Noumea, New Caledonia, is the capital and largest city of this self-governing French territory located in the South Pacific, approximately one thousand two hundred kilometres east of Australia. Like many of the Pacific Islands, relatively few backpackers visit here (in comparison to Australia and New Zealand) -- it's a shame, since it’s such an exquisitely beautiful place, with a unique way of life that’s a fusion of French chic and the tropical South Pacific. Although most visitors to Noumea opt for flashy, resort-style accommodation, a handful of intrepid independent travelers still venture here, and to cater for the demand there are a few backpacker hostels in Noumea, New Caledonia. Hostels in Noumea, New Caledonia, are generally of a good standard and well maintained, offering not only budget accommodation but also some good travel tips from the friendly local staff and the chance to connect with other indie travelers.
Noumea offers curious, fun-loving backpackers loads of things to see and do. If you want an insight into the culture and traditions of New Caledonia, two awesome places to visit are the New Caledonia Museum and the amazing Tjibaou Cultural Centre, where you can see incredible Kanak architecture, various exhibitions, and sometimes even traditional dance performances. Another good spot to learn more about New Caledonia is the New Caledonia Museum of Maritime History, and if you love art, a visit to some of the city’s galleries is also recommended. For those who love to shop, be sure to visit some of the colourful local markets -- the iconic Port Moselle Market is especially worth a visit. Simply walking around the city is also interesting, and there are some beautiful examples of Colonial architecture to admire.
If you’re a bit of a daredevil, Noumea offers plenty of opportunities for exciting outdoor fun. Many travelers choose to stay in the city, using it as a base for their diving adventures. If you don’t know how to dive, no worries -- there are also quite a lot of diving schools in town where you can learn. There are also some awesome surf breaks within an hour or so of Noumea, as well as opportunities for jet-skiing, kite-surfing, wind surfing, and other water-based sports. The friendly staff at the local Noumea, New Caledonia hostels can provide you with more information.
Getting to Noumea is easy. Most people choose to fly from Australia, New Zealand, or other Pacific islands -- generally just a short flight of a few hours. However a more adventurous and much cheaper way to get there is by hitching a ride on a yacht, working as a crew member. To learn more, check out hostel noticeboards on the east coast of Australia, New Zealand, or Fiji. You could also take a look at websites such as Crew Seekers, Find a Crew and Crew Bay, where yacht owners advertise cruise positions.
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