NOUMEA AND THE SOUTHERN PROVINCE
The Southern Province is the most densely populated of New Caledonia and comprises some seven thousand square kilometres approximately 40% of the whole territory. The capital, Noumea, is a garden city where long strolls are a pleasure. Walk along the beautiful beaches of Anse Vata and Baie des Citrons and enjoy browsing in the French influenced boutique. Places to visit include the Territorial Museum dedicated to the archaeology and ethnology of Oceania, the new Cultural Centre, the City of Noumea Museum, the Geological Museum and the Maritime History Museum, the Bernheim Library and St. Joseph's Cathedral.
Nature lovers will enjoy the Aquarium of Noumea, the colourful variety of the local produce market, and the Zoological and Forest Park where you can see the the rare endemic Cagou, the emblem of New Caledonia.
Attractions not far from Noumea include dazzling white sandy beaches, mangroves with mud crabs, the taboo Fatanaoue Caves where the mummies of high Kanak chiefs are laid to rest, the Pierced Rock, a huge cliff with caves and ending with Le Bonhomme, an enormous monolith sculpted by waves. Tourists can also visit the Cave Perrin winery and the orchids of the Amieu Pass near Sarramea,, the museums of Bourail and Paita, and Rusa deer farms. There are numerous hikes and horseback excursions available, including many close to Noumea.
Take a hiking or four-wheel drive trip to the south beyond Noumea, a wild and mysterious region which despite a barren appearance provides an exceptional haven for its flora and fauna. Contrasting with the vast red-ochre landscape is the Blue River Provincial Park with its ancient trees and rare animals. Other places of interest include the Madeleine Waterfall, a botanic reserve and picnic/swimming spot, The Yate Dam, the Giant Kaori tree of Mount Goro and Wadiana Waterfall (Goro), the Woodin Canal, the Bay of Prony, and Keubini beach with its myriad islets popular with yachties.
From Noumea it is possible to take excursions to the numerous islands and islets in the south west lagoon.......
Ile aux Canards (Duck Island) is easily accessible by windsurfers and taxi boat.
Ilot Maitre, a boat ride of about 15 minutes from Noumea, lies in the centre of a vast underwater reef and offers
remarkable scuba diving. A popular spot for weekenders from Noumea.
Ilot Amedee (Lighthouse), about 40 minutes by boat is one of the most popular excursions from Noumea. The 56 metre high, 130 years old lighthouse which dominates the island was built under Napoleon III. Its sparkling lagoon is popular for diving and snorkelling.
Ilot Laregnere is accessible either by a 35-minute motor-boat ride from Noumea or as part of an excursion.
Ilot Signal, surrounded by white beaches, was fitted with the first beacon for the entrance into the Port-de-France Harbour.
Ilot Casy, in the middle of the Bay of Prony, is an isolated nature reserve with many of the features of the mainland. Excursion from Noumea are by seaplane and minibus.
Ouen Island is halfway between Noumea and the Isle of Pines and is renowned for its turtles and jade mines. Boat transfers are organised from Noumea's Port Moselle.
HOTEL LE LAGON APARTMENTS
Located in the beautiful Anse Vata Bay, Hotel Le Lagon Apartments offers beachside accommodation in the heart of Noumea's tourist centre. Step out the door and you'll find within easy reach a great variety of restaurants, nightclubs and casinos. Or stay indoor and relax in the comfort of your private apartment.
There are 59 apartments, including studios, one-bedroom, and two-bedroom configurations, which can house up to six people. Each air-conditioned apartment is tastefully decorated with a full kitchen and bathroom, laundry and ironing facilities, ceiling fans, colour TV and direct dial telephone. All apartments are serviced daily.
YOUR PARADISE AWAY FROM HOME
Restaurant Le Gauguin offers 'nouvelle cuisine' either in the air-conditioned dining room or on the shaded terrace. Other services include a hairdressing salon, 24 hour reception, fax, money exchange, safety deposit boxes and a tour operator.
The convenience of an apartment with your own kitchen takes the worry - and expense - out of planning a family holiday. In the morning just pack a picnic lunch and head to the beach. While your little rays of sunshine spend the day windsurfing, snorkelling and canoeing free of charge, you can relax on a sun-chair with a good book.... or forget the book and join the kids for some fun in the sun.
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