Noumea, New Caledonia

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The first stop on the Celebrity Solstice Pacific Island Cruise was Noumea, New Caledonia. From Wikipedia:

Nouméa (French pronunciation: [numeˈa]) is the capital city of the French special collectivity of New Caledonia. It is situated on a peninsula in the south of New Caledonia’s main island, Grande Terre, and is home to the majority of the island’s European,Polynesian (WallisiansFutuniansTahitians), Indonesian, and Vietnamese populations, as well as many MelanesiansNi-Vanuatu and Kanaks that work in one of the South Pacific‘s most industrialised cities. The city lies on a protected deepwater harbour which serves as the chief port for New Caledonia.

In preparation for touring this island, I converted some US cash to the Pacific Franc. For $200 American, I got 18,500 Pacific Francs – plus $2 and change US back! I suddenly felt very rich!

Franc Currency
Franc Currency

The port itself is not glamorous – it is a cargo port.

Noumea, New Caledonia Cargo Port
Noumea, New Caledonia Cargo Port
Noumea, New Caledonia, Better View from ship
Noumea, New Caledonia, Better View from ship

We were not allowed to wander around in this area, so we were loaded onto buses and shuttled to the downtown area, where there are many shops and excursions are available to purchase locally if you haven’t purchased one on board. I opted to pass on excursions for this stop and just wander – see what I can see.

Tourist Drop Off - Information Center, Shops
Tourist Drop Off – Information Center, Shops

I managed to find a couple places to spend some of my new-found riches. To bring the currency conversion into perspective, I bought myself a cute sun dress (4,900 Franc / approx $46 US) and a sarong (1,900 Franc / approx $18 US).

There is a nice park in the center of town – probably the nicest part of the city. There I found a street performer dancing with hoops. I have a lot of respect for street performers. It can’t be an easy life – it is something you do because you are passionate about it.  I took a short video and left a tip before moving on.

Park in Noumea, New Caledonia
Park in Noumea, New Caledonia

I apologize for the quality of the video. I used my Fuji-film camera to record it. In the future I will always use my iPhone! Video: Noumea, New Caledonia Street Performer

There is a China Town in Noumea with some shops and questionable food vendors. I walked through, but passed on purchasing anything there.

China Town in Noumea, New Caledonia
China Town in Noumea, New Caledonia
China Town in Noumea, New Caledonia
China Town in Noumea, New Caledonia

After a short jaunt, it was back to the ship and looking forward to our next destination!

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