Noumea Warnings and Dangers
Noumea is the capital of New Caledonia and is one of the largest cities in the South Pacific archipelago. It offers a wealth of fun and exciting things for travelers to do, but also a number of things for them to be careful of.
Apply Insect Repellant Liberally
When traveling anywhere in the South Pacific, bring along a high-quality mosquito repellant. Not only can bites from these creatures leave your skin itchy and inflamed, but they can also expose you to a number of diseases. Malaria and Dengue fever are common in the area, so it is best to protect yourself at all times. However, protection is especially important in the evenings and at night, when mosquitoes are most active. Wearing long sleeves and pants can help to supplement your mosquito repellant.
Learn a Bit of French
Although the vast majority of children in New Caledonia learn English in school, it seems that none of them really learn to speak it very well. While you can often get by with hand gestures, you’ll have a much easier time getting your point across if you take the time to learn a bit of French, the local language, before your visit. Focus on learning basic words and phrases, particularly those related to activities you hope to enjoy while in the area.
Avoid Taking Taxis
Whenever you can, try to stay away from taking taxis, especially to and from the airport. They tend to be quite expensive in Noumea. You are better off taking local buses just about anywhere you need to go. If you are unsure as to which bus to take, don’t hesitate to ask. The locals are usually very friendly and more than willing to help.
Take Care on the Roads
Be especially careful when exploring Noumea on foot. Local drivers don’t have much regard for posted speed limits or the correct side of the road. Be cautious around pedestrian crossings as well. Even though they are marked, many drivers choose to ignore them. Some will slow down to let pedestrians cross, but not all, so use caution whenever crossing the street.
Plan Ahead for Sundays
Just about everything in Noumea closes on Sundays, so you’ll need to do some careful planning to ensure that you’ll be able to eat if your hotel doesn’t provide food. Almost all restaurants and supermarkets are closed on Sundays, with the exception of those in the most touristy areas of the city.
When it comes to vacationing in the South Pacific, Noumea offers some of the best that New Caledonia has to offer, although visitors will need to take care to protect themselves. As with just about any other major city anywhere in the world, a bit of common sense goes a long way, as does courtesy towards the locals.
Editor’s Note: The information contained on this page was compiled using real traveler reviews about warnings and dangers in Noumea.