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robert1234 Nov 11th, 2004 05:45 PM

Anyone have any feedback on the Parkroyal hotel (park hotel) in noumea, new caledonia?

kerikeri Nov 12th, 2004 05:14 PM

hi robert-

i would go back to the vanuatu idea!

the beaches in noumea's main drag are not tropical/south pacificy. they are great for windsurfing - constant wind- in fact the kitesurf capital of the south pacific.

the park royal is central, but the le meridien is a nicer hotel all around.

the feeling of staying in noumea is like booking a hotel on miami beach- constant activity, restaurants, strollers, cafes, not tropical isolation.

tropo Nov 13th, 2004 10:57 AM

I agree with Kerikeri. Do Vanuata instead, unless you can afford a little bit more money, and go to the Isle of Pines.

Lyndie Nov 13th, 2004 05:41 PM

The Novotel Surf in Noumea is not bad for a couple of days and their restaurant is very good. Get the Betico ferry out to Isle of Pines and stay at Nataiwatch or Oure Lodge and enjoy 2 of the best beaches anywhere in the world! Good luck.

robert1234 Nov 14th, 2004 05:29 PM

Thanks for the advice.
It is hard to decide as both countries sound lovely.

I heard the le meridien had lots of japanese tourists which although nothing is wrong with that, is not the expeirince I was after.

libretango Nov 23rd, 2004 12:23 PM

I agree w/others. I left Noumea and headed direct to Ilse des Pins -- and Loyalty Islands--most beautiful beaches anywhere--like sugar and no crowds

Stayed at somewhere on Kuto Bay and Kanamera Beach on one side of bay to other. Stayed at Gite Ouri I think--one was new and had gites were built hout of ironwood trees!! Just a great place. Only French and Japanese seem to know about it. Good luck

robert1234 Nov 24th, 2004 05:13 PM

what's the shopping like there?

Lyndie Nov 24th, 2004 07:45 PM

Hi robert1234- I was disappointed at the shopping in New Caledonia. Did not find any duty free bargains, clothes, shoes etc are expensive because the currency is aligned to the Euro compared with say, the Cook Islands which is aligned to the NZ$ making it a very cheap destination compared to New Cal. However, the beaches & the food are spectacular. Don't go to the Sth Pacific for shopping. Better Thailand or Hong Kong. All the best.

basketcase Nov 24th, 2004 11:04 PM

I am in the early process of planning a trip to New Caledonia but have so much mixed feedback about the country.

I have checked out prices for Ilse of Pines and they are very expensive. If you catch the catarmaran it is worth just a day trip? Or just one night?

Would like to snorkel, see some beach and a visit to the caves, Maybe a bushwalk? Are the reefs ok? I heard there is one that goes to the beach.

Also read about staying in tribal huts, are these ok. Sounds fun but without first seeing a bit hard to commit.

Is 10 days in Noumea and Isle of Pines too long? Are the restaurants good as France?

So many question maybe I just go and answer for myself, getting too wary in my old age.

Still any resposne will be appreciated.

Lyndie Nov 25th, 2004 08:41 PM

I posted here before with a trip report and it disappeared so I'll summarise here, now. IDP is Isle of Pines (Ille de Pins).

1. Betico ferry is OK but I'd rather fly as the crossing can be rough. A day trip would be too rushed, imho.

2. Gite Nataiwatch on IDP is in the best position for local huts. Huts are basic but comfy. They were full when we went in May 2004. Best beach is 20-30 metres away. We stayed at Gite Manamaky it was OK but their beach is very shallow and you cannot swim there.

3. Oure Lodge is another place. It is around 4 times the price of Nataiwatch. Gorgeous bungalows VERY near the beach. You get what you pay for. It's around $US400 per night.

4. The food in New Cal is fabulous, however it is expensive. i.e. US140 for 3 course dinner with wine at Novotel Surf's restaurant. The same meal in Oz would be around 20% less.

5. 10 days is perfect. We had 5 days in Noumea and 5 days on Isle of Pines. Just right although the 2 beaches on IDP near Oure & Nataiwatch are fabulous and the water is clear crystal blue.

6. Airport transfers are a real rip-off. Around US26 per person to go 45 mins in a cramped minibus.

7. It is all worth the hassle & the money. Our favourite South Pacific Islands. Fiji just does not compare!

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