New Caledonia Journals

France's Best Kept Secret

A November 2002 trip to New Caledonia by rodeime

citron Photo, New Caledonia, South Pacific More Photos
Quote: New Caledonia is the third largest island in the Pacific Region after Papua New Guinea and New Zealand. It is located in southern Melanesia, at a latitude of 19°-23° south and at a longitude of 158°-172° east. The island is situated about 1,500 km from Australia, 1,700 km from New Zealand, 5,000 km from Tahiti, 7,000 km from Japan, 10,000 km from the West Coast of the USA and 20,000 km from France. It had been 30 years since my first visit to Noumea on a long since scrapped P&O cruise ship and the changes were remarkable. New Caledonia Tourism Website.

France's Best Kept Secret


Most people visit New Caledonia (and capital Noumea) either as a passenger on a cruise ship or on a tour packpage. The large hotels are world standard, particularly the Novotel and swish Le Meridien. Meal inclusive packages at Novotel are good value, as is a DIY condo-style stay at somewhere like Casa del Sole.Quick Tips: New Caledonia is relatively expensive compared to its island neighbours (Australia, NZ,Vanuatu, Fiji etc) If you are travelling on a budget, there is a lot to be said for buying your own groceries and snacks. There is only one McDonalds in Noumea and a (universal) Big Mac is about US.00.Best Way To Get Around: The capital Noumea is a relatively small city, so it's n...Read More
Casa del Sole Photo, Noumea, New Caledonia
The Casa del Sole is a self-contained, DIY condo-style apartment that allows you to look after yourself. You can shop for yourself at the local supermarket and cook back at the "flat".

Noumea is generally a bit pricey for the region, mainly because the French insist on having French stuff everywhere which has to be brought from the other side of the world.

The furnishings are a bit plain, but perfectly usable. Now is a good time to stay there because everything is still nice and new. Their web site is here

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on August 11, 2003

Casa del Sole
BP. 3340 Cedex Baie des Citrons
Noumea, Grand Terre 98846

Tjibaou Cultural Center

Attraction | "Tjibaou Cultural Centre"

Tjibaou Cultural Center Photo, Noumea, New Caledonia
The Tjibaou Cultural Centre is a mix of modern architecture and Melanesian culture. The award-winning centre houses numerous indigenous displays as well as the mandatory cafe and souvenir shop. The cultural displays extend to dance, art and a native village recreation.

You can get there by bus or taxi, but the Petit Train is great idea too. Entry is about US$5 per adult.

Web site is here.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on August 11, 2003

Tjibaou Cultural Center
Rue des Accords de Matignon, Tina
Noumea, Grand Terre 98845

Amedee Lighthouse Island

Attraction | "Amedee Lighthouse Day Trip"

Amedee Lighthouse Island Photo, Noumea, New Caledonia
A day trip to the historic Phare Amedee is a true desert island experience, bundled with Polynesian dancers, great tucker, swimming, snorkeling, and even a glass bottomed boat. The tiny little atoll of Phare Amedee is the home to the historic lighthouse erected during the reign of Napoleon III in 1865 and used to guide ships into the huge, treacherous lagoon. Today it is a tourist destination where you can explore the lighthouse or just lie on the beach. The day trip includes a pretty decent lunch, some drinks, and entertainment. For me the day was a bit too long, but maybe I just need drink more and learn how to relax. The view from the top of the ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on August 11, 2003

Amedee Lighthouse Island

Noumea, Grand Terre

train Photo, Noumea, New Caledonia
Even if your stay in New Caledonia only includes the capital, Noumea, there are still plenty of ways to stay busy and entertained during a several day stay. Watersport and aquatic activities abound, including scuba-diving, snorkeling, sailing, wind-surfing, and just plain lying on the sand.

A visit to the architecturally acclaimed Tjibaou Cultural Centre gives an insight into the local Kanak traditions and a day trip to the historic Phare Amedee lighthouse is a true desert island experience, bundled with Polynesian dancers, great tucker, swimming, snorkeling, and even a glass bottomed boat.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 11, 2003

French is Back on the Menu

Best Of IgoUgo


citron Photo, New Caledonia, South Pacific
Let's face it, finding a suitable holiday destination is a bit of a challenge at the moment. For all the reasons we're bombarded with, many of our most popular destinations are off the 'must do' list for now. On the flip-side, other locations, particularly domestic, are coming back into vogue. Some of our near international neighbours are also experiencing something of a renaissance, particularly New Caledonia, where visitors are rediscovering the exotic blend of French and Melanesian cultures in the idyllic South Pacific setting. Always a popular cruise destination, P&O's brand new Pacific Princess recently visited the capital, Noumea, on its maiden voyage. Noumea is also w...Read More

About the Writer


Sydney, Australia

More New Caledonia Journals

Way to go
Little French Paradise
Noumea Getaway