Noumea - New Caledonia

August 19th and 31st, 2017 

Noumea (or Numea) is the capital of New Caledonia and the only gateway to the country. In this page we will discuss the various tourist attractions of Noumea and we will provide useful information.


Noumea (sometimes referred as Numea) is the administrative capital of New Caledonia and, with its almost one hundred thousand inhabitants, it is also the largest city in the country. Noumea is located along the south-west coast of the Grande Terre, the main and most extensive island of New Caledonia, and has two airports: the largest, Noumea La Tontouta (NOU), is located about 40 kilometers north of the city and welcomes all international flights, while the smallest, Noumea Magenta (GEA) was recently built right in the downtown, and it is here that all national flights operate by small turboprop aircraft.

Since it is not always possible to connect between international flights and domestic flights on the same day, most visitors to New Caledonia will almost certainly have to spend at least one night in Noumea, regardless of the main destination in the country. In this section of travel-tour-guide web site you will find information on the main attractions of Noumea that can be visited in a few hours, even while waiting for connecting flights operating on the same day, since the national airport is conveniently located in the downtown as said before.

But let's see in details what are the main tourist attractions in Noumea:

Let's now look in more detail, the photos of these beautiful places.

Tjibaou Jean-Marie Tjibaou
The Jean-Marie Tjibaou cultural center is an architectural complex not far from the center of Noumea and close to Magenta national airport. Built in the late '90s on a project by the famous Italian architect Renzo Piano, the structure is dedicated to the memory of the independent leader of the native Kanak community, Jean-Marie Tjibaou, who died following an attack in 1989. The large pavilions designed by Renzo Piano, visible in the distance from most districts of Noumea, join modern international architecture with the traditional one of Kanak culture, belonging to the indigenous tribes of New Caledonia.
Tjibaou - Noumea Tribe in New Caledonia
Contemporary exibition Contemporary art by recycled items
Renzo Piano Noumea

The various pavilions of Tjibaou cultural center in Noumea are connected by a long corridor and host contemporary art exhibitions, archaeological finds, historical documents from New Caledonia and testimonies dedicated to the life of the native tribes of New Caledonia, before and during the France colonization.
Tjibaou cultural center
The large pavilions of Tjibaou cultural center, a meeting point between traditional Kanak and modern architecture.
Traditional Kanak building
The Tjibaou cultural center also houses a large area dedicated to the original Kanak architecture, with the conical houses that can be still seen in traditional villages throughout New Caledonia.
Kanak house
Noumea - New Caledonia
The panorama from Tjibaou cultural center spans onto Noumea and the Pacific Ocean.
Iguana Parc Zoologique Et Forestier Michel Corbasson
Noumea zooAt the top of a hill, not far from the center of Noumea, there is the zoo and the botanical garden (Parc Zoologique Et Forestier Michel Corbasson) dedicated mainly to the native fauna and flora of New Caledonia. For a complete visit you have to plan at least a couple of hours, as this can be a good opportunity to learn more about what, with some luck, you will see directly in nature during your holiday on the islands.
Anse Vata Vata bay
Noumea tourist area Numea
Anse Vata is a beautiful bay located along the main tourist street of Noumea, where there are hotels, restaurants and shops. The beach offers the opportunity for a little relaxation, even if the sea is not comparable to that of the Loyalty Islands or of Isle of Pines.
Water taxi Ilot Canard
Canard island Noumea
From Anse Vata there is a water taxi service that allows visitors to easily get to the nearby islets of Canard and Maitre, where tourists may snorkel or simply relax on the beach. During the summer, the islands host colonies of breeding birds (the areas where they nest are, however, protected by tourists' access).
Lagoon aquarium Aquarium des Lagons Nouvelle Caledonie
The Aquarium of the Lagoon (Aquarium des Lagons Nouvelle Caledonie) is located in Noumea at Anse Vata and houses large tanks with an incredible variety of fish, corals and other marine creatures. It is considered the most beautiful aquarium in the Pacific and for a complete visit it is necessary to plan at least an hour.
Aquarium in New Caledonia
Bubble coral New Caledonia aquarium
Giant clam Sone fish
Mandarin fish Noumea aquarium
Aquarium in Noumea Aquarium in the Pacifico
Some of the creatures that can be observed at Noumea Aquarium. Tropical fishes, endless varieties of coral (including bubble coral), giant clams, dangerous stone fish or mandarin fish, are just a small example of what can be seen here.
Bioluminescence of corals
A section of Noumea aquarium is dedicated to the bioluminescence of mollusks, corals and other creatures, a phenomenon highlighted in a room lit only by a Wood lamp (a lamp that emits light mainly in the ultraviolet spectrum).
Sea turtle Marine turtle
The Noumea aquarium also houses a pool with numerous sea turtles.
Air Caledonie ATR-72 F-OZIP
During a trip to New Caledonia, if you want to visit more islands, you will inevitably spend time in the city airport of Noumea Magenta (GEA), where the ATR-72 and other Air Caledonie turboprop aircraft operate. In the picture, the ATR-72 (F-OZIP) came out of the factory just in 2017 and it is a quiet, comfortable and perfect plane for these short flights between small airports.

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