Aerial view of the Tjibaou Cultural CenterAerial view of the Tjibaou Cultural Center
©Aerial view of the Tjibaou Cultural Center|M. Dosdane / NCT

Tjibaou Cultural Centre

Nouméa

The Tjibaou Cultural Centre is an essential cultural destination to include in your Nouméa itinerary. Offering insights into the customs and traditions of the Kanak tribes, this stunning complex is dedicated to Kanak and Oceanic arts and cultures. It encompasses an art centre, museum, performance venues, a media library, and a serene wooded park bordering the mangrove swamp. Amidst towering columnar pines and ten monumental cases designed by renowned architect Renzo Piano, you’ll embark on a captivating journey into Melanesian culture.

Situated in the Tina district of Nouméa, not far from Nouméa-Magenta domestic airport and a mere 8 km (15 minutes) from the city centre, the cultural centre is easily accessible. Here are various transportation options:

  • By bus: Take Line N2 (Tanéo), serving multiple stops between Place Moselle and Centre Tjibaou. Please note that this line doesn’t operate on weekends and public holidays.
  • By taxi: It couldn’t be more convenient! Simply call one of Nouméa’s Taxis at 28.35.12 (available 24/7).
  • Private shuttles: Explore a list of authorised transport providers.
  • By car: If you have your own vehicle, you’ll find directions to the Tjibaou Centre via the provided link. On-site parking is complimentary for visitors.
  • Allocate approximately two hours for a comprehensive tour of the center and its gardens.
  • Note that the museum is closed on Mondays.
  • Strongly recommend using mosquito repellent and wearing closed shoes.
  • As the day draws to a close, the lighting accentuates the architectural beauty of the building!

1. Admire the architecture designed by Renzo Piano

Tjibaou Cultural Centre: A window on the Kanak culture
Tjibaou Cultural Centre: A window on the Kanak culture
Tjibaou Cultural Centre: A window on the Kanak culture

Did you know that Renzo Piano, the celebrated architect of the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, envisioned and designed the Tjibaou Cultural Centre? The museum’s towering “huts” are directly inspired by traditional Kanak architecture. With their deliberately unfinished appearance, they serve as a reminder that Kanak culture is continually evolving. Constructed with steel and Iroko wood, these huts range in height from 20 to 28 meters. An avenue lined with columnar pines connects the huts, forming three distinct villages, each dedicated to a specific purpose.

2. Walk "Kanak path”

Adjacent to the museum, don’t overlook the “chemin Kanak” (Kanak Path)! This outdoor trail retraces the myth of the first man, Téâ Kanaké, symbolised by native plants and their language. An enthralling guided tour covers the five stages of this initiatory journey. The tour unfolds in an 8-hectare park adorned with trees, immersing visitors in nature and vernacular legends. In addition to traditional huts, a faré (communal house) and several dance and performance areas blend harmoniously into the natural landscape. Challenge yourself to identify the houp and kaori trees, distinctive to New Caledonia! Finally, for a breathtaking view of the lagoon, head to the belvedere overlooking Magenta Bay or the statue of Jean-Marie Tjibaou atop the hill.

3. Explore Kanak and Oceanian art

Since its inauguration on May 4, 1998, the Tjibaou Cultural Centre has been committed to showcasing the island’s indigenous culture, particularly its arts. The collection of contemporary Kanak and Oceanian art comprises over 600 works from Australia and the Pacific Islands, including New Caledonia. Many of these works are on permanent display for visitors. Additionally, the center hosts rotating temporary exhibitions featuring various works from the Fonds d’Art Contemporain Kanak et Océanien (FACKO). Don’t miss the artist residencies in the Bérétara and Kavitara rooms!

4. Attend a Cultural Performance

Leverage the unique setting of the Tjibaou Cultural Centre to enjoy cultural and festive performances. Whether it’s dance, theatre, conferences, music festivals, or open-air cinema, the centre’s four dedicated spaces host a diverse range of shows. Check out the events calendar for details!

5. Join a guided family tour

There’s nothing quite like a guided tour to uncover the wonders of the Tjibaou Cultural Centre! On the first Saturday of every month, the centre organizes a family discovery day called Beu Ya. During this event, visitors engage in welcoming customs, culinary preparations, and the language of plants—an ideal workshop-tour for families with children! Additionally, the “animated Kanak trail” unveils the secrets of the first man’s myth every Tuesday afternoon. Accompanied by percussion and dance, this interactive journey delves into the world of plants. Classic guided tours are also available in the mornings and afternoons, requiring advance reservation.

Practical information

Address

Rue des Accords de MatignonTina, Nouméa

Prices

Full price1000XPF
Reduced price500XPF

Opening hours

  • Tuesday 09:00 - 17:00
  • Wednesday 09:00 - 17:00
  • Thursday 09:00 - 17:00
  • Friday 09:00 - 17:00
  • Saturday 09:00 - 17:00
  • Sunday 09:00 - 16:00
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