Take a day trip to an offshore island
L’ile aux Canards, or Duck Island, is a just a two minute water taxi ride from Anse Vata pier and is ideal for those looking to while an afternoon away. You can swim at the beach, kick back under an umbrella, or if you’d like a meal and a drink, you can enjoy lunch under a traditional thatched fare. On land there’s a both a nature trail and an art trail to explore, while offshore, the shallow 400 metre underwater trail is well marked and has signs that help identify the multitude of marine inhabitants.
All aboard the Tchoutchou train
The tchou tchou train is an excellent way to get your bearings around the city of Nouméa. Departing from the famous Anse Vata, it runs twice a day, except on Sundays, and completes a wide circuit of the city. Aside from getting a feel for Noumea’s sights it’s also relatively inexpensive entertainment for families with kids. It departs from 10am on Mondays and at 3pm on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Tickets can be bought from the driver.
Relax at one of the day spas
For the ultimate in indulgence, visit the spa Chateau Royal with its aquatonic spa pool, which is the largest in Noumea. The city also has a host of other options – both hotels and institutes – around for a chilled out day. Treatments options include hamam, massage, spa and sauna.
Find out more: Le Meridien Noumea & Aqua Royal Spa.
Be the big cheese
One of the best things about New Caledonia is its selection of exquisite French cheeses. Despite New Zealand dairy making inroads and local producers starting new artisan creameries, most fromage on the shelves of Nouméa’s supermarkets and specialist cheese shops is imported from mainland France. Pick some up along with a freshlybaked baguette and a fine French wine. For the real aficionados, the Le Méridien, Chateau Royal in Nouméa and Sheraton Deva Resort and Spa in Bourail have French cheese festivals in June.
A segway tour of Nouméa zoo
Video: Segway in New Caledonia
Nouméa’s botanical gardens also houses the city’s zoo. The Parc Zoologique et Forestier is a veritable urban park only minutes from the city centre in the Vallée du Tir suburb. The gardens are home to the elusive Cagou, New Caledonia’s national bird, as well as hundreds of other endemic flora and fauna found nowhere else on Earth. One of the best ways to get around the sprawling site is on a Segway personal transporter.
Stop for a pint
Craft beer lovers are not left wanting in Nouméa. Although its famous lager Number One dominates, you can try a wider selection of beverages in the numerous bars, cafés and clubs that are popular spots for visiting Australians and New Zealanders.
Find Nemo behind glass
For undersea action, head to the city's main fish tank, L'Aquarium des lagons, which reopened in 2007 in a start-of-heart building. Sitting on a headland between Anse Vata and the Baie des Citrons, the aquarium also offers one of the best views in Noumea. Find out more
Discover the beautiful Kuendu Beach
For another memorable coastal option, Kuendu Beach is located just 10 minutes away from the city centre and possesses a beautiful sandy stretch which is very popular among local families. Nearby hotels also offer multiple activities (waterslides, a restaurant, kayaking and stand-up paddle boarding) and you can also visit the remains of Fort Tereka.
Nouméa from a top scenic lookout