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Port of Call: New Caledonia

Our second port of call on our South Pacific Island Cruise was Noumea, New Caledonia. If you missed the post on the first port of call you can check that out here. We were only giving 4 hours in this port, from 7:30am-11:30am. We had to get buses for 5 mins to and from the cruise terminal as it wasn’t located at the port.

ABOUT NEW CALEDONIA:

New Caledonia is a French territory which has multiple islands in the South Pacific. The Capital is Noumea which is where we stopped and they use CFP Franc as they currency.

As they are a French territory this means their residents also hold EU citizenship and can travel anywhere in the EU.

It it roughly 20%-37% more expensive to live in New Caledonia than it is in Australia or New Zealand.

WHAT TO DO:

When researching Noumea the only thing we could find to do was the iconic train ride around the city. This could be booked as a shore excursion on board the ship for $75 AUD per person. We booked it on land for $45pp.

THE TRAIN

The train left at 8:30 from the cruise terminal and returned you back there for 10am. There was English speaking tour guides and they brought you around the whole of the island. We stopped once to get off at the top of the hill and look at the views of the city.

As the train left at 8:30 from the cruise terminal we had to wait around for it to leave, we then didn’t get back until 10 which only left us an hour and a half before the last bus left to get back to the ship. This didn’t leave us with much time to do anything else.

The staff of the train we were on were very grateful for anyone who did decide to book their train over the one provided by the cruise ship because the funds go to a local company rather than a corporate group. You also make a saving of $30 per person by choosing them for the same experience.

The train was a great unique way to see the island but I would only recommend it if you have a full day. This then gives you time to explore some places again that you liked.

ADVICE

If you are stopping on a cruise that has a short time like we did then I would recommend getting the hop on hop off bus which would work out at $30 for a couple rather than $90. You will also have the option to get off the bus to explore the beautiful sites rather than just driving past.

There is also an option to hire a scooter for $70 for 4 hours, if you were comfortable driving a scooter. This will give you a lot more freedom to go where you want to go. We only seen this option when we got back to the cruise terminal otherwise we would have done this.

SWIMMING

New Caledonia are currently having a string of shark attacks and have had to lose a lot of their beaches until they can install shark nets. At the time we went there was only 2 places you could swim. I would advise checking with the locals or your cruise ship of where its safe to swim if you want to get into the water.

DRONE FOOTAGE

Unfortunately, the place the train stopped on the hill was a no fly zone because of the military base. The cruise terminal was also a no fly zone so we were unable to get any drone footage.

COSTS

We didn’t spend much in New Caledonia, mainly because of the little time we had as it was expensive. We spent $90 total on the train and we both got a medium coffee which totalled to $22 AUD.

About

Hi Im Ana, I’ve created the blog Irishtravelgal.com to share all my travel experiences. Im currently in Australia on a Working Holiday Visa. 

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