A comfortably westernized capital within the Pacific Islands, Noumea, which features several beautiful beaches and colonial mansions, is still an emerging tourist attraction. Lying on a peninsula within the southern coastline of the main island of Grande Terre, Noumea is by far the largest city of New Caledonia. Presently home to over 163,000 inhabitants, Noumea is basically sprawled around an irregular, hilly area which was originally established as an urban settlement by a British trader in 1851. Featuring a unique mix of French and old Melanesian culture, Noumea is one of the most rapidly growing cities within this region.
Home to the Tjibaou Cultural Center, Aquarium des Lagons, the Michel Corbasson Zoological and Forest Park, and many other historic and geological museums, Noumea also offers excellent opportunities for scuba diving, snorkeling and wind-surfing. Tourists visiting Noumea invariably are found to enjoy an abundance of walking trails and island hopping Tours available from this capital city.