Flights to Nouméa, New Caledonia
Nouméa is the largest and capital city of New Caledonia, a French overseas territory. The city is located on Grande Terre, the main island of New Caledonia. Nouméa is not your typical South Pacific holiday destination. While it still has the spectacular Pacific island views and shores with shady palm trees, the city and the country as a whole is a wealthier nation evidenced in its well-maintained streets and beautiful buildings, parks and museums.
Nouméa is served by two airports:
- Nouméa Tontouta Airport (NOU) – Officially known as Nouméa – La Tontouta International Airport, it is New Caledonia’s main international airport. The airport is located approximately 48 kilometres from the city centre. A taxi ride can take about 40 minutes of travel time and cost around CPF4600 (MYR194). A cheaper option may be to take the airport shuttle for CPF3000 (MYR126) or a local bus for CPF400 (MYR17). There are currently no direct flights from Malaysia to Nouméa Tontouta Airport. Other airlines operating flights from the airport include Qantas, Air New Zealand, Air France, Aircalin and Air Tahiti Nui.
- Nouméa Magenta Airport (GEA) – Known in French as l’Aéroport de Nouméa Magenta, it is New Caledonia’s domestic airport. It is located approximately 4 kilometres from the city centre. A taxi ride will only take about 6 minutes of travel time and cost around CPF500 (MYR21). There are also no direct flights to Nouméa Magenta Airport from Malaysia. The only airline currently operating flights from this airport is Air Calédonie.
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Best Time to Visit Nouméa
The best time to visit Nouméa would be during the winter months of June to September where the average temperature is 17 to 27 degrees Celsius. The months of August and September would be especially good as you will see fewer rainy days during those months. Don’t miss one of the largest events on the island, the Nouméa Carnival that happens annually in mid-August.
Spring season is from late September to mid-December. This season is also a good time to visit since the weather will turn warmer averaging between 18 to 31 degrees Celsius plus it is considered the driest season in Nouméa.
Meanwhile, the months of December to March is summer season so the weather can get hot and humid. This season has an average temperature of 22 to 31 degrees Celsius. You will see more rainy days during March so be sure to pack an umbrella for your visit.
Lastly, the autumn season begins in late March and ends by mid-June. The weather will continue to be warm with wet days but will turn cooler in the latter months. The temperature averages between 19 to 30 degrees Celsius. If you find yourself in Nouméa during this season, don’t miss the Yam Festival in mid-April for the parade, exhibitions, concerts and carnival.
Things to do in Nouméa
There are many cultural attractions to visit and water activities to try out in Nouméa. Here are a few of the popular tourist spots in the city:
- Amédée Lighthouse – An iron-made lighthouse situated on Amédée Island which is 24 kilometres from Nouméa. It stands 184 feet or 56 metres tall with 247 steps to climb. It is said to be one of the world’s tallest lighthouses. The lighthouse is open only on weekdays from 9:30 am to 11:30 in the mornings and resumes at 1:30 pm to 3:30 pm.
- Nouméa Cathedral – A Roman Catholic church dedicated to Saint Joseph. It was built in 1887 following a Latin cross ground plan. The cathedral is popular for its 28 beautiful stained glass windows depicting Biblical figures and various religious saints.
- Jean-Marie Tjibaou Cultural Centre – Located on the Tinu Peninsula, the cultural centre is about eight kilometres from Nouméa’s historic centre. It commemorates the native Kanak culture which is New Caledonia's indigenous culture. It is open six days a week from 9 am to 5 pm. It is closed on Mondays.
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