Relax on Anse-Vata beachRelax on Anse-Vata beach
©Relax on Anse-Vata beach|Anaëlle Chretien & Steven Lequertier

24 hours in Nouméa

Anaëlle and Steven's good ideas

Today, Steven and I invite you to spend a day exploring Nouméa and immersing yourself in the unique atmosphere of this cosmopolitan seaside capital. Experience the gentle oceanic vibe and urban pleasures through our favourite activities and spots.

Anaëlle and StevenAnaëlle and Steven
©Anaëlle and Steven
Anaëlle and Steven

Anaëlle and Steven are content creators who have recently settled in New Caledonia. For NCT, they agreed to share their favourite places and other good ideas, which they document in photos and videos during their getaways. From the mainland to the islands, from their favourite walks to the best shopping spots, Anaëlle and Steven take you on a journey to discover the must-see attractions in New Caledonia. Follow their adventures on @anaellechretienoff and @stevenlqr.

What we really love about New Caledonia is the diversity of its landscapes, from the sea to the mountains.

Anaëlle and Steven

Get going on the Promenade Vernier

Ever since we arrived, we’ve regularly seen people exercising on the Pierre-Vernier promenade along the lagoon. Steven and I thought that one day we too would have to try out this 4 km route that runs from Anse-Vata to Sainte-Marie Bay.

It’s a fantastic place where you can do all sorts of activities: running, cycling, rollerblading, skateboarding, and more, on the pedestrian path or the soft mobility path. But you can also put together your own programme thanks to the many small sports facilities. It’s super cool.

And there’s a really friendly atmosphere on the Promenade. You can come with your family or meet up with other people to share an activity. And with the small benches available, you can sit facing the sea. It’s truly calming.

Colourful shopping at the Nouméa Market

After exercising, you can replenish your energy at Nouméa’s municipal market. Caledonians call it Marché Moselle, after the bay where it is located. Built on the water’s edge, it’s located right next to the city centre, so it’s easily accessible by public transport. Departures for Nouméa’s islets are right next door.

At the market, you can buy local fruits and vegetables that add colour to the stalls. You can also find freshly caught fish, delivered directly from the sea! As the fishmongers have their own faré (light shelters made from plants) on the waterfront, it makes for a really nice atmosphere.

Several traders also sell souvenirs and local crafts, so it’s a good opportunity to do some shopping for the family. And because they’re so welcoming, it’s easy to chat with them, and with the Nouméans who are having a coffee at the snack bar.

Place des Cocotiers, the place to be

The Place des Cocotiers (Coconut Square) is the place to be in the town centre. Steven and I often go there because it’s a great place to relax under the sun, have lunch or a snack under the beautiful flamboyant trees or in one of the restaurants on the square.

From here, you can easily continue on a shopping spree thanks to the many boutiques nearby. If you’re more in the mood for cultural exploration, the Musée de la Ville (Town Museum) will help you learn more about Nouméa’s history, as will the various historical routes that start in the city centre.

There are also many events on the square throughout the year. Garage sales, themed markets where you can buy products from the different regions, islands, and communities of the Caillou (a nickname for New Caledonia), as well as concerts, open-air screenings, shows, you name it. You’ll often have the opportunity to enjoy a free event, with your family or friends.

Soak up Kanak culture

at the Tjibaou Cultural Centre

The Tjibaou Cultural Centre is a unique place entirely dedicated to Kanak culture and art. You can get there by car or bus in less than half an hour from the city centre. Built in the 90s by Italian architect Renzo Piano, it is impressive for its height and size.

Inside, you can explore permanent and temporary exhibitions on Kanak art and the history of its construction. There’s also as a specialised media library and an auditorium. Outside, the large garden allows you to wander freely and discover plant species, legends, and symbols that are important to the Kanak world.

What really stood out for us with Steven were the traditional huts by the water, where you can go in and find out how they were built, the meaning of each element, and see the materials up close. It’s genuinely fascinating.

Stroll and indulge yourself on Anse-Vata

Anse-Vata is a must for me. There are lots of boutiques for shopping, but also plenty of restaurants facing the sea. A lot of Nouméans stop here for lunch during the week, or to have brunch and stroll around at the weekend. It’s also where the shuttle buses leave for the Île aux Canards (Duck Island).

I really like this spot; you have such an unobstructed view. And with the installation of the new farés, you can also enjoy the place in a different way. You don’t have to be beach-side only: you can sit out of the sun between two shopping sessions or eat your waffle or ice-cream looking out over the water.

Anse-Vata is a popular spot for families, who come here for picnics and swimming, just as they do at the Baie des Citrons (Lemon Bay). But it’s also a meeting place for water sports enthusiasts, who spend their time on the water all year round.

Sunset at Baie des Citrons

with your feet in the sand

We often go to the Baie des Citrons, Steven and I , for the sunset: watching the sun go down with a cocktail, our feet in the sand—it’s truly a magical moment.

There are lots of bars, restaurants, trendy boutiques, and craft shops, and even the Aquarium des Lagons. It’s great to be able to do several activities in one place.

You can eat in the restaurants opposite the beach, enjoy one of the many concerts organised in the bars and hotels on the seafront, and extend the evening on the dancefloor. There’s always something happening in the bays.

Anaëlle and Steven's good ideas

Find out more about all their adventures!