(Cheap or) Free things to do in Noumea?
You don’t want to spend much money, but still want to discover Noumea. Here are a few things you can do in Noumea’s town center, we recommend.
Compared to other islands in the South Pacific, New Caledonia has very good museums. Small country means that they are not the smithsonian ;), but nonetheless they demonstrate what can be achieved with passion!
Noumea has 4 different museums, no more than 15 minutes away from the city cruise ship terminal:
- The city museum (musée de la ville) retraces life in New Caledonia in the early of colonization from 1880 to the first world war. Next to coconut square, the building has a rich history. Initially a bank, it served as the city town-hall and became museum in 1996. What’s great about the city museum, is that it has still has the feeling of 1880 building with cracking wood and this particular smell of old houses.
- The museum of New Caledonia (musée de Nouvelle-Calédonie) displays a large collection of native kanak art and everyday objects: discover what life used to be before the arrival of Europeans on the island. It is free the first Sunday of the month.
- The World War II museum highlights the importance of the war in New Caledonia’s history. The island was a large military base for American and ANZAC forces. Though it was a difficult period, the museum succeeds on showing the positive impacts of the war from technical, commercial and social aspects.
- The maritime museum is an invitation to discover New Caledonia’s rich maritime history. You will find out about the exploration by captain La Pérouse (1785-1788), to the commercial period of ships transporting sandalwood, sea-cucumbers, guano, and nickel ore.
Also, we recommend you to discover Coconut Square: it is a relaxing heaven in the midst of the city. Simply wander, discover fountain celeste and Noumea’s music kiosk or enjoy a drink in one of the café located on the square.
If you want to know more, opt for our guided walking tour (cheap but not free ;)). We will help you discover the hidden history behind the buildings.