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    Travel Tips - Sightseeing & Attractions

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    Noumea, New Caledonia
    Learn some basic French before arriving in Noumea, as most of the locals do not understand English! The taxi service is very unreliable so be prepared to catch a bus. Everything is ridiculously expensive so make sure that you're stocked up with Pacific Francs.
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    Noumea, New Caledonia
    attention a toutes les personnes aui voudrait ce rendre a Noumea car il y a juste une seule hauberge de jeunesse a 1800 cfp soit 15euros par nuit et il faut reserver avant votre venu...sinon c'est les hotels a 80 euros la nuit....
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    Noumea, New Caledonia

    After a week in Noumea here is the round up:

    PROs
    In comparison to other Pacific countries due to the support given to it by France Noumea has well developed infrastructure that a makes holidaying here relatively simple without much concern about getting lost or stressing out.
    It is clean, has good transport, well developed dining and tourist activities. A very easy place to negotiate around with most people speaking some english. Dining out is great.
    CONs
    Due to the income tax system it is relatively more expensive than other islands (excluding Tahiti, another ex colony of France). the quality of activities is not always up to the same level as othe islands.
    We were chaperoning a trip so a lot of the acivities we did were based around seeing the sites, given we were looking out for 16 teenage girls and had no saftey concerns or hassles I can image for the independent travellers it is a very easy experience. Since we had evening free we concentrated on the local cuisine.
    To save money we used the local buses as they run regularly and there is only 3 lines (easy to navigate).
    GENERAL BACKGROUND
    There are two main cultures in Noumea, the Kanak and the French - the French is divided into the locally born and the imports. There is no personal tax which translates to most things are relatively more expensive than other countries. If you go don't count the money just enjoy the experience.
    CULTURAL
    National Museum (not the town museum) - goes into the detail of the Melanesian culture an life. Considering that it is a Pacific Island if you are interested in this type of activity it has a good 2-3 hours of reading. There is a very small section on other Melanesia, Polynesian cultures. The good thing is that it is close to the bus routes and the American Monument so easy to get to. A tradional fixed display museum. If you are looking for something more interesting then go to the Tjibaou Centre (www.adck.nc/) which is well worth the trip.
    ACTIVITES
    Duck Island - just catch a water taxi off the Anse Vata beach (two locations, two companies) and then in 5 minutes youa re there and can snorkel or lie in the beach. Duck Island is a nice 1/2 day on a little island and uncrowded during the weeekdays. Overall I wasn't impressed by the snorkelling as it was very depeleted and obvious that the conservation is not a key workd for the Noumea.
    We also went to Phare Amedee (local light house, which is on the outer reef)- only one company goes out there and it runs at about $300.00 NZD. The lighthouse is located at the reef break and is at least 1/2 hour by high speed ferry to get there (they advertise snorkelling but it is average) You leave in the morning, swim, snorkel, have lunch, watch the cultural show (consists of local dances and drums and honestly in comparison to the one we saw it Fiji it was a distant last place) then a how to get a coconut, open it etc. generally if you stay at any resort outside of Noumea the resort will have these shows for free as a cultural night or at a price which is a lot more reasonable. The price is all inclusive except for snorkel gear.
    You can tell already that if you are into snorkelling Noumea (I haven't seen the rest of New Caledonia so can't assess this) is not the best place. Fiji we found was better on the Coral coast as well as Moorea in Tahiti.
    We also went to the local Aquarium and the Wildlife park. Both are well priced and nice side trips and both are well presented. No need to go into details as they both offer a good variety of animals and knowledge building.
    The aquarium takes about 1 hour and the Wildlife Park (consisting mainly of birds - if you are a bird lover definitely visit it orif youa re with children) takes at least 1/2 a day, take a picnic lunch although there is a cafe there.
    DINING
    This is where Noumeas shines in comparison to Tahiti and Fiji! Absolutely outstanding in what it offers in both variety and quality. We stayed at Anse Vata and dined in that area.
    Avoid the restaurants on the main stretch of road in Anse Vata Bay. As they are tourist aimed and offer no experience for the money charged - New Caledonia has amix of styles avaialble from Creole to European. A focus is on Fish and Steak.
    We dined at:
    Bilboquet - DO NOT DINE HERE very average and over charged basically a franchise restaurant with no finesse (more a get them in get them out style)
    Fun Beach - An good menu and overlooks Anse Vata we were overall happy with it. Meals were good but service almost had a feel of "I'm only working here because I have to" to it.
    Le Rocher - this is a creperie and the view overlooks Baie de Citron. Location is brilliant, food is great (its galette and crepe), atmosphere is friendly and welcoming (I'd say it is a local haunt) and great value as well so if you want to try galette or crepe then this is the place. It is not 5 star dining though but more of an down to earth experience. Did I say view is great!
    3 Brasseur - based in Baie de Citron and is a pub with own micro brewery think Belgium pub. The service, location, atmosphere is all in line with what you expect from a pub and the meals are massive! The desserts are massive! I thought they were trying to feed me for the whole entire next day.
    Mirelli-gascon - We came across this seafood restaurant on the last day by asking a local for a ecommendation. What can I say. It is not the cheapest but it has a local feeling (it is in an old converted house) the service is very good, it has a good wine list and the selection of food is great and top notch. Of all the places this really topped it off.
    Le Roof - we checked this out because it was over water in Anse Vata but didn't get past the menu board as it was over priced and had a very average selction of food (also a local had recommended we don't go there). Based on the location (the food and service may still be good?) we summarised that they may have become lazy due to location and the romanticism of the location.

    In general Baie de Citron offers a wide selection of restaurants and is worth a visit. Make sure you ask the locals for recommendations as these are only the tip of the iceberg.
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