in March 2010 was 1000CFP for a return trip, which was good value. It should be noted that seeing sea snakes is not uncommon in Noumean waters, but they are very unlikely to bite a snorkeler. Sharks are very rarely seen though. You can rent a mask, fins and snorkel for about 1000 CFP, so you may think it worthwhile taking your own. Island hopping/visiting there are also many tourist operators who will take you to an island to sunbathe, swim and explore — like the Light House tours available from most tourist operators on Anse Vata
 
Shore Excursions
Best for first-timers: On the "Myth of the Kanak Culture" tour, you'll be bused to the cultural center by way of the beaches and bays of Noumea. The Tjibaou Cultural Centre is a harmonious alliance of modern and traditional indigenous New Caledonian (Kanak) architecture. The highlight is a 45-minute easy walk with a guide along the Kanak Pathway to an exhibition of ritual masks and costumes, totem poles and sculptures. It lasts about 2.5 hours.
 
Best for sightseers: The "Yellow Tchou Tchou Train" is a guided orientation tour. The train passes the local market, the colonial residential district of Faubourg Blanchot, Ouen Toro lookout point, Anse Vata Beach and Lemon Bay to Coconut Square, where you may disembark to do some shopping. Your ship is a 10- minute walk away, or you may return on the train. This one lasts about two hours.
 
Best for active travelers: Cycle around the peninsula with a guide on the "Noumea and Beaches by Bicycle" tour. The route winds through the hills above the city, then down to a yacht marina and tree-lined beaches of the resort area. Time permitting, stop at Anse Vata beach for a quick swim. It'll take you about three hours.
 
Eating Out
Food is not cheap in New Caledonia, but you can do well shopping at the non-tourist shops. Learn to detect the boulangerie and patisserie for bread and pastries, the charcuterie for meat and pâté and so on, but don't pass by the slightly seedy-looking general stores, where you can probably get tinned pâté, packaged cheese (wedges of brie, for example) and more.
 
Waterfront Market, Rue Georges Clemenceau. Open every morning, providing a good option for budget breakfasts. Croissants and Pain au Chocolat (CFP 180) and multitude of fresh fruit are available from various merchants. La Buvette du Marché, located inside the building adjacent to the main fruit market, prepares a variety of food including Croque Monsieur (Toasted ham and cheese sandwich) and coffee. 
At night, locals who eat out seem to wait until "vingt heures" (20.00 or 8 pm) before they eat, though most places are open from 18.30 (6.30 pm). Views and food The 360 Restaurant is a revolving restaurant on top of one of the Ramada towers. At one point, you are looking straight into the apartments of the other tower, but the food is truly superb, and the lunch views are great.
 
Many of Noumea's restaurants feature European cuisine with a strong French influence. The multi-ethnic menus will take you on an imaginary trip to regions of France, as well as Indonesia, Vietnam and China. Meat tends to be beef, with not much pork or chicken. Restaurants specializing in island food serve deer, shrimp, coconut, crab or wild hog. For a local taste, try Bougna, a traditional Kanak dish of yams, taro, fish and shellfish. Ingredients are marinated in coconut milk and simmered in banana leaves for several hours. You may want to ask what's in each dish, as cooks sometimes add pigeons or candlenut worms. The white worms, served raw or toasted, taste a bit like hazelnuts.
 
For lighter lunches of sandwiches, salads, pastries and noodles:
Fournil Gourmand, close to Coconut Square on rue du Gal Gallieni, is a gem of a patisserie, which shines with bakery goods, snacks and sandwiches. It's open daily at breakfast and lunch.
 
Atelier Gourmand, close to the Anse Vata beach at 141 route de l'Anse Vata, serves sandwiches and bakery goods. It's open from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday to Sunday. For a longer or special meal:
Chez Toto, a French bistro, serves family-style, moderately priced meals. It's near Coconut Square at 13 rue Auguste Brun.
 
L'Assiette du Cagou features a locally inspired menu, with veggies cooked as they would be in the countryside. The room is basic, but the owner mingles with guests. 15 rue Auguste Brun. http://www.leguide.nc/restauration/cuisine-caledonienne/LAssiette-du-Cagou_977
La Chaumiere House features a French menu with Asian and Pacific influences. Items like feta cheese flan, fish pasta, lamb, beef tartare and fish tartare are offered for lunch and dinner. It's closed Sundays. Reservations are recommended. It's located at 13 rue du Dr Guegan, Latin Quartier Latin. 24 27 62
The local beer is 'Number One', and it is a passable drop. There are many French wines to be had, but as a rule, the New Zealand and Australian wines seem to travel better (but that is an Australian opinion, and so open to being questioned). The local water is said to be perfectly safe to drink, but bottled water is easy to find if you are fearful. We stocked our hotel fridge from the neighbourhood general store and effected considerable savings.
For Australians, the idea of 'flat white' coffee is foreign. A short black is 'espresso', capuccino comes heaped high with cream (not froth), and tea is served without milk. The hot chocolate is actual melted chocolate, not a cocoa-based drink, which you may find lovely or disgusting depending on your taste. Fruit juices are pricey but excellent.
 
Shopping
Noumea shops are all within walking distance to the cruise boats. Renowned brands of ready-to-wear, leather goods, perfume, or art deco, are also available. Why not a session of « shopping à la française  (shopping French style)?
Local Markets just off rue Clemenceau, South of the CBD every morning of the week is local markets from approx 5:00am till 10:00am. Where cheap food, arts and crafts can be purchased. It is reminded though, that bartering prices is not common in New Caledonia.
 
It's not Les Halles but Noumea's shopping district is home to boutiques selling French designer labels at reasonable prices. North of the city centre, visit Rue de Sebastopol, Rue Georges Clemenceau, Rue de l'Alma and Rue Jean Jaures for duty-free French lingerie, perfume, shoes and handbags.
Tricot Raye, on 27 Rue de l'Alma, sells designer clothing and the shop's eponymous brand. Phone +687 254 021, see www.tricot-raye.com.




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