It's time to discover the capital, Nouméa, a blend of the Oceanian and French ways of life with extra fun thrown in for good measure. There's plenty to do here, from visiting museums to jet-skiing off to the nearby islands or lingering over your walk along the beach as you party in the many bars and night clubs.
After seeing the capital of New Caledonia as a simple transition stage between the bush and the islands for 5 days, it was high time to get out and explore it and make the most of its "French touch".
This began with breakfast, with croissants and pains au chocolat from the Hilton's La Terrasse restaurant, because our 6 travellers needed to build up their strength to face an activity-filled morning.
First stop is Nouville Peninsula, to board some powerful waterskis, courtesy of Locajet. Éric, the instructor, takes safety very seriously. He explains the simple yet vital rules to remember while on board a jetski, to ensure that the group has no accidents, and then tells them the route they'll be taking for the day. Then, sitting in pairs, the Caledodreamers gradually build up their confidence and forge on to Escapade Island, and then to the shallow crystal waters of Goéland Island. When they get there, the sensation of bathing in clear waters that are just three feet deep, so far from the coast, amuses and surprises the whole group. A picnic on Larégnère Island is an opportunity for the group to calm down and feel what it's like to be one of the local Nouméa populace on a camping, beach or volleyball weekend.
On returning to the hotel for a decent shower, the Caledodreamers are surprised to see 3 electric Mini Mokes from Nouméa Beach Car waiting for them in front of the main reception. The party atmosphere really sets in and the group boogies in the buggies while they enjoy a tour of the city. From the vantage point of Ouen Toro they get a wonderful panoramic view over all of southern Nouméa and during the next stop at Lemon Bay, some delicious ice cream is the order of the day.
There's a change of pace in the late afternoon, with a visit to the magnificent Tjibaou Cultural Centre. Guided by New Cal Outdoors, the group then discovers this Oceanian cultural hotspot whose architecture is a completely unique blend of Kanak tradition and contemporary art, against a backdrop of greenery right next to the sea. This is an opportunity to find out about the country's eventful history and cultural heritage. This entails exhibition rooms, botanical gardens and traditional huts extending up to a wonderful vantage point over the whole centre as the sun goes down.
Then the evening gets off to a good start with a "red, white and blue" aperitif in the colours of France, accompanied by the sampling of cheeses, wine and cold meats, in a very trendy bar downtown with decor that is unusual as it is sophisticated. Members of the Chai de l’Hippodrome team explain the origin of each wine and cheese in detail, while the group bathes in a warm and welcoming atmosphere. Linda, Ethan and Aya then really bond over making cocktails together!
Our 6 adventurers decide the evening can't stop there, they decide they're going to "dance the night away" and head off enthusiastically for the many bars and clubs of Anse Vata…