• Photo: Tony Moran / Shutterstock


Noumea, located at the southern end of Grand Terre (the principal island of New Caledonia), has a perfect location on a large peninsula surrounded by several bays, the main being Moselle Bay. While not quite Paris with palm trees, the capital city does have a cosmopolitan feel, with French restaurants, a few luxurious hotels, and some expensive French fashions in the shops. The stunning views from a number of hotels and restaurants are also a big bonus. Visitors love the affordable French influences, like the freshly-baked baguettes served at the many cafes and the fact that the city has a Quartier Latin (Latin Quarter) dotted with bistros. The Melanesian marketplace, the island time attitudes, and the coral-filled beaches do remind visitors that they're most definitely in the South Pacific.

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