On your first visit to a Noumea museum or site, ask about buying the ‘Pass Nature & Culture’. It costs 1700 CFP but it gives you entry to three museums, the aquarium, the Tjibaou Cultural Centre and the zoo and botanical gardens.
There is free public wi-fi around Place des Cocotiers and in a number of cafes and bars.
Cyber Nouméa Center Internet, printing, photocopying, DVDs, CDs....you name it, they can do it here.
The Office du Tourisme has excellent free maps of Noumea, New Caledonia and individual maps of the main islands.
ATMs that accept major credit cards are outside most banks.
Banque BNP Paribas Usefully located at the heart of Anse Vata.
Banque Calédonienne d’Investissement Good location near Place des Cocotiers in central Noumea.
Banque Société Générale Good location in the centre of Noumea; Western Union representative.
The main office of the Office des Postes et Télécommunications (OPT) has a poste restante and fax service, and there’s an ATM outside the building. There’s also a post office on Route de Anse Vata, on the way to the beach. Buy SIM cards here.
First chance, pick up the free Weekly from airports, tourist sites, hotels, Office du Tourisme etc. Also get the monthly entertainment guide NC Pocket (www.sortir.nc) for the month’s festivals, exhibitions, concerts and Jeudis du Centre Ville themes.
Office de Tourisme The very friendly staff offer practical information in English or French. The office walls are layered with pamphlets about every activity and service and the website is very good.
Office du Tourisme, Anse Vata It’s a little smaller than the office in the city centre, but the service is just as good.
Companies that organise transport, tours and accommodation within New Caledonia:
Arc en Ciel Voyages Arranges tickets for travelling or touring anywhere, including day trips to the islands.
Caledonia Spirit Expect friendly and efficient service at this small agency in Le Village. It specialises in the islands and has an excellent website.
Travel with Children
Face it, the children just want to stay on the beach, swimming and building sand castles at Anse Vata or Baie des Citrons. But if anything will drag them away, it’s a ride on the Tchou Tchou Train. A visit to the aquarium is a must: endlessly entertaining and the perfect introduction to a trip out in a glass-bottom boat.
There’s a children’s playground at Baie de l’Orphelinat off Rue du Général de Gaulle, and another next to the public swimming pool at Ouen Toro, just past Anse Vata. Or head to Le Marché: there’s a buzz of activity, plenty to buy, and opposite, in the car park, children’s fair rides.