From the bustling atmosphere of the Port Moselle markets to sophisticated French boutiques, classic colonial architecture to the unique Kanak culture, Noumea abounds with things to do and beautiful places to visit – there’s something for all ages and all tastes.
Feel like educating yourself? Noumea’s museums and cultural centre will meet your needs. Make your choice between Tjibaou Cultural centre, one of the masters of modern architecture and home to many South Pacific ancient artefacts, the Museum of New Caledonia, dedicated to the archaeology and ethnology of the region or The Noumea Municipal Museum, built in 1874 and that retraces the development of Noumea.
Wandering around the markets, you can also experience European culture as you shop alfresco style and then take some time to enjoy a coffee and croissant at a local café. The Port Moselle Market is open daily from 5 – 11:30am (except Mondays) and is busy with locals and tourists alike.
New Caledonia holidays and festivals take place throughout the year. Besides the larger regional and national events, most villages will have special celebrations often related to food, harvest, sport, or religion.
|March||Sacred Festival of the Yam|
|The festival marks the beginning of the yam harvest, and is the most important event in the Kanak calendar. When the yams are declared ready by the elders, they are pulled up and presented to the older clansmen and the chief, signalling the beginning of the harvest. The yams are blessed the following day by the priest, then distributed among the villagers.|
|April||Giant Omelette Festival, Par Fayard|
|Held the second weekend following Easter, this festival features the making of a giant omelette to commemorate Napoleon’s army being fed omelette by Southern French villagers, as a show of charity during wartime. Around a dozen chefs make a huge 3.5 metre diameter omelette using some 7,000 eggs, which is then shared by everyone.|
|April||New Caledonia Triathlon|
|New Caledonia Triathlon is a major sporting event, with over 300 athletes from around the world competing. There are four categories: elite, adults, teams, and children. To coincide with the fun, there are pasta parties and entertainment such as music and dance shows|
|May||Avocado Festival, Mare|
|Held in April, the Avocado Festival has become one of the most important cultural events in New Caledonia for two reasons; it places a high value on the work of the agricultural community; and secondly offers the possibility of a home stay experience within the tribe. Numerous leisure activities, tastings, music and traditional dances are held to celebrate the avocado.|
|Enjoy a great taste of France! The “French Cheese Festival” is an amazing buffet with over 130 cheese specialties presented by a “Maître fromagier” or cheese master. For over 20 years, award-winning French cheese masters visit Noumea to share their incredible knowledge and tastings of an amazing variety of speciality French cheeses and wines.|
|Bastille Day, held on July 14th each year, is a national holiday in France and New Caledonia, marked with a military parade, fireworks, music, and dancing.|
|This three day agricultural and craft fair in Bourail, a small town on the West Coast of New Caledonia, is held each year during in mid August. Each stand combines a convivial and entertaining atmosphere with a showcase of the best authentic local products available. From stock-car racing, motocross, tasting of local specialties, sheep dogs, wood chopping, horse riding, the very popular rodeo, catch it all over the three day programme. One event not to be missed.|
|August||New Caledonia Marathon|
|The New Caledonia International Marathon has become a major event in the New Caledonian sporting calendar. It was established in 1983 in collaboration with the Japanese city of Tachikawa. Every year it sees the return of a growing group of loyal participants and attracts more and more high-level international competitors who travel from Europe, Africa, Pacific Islands and South Japan to participate in this prestigious event.|
|October||Vanilla Festival, Lifou|
|Lifou is world renowned for the quality of product with one of the most popular being the vanilla plantations. Throughout the Vanilla Festival visitors can experience choral singing, Kaneka concerts, traditional dancing, vanilla plantation visits, guided hikes, and the Miss Lifou Tourism pageant|