What To See and Do in Noumea

The top things to enjoy in Noumea, New Caledonia

Amedee Lighthouse, New Caledonia
Image Courtesy of Malene Holm

For a holiday or vacation in New Caledonia, Noumea will probably be your first stop. As the provincial capital of New Caledonia, and home to two thirds of the population, the city has a huge range of places to visit and things to do. Here's a list of some of the best.

Walks and Hikes

Anse Vata and Baie de Citron

These are Noumea's two best beaches, separated by a small headland and close to the city's hotels and resorts. The best spot is at the northern end of Anse Vata (near the Chateau Royal (formerly Royal Tera) and Meridian resorts) where the beach is set back further from the road.

Ouen Toro Lookout

Located a short drive from Anse Vata, the lookout provides a 360 degree view of the city and coastline. There are also numerous walking trails to explore in the vicinity, including a track which starts near the northern end of Anse Vata beach.

Swimming, snorkeling, sun and sea

Amedee Lighthouse

Take the MaryD boat to Amedee Lighthouse for a day trip to this tall lighthouse on a very small but gorgeous island, just 15 miles (24 kilometers) south west of Noumea.

  • Image of Amedee Lighthouse

Snorkeling with Aquanature

This half day or full day trip will show you some of the best reefs and marine life in the New Caledonia lagoon.

Duck Island (L'ile aux canards)

Just offshore, and accessible by water taxi from Ansa Vata beach, you can swim, snorkel or enjoy some cafe food on this tiny island.


Noumea Aquarium

Learn about New Caledonia's marine life, 70% of which is not found anywhere else in the world.

  • Noumea Aquarium

Michel-Corbasson Zoo and Forest Park

A great collection of the amazing indigenous wildlife of New Caledonia. Like the marine life, much of the flora and fauna is unique to the archipelago.

History and Culture

Tjibaou Cultural Center

This magnificent structure, inspired by the indigenous Kanak culture, houses one of the most important collections of historical and contemporary Melanesian art in the world. Also allow time to explore the beautiful grounds.

  • Tjibaou Cultural Center

Noumea Museum

This traces the development of Noumea from pre European to modern times with fascinating displays and exhibits.

  • Noumea City Museum

Museum of New Caledonia

This museum highlights the culture and history of the Kanak and other Pacific tribal cultures.

Maritime Museum

A glimpse into the history and adventure in New Caledonia's relationship with the sea, including vivid accounts of traders and details of the many wrecks which have found their way onto the world's second largest reef.

Note: Purchase a Nature and Culture Pass for discounted entry to the six venues above. Passes are available from any of the locations or from tourist information centers.

St Josephs Cathedral

Built in 1890, this Gothic cathedral in one of the finest buildings in Noumea. It's just a short walk for the town center.

Food and Wine

La Cave Wine Shop

The best selection of fine wine in Noumea with a range of well chosen (and reasonably priced) wines from the great regions of France. There are wines from other countries too.

  • La Cave is at 113 route de l'Anse Vata.
  • La Cave Wine Shop

Chocolat Morand

See chocolate delicacies being made through the window of this high class chocolate shop in Noumea's Quartier Latin. There is a dazzling array of beautiful cakes and chocolate treats on sale.

  • Chocolat Morand is at 9 Rue Eugene Porcheron, Noumea
  • Chocolat Morand

Noumea Market

This runs every day from 6am until noon and has a huge array of fresh fish, meat, vegetables and other foods, all at reasonable prices.

  • Scenes from Noumea Market

Supermarket Johnston

Visit this (or any other Noumea supermarket for that matter) and grab some cheese, French bread and a bottle of wine for a memorable and very inexpensive meal on the beach.

Dining and Entertainment

Baie de Citron and Anse Vata restaurants.

This is the cafe strip of Noumea and there are many excellent places to choose from.

Images of Noumea

  • Downtown Noumea
  • Islands Near Noumea
  • Noumea Beaches
  • Noumea Market
  • Noumea Museums, Aquarium and Tjibaou Cultural Center
  • Royal Tera Hotel and Spa Resort

Noumea Accommodation

Liam Naden and Malene Holm traveled to New Caledonia courtesy of Aircalin and New Caledonia Tourism.