Image credit: [email protected]CC BY 2.0Nouméa is the capital of New Caledonia, and it is located on a peninsula on the island of Grand Terre. Surrounded by bays on all sides, it is one of the most attractive settings for a city that you are ever likely to see. From its strong French influence in the restaurants, fashion and café culture, to its long list of attractions, it is well worth exploring during your time in the country. Cultural Attractions There are many fascinating cultural attractions to enjoy all across New Caledonia, but especially in Nouméa. Why not start at the Tjibaou Cultural Centre, which contains one of the most important Melanesian art collections in the world? As well as paintings, you will find sculptures, photographs, and interesting artefacts that provide an insight into the Kanak culture. Then you have Nouméa Museum, where you will be able to find out all about the city and the country going back to ancient times through some fascinating exhibits and displays. The Museum of New Caledonia is also worth a visit, and here you will find out more about the Kanak and Melanesian cultures, as well as other tribes in the Pacific, through artefacts including weapons and boats. Being an island nation, the sea plays a large role in the story of New Caledonia, and the Maritime Museum is where you will find out more about this. Discover shipwrecks on the surrounding reefs, ancient artefacts and models of ships, all which provide a greater understanding of the role that the ocean has had on the development of the country. You may want to take a look inside St Joseph's Cathedral. This Gothic cathedral dates back to 1890, and is one of the most interesting buildings in the city. The Mwâ Ka totem pole is another interesting feature of the city. This 12-metre pole is covered in beautiful carvings that represent different regions of the country. Go Shopping If you book a cruise that stops in New Caledonia, you may be keen to buy yourself some souvenirs while you are here. If so, the first place to go is Nouméa Market. This is the main market in the city, and you will find it at Port Moselle. As well as the beautiful arts and crafts, you will also find a colourful selection of meat, vegetables, fruit, flowers and more. The fish market is separate, and this is also worth a look, so stroll around and take in the sights, smells and sounds of this busy, bustling market. Check the www.cruisesalefinder.com.au for stop over length details and don’t lose track of the time. With its strong French influence, it is no surprise that you will be able to find some excellent wines in Nouméa. The place to head is La Cave Wine Shop on route de Anse Vata, where you will find a selection of wines from France and other countries. Get Outside Being a tropical Pacific island, it's no surprise that many of the main attractions of New Caledonia are outside. In Nouméa, you will find yourself located very near to a number of beaches, with the best being Anse Vata and Baie des Citrons. These are very easy to reach from anywhere in the city, and they provide the perfect place to relax after seeing all the sights. Snorkelling and swimming are popular, and one of the best places near to Nouméa is Duck Island, which you can reach by taking a water taxi from Ansa Vata. Another popular nearby attraction is the Ouen Toro lookout. This is easy to reach, and you will enjoy a stunning vista of the city and the ocean. Once here, go for a walk on one of the trails and explore some of the surrounding area. See the Wildlife As well as seeing sea creatures beneath the waves when you go snorkelling, you can also visit Aquarium des Lagons. This contains a fascinating collection of marine life, most of which is endemic to the region. As well as this, you may want to visit the Michel-Corbasson Zoological and Forest Park. This has a small but interesting selection of animals that are unique to the region. See the Best of Nouméa New Caledonia is the perfect holiday destination for anyone in search of sea, sand and tropical scenery. Nouméa is often the first place that many visitors will see, and although there is plenty more to see and enjoy throughout the country, the capital has enough attractions to keep you busy for as long as you plan to spend here. So keep some of the above attractions in mind when you book your holiday here, and see the best that Nouméa has to offer. Ryan Posa set up Cruise Republic in 2008 and is at the helm as the General Manager. Ryan believes travel is a beautiful opportunity for growth. He loves writing about his experiences to encourage others to pursue their travel bug adventures. You can follow Ryan’s Tweets here.