There's no easier or more unique way to see Noumea than aboard the open-air Tchou Tchou Train, which travels around town, up to the best lookouts and along the most scenic beaches.
You'll depart right from the cruise terminal on the Yellow Tchou Tchou Train, which is actually a wheeled vehicle that follows the roads rather than the rails. It's an exceptionally easy and entertaining way to enjoy the sights because it's open air and offers unobstructed views.
There's certainly plenty to see, beginning with the lovely city center, a French-inspired area that lends credence to Noumea's nickname: the "Paris of the Pacific." Continuing on, you'll delight in the sweeping views of the city from atop Notre Dame du Pacifique lookout and then gain insight into New Caledonia's military history by passing a barracks built more than 100 years ago.
Still, it's the French flavor of Noumea in neighborhoods such as Faubourg Blanchot with its enchanting colonial homes, that makes the greatest impression. Similarly, the grand Promenade Pierre Vernier along the waterfront looks as if it belongs in the south of France.
More panoramic views await you at Ouen Toro lookout, followed by a ride past picturesque Anse Vata Beach and Orphelinat Bay, named for the orphans France's Empress Eugénie sent to New Caledonia to be brides for the first settlers. Finally, you will reach the Place des Cocotiers, where you may opt to stay and shop, or remain aboard the train and return to the pier. If you choose to walk back to the ship, it's just 10 minutes away.
Please note: Walking on this tour is mainly at the guests' discretion during the stops. There are stairs and some hilly terrain to negotiate at the Ouen Toro scenic lookout. The tour is not available to wheelchair guests and those with mobility concerns are cautioned to carefully evaluate their personal level of stamina and ability. Light-weight clothing; sun cap; sunglasses; sunscreen; and flat, comfortable walking shoes are recommended.