One of the indisputable jewels of the Pacific, Nouméa is the cosmopolitan gateway to the magical island of New Caledonia. Melding traditional Melanesian culture with tropical French style, there's nowhere on earth quite like Nouméa.
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Beautiful, stylish, relaxed and ever welcoming, Nouméa is a city of unquestionable appeal. With chic cafes, white sandy beaches, ancient culture, world-class shopping and soaring mountains as a backdrop, you'll never want to leave. Only a few hours' flight from Australia's East Coast, Nouméa is the perfect destination for a short break, long weekend or relaxed family holiday.
What are the must-see attractions in Nouméa?
You don't have to look far in Nouméa to find something to see or do on your holiday, but here are some must-see Nouméa attractions to get you started. One of the Pacific's largest capital cities with 100,000 people, Nouméa is the heart of New Caledonia and contains almost all the nation's galleries, cinemas and museums.
Created in 1998 to celebrate the artistic and linguistic heritage of the Kanak people, the traditional owners of New Caledonia, Centre Culturel Tjibaou is an art museum like no other - literally. Designed by world famous architect Renzo Piano, the museum is truly spectacular, with an exterior crafted to resemble a line of 10 traditional village huts. Set on a peninsula just 8km from downtown Nouméa, the museum's architectural silhouette makes it one of the world's most beautiful and imaginative buildings.
Named after the legendary Kanak independence leader Jean-Marie Tjiabaou, the centre celebrates Kanak culture and art, and houses the world's largest permanent collection of contemporary Pacific Art, all surrounded by traditional gardens.
Given that it's a French colony, it's no surprise that Nouméa offers shopping that includes some of France's biggest fashion names. From fragrances, shoes and jewelry, to haute couture clothing and accessories, Nouméa offers the perfect place to revitalize your wardrobe or pick out the perfect souvenir. Be sure not to miss the Promenade, Alma or Sebastopol Street when shopping up a storm.
Nouméa sits at the southern end of the largest island in the New Caledonian archipelago, and as the centre of all things business, you'd be forgiven for thinking that this is all New Caledonia has to offer. You couldn't be more wrong. With the ocean right there at every turn, take some time to explore the beaches of Baie des Citrons and Anse Vata Bay, such as Plage du Méridien and Plage de l'Aquarêve, or head further out of town to Kuendu Beach for some true relaxation.
Whether it's a quick boat ride to some of the smaller Islands just off the coast (Amedee Island, around 18km from Noumea, has one of the best beaches in the country), or a longer side trip to such incredible destinations as the Loyalty Islands or Ile de Pins (Isle of Pines) with their breathtaking snorkelling and deserted white sand beaches, it's well worth getting outside Nouméa and exploring the local countryside. The more adventurous should also find time to climb the nearby Monts de Koghi, which offers spectacular views across the city and surrounding bays. Be sure to take water - it's a steep hike up into the clouds.