Theme Week New Caledonia – Nouméa

Tuesday, 22 September 2015 - 01:00 pm (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General
Reading Time:  4 minutes

Nouméa © Torbenbrinker/cc-by-sa-3.0

Nouméa © Torbenbrinker/cc-by-sa-3.0

Nouméa is the capital city of New Caledonia. It is situated on a peninsula in the south of New Caledonia’s main island, Grande Terre, and is home to the majority of the island’s European, Polynesian (Wallisians, Futunians, Tahitians), Indonesian, and Vietnamese populations, as well as many Melanesians, Ni-Vanuatu and Kanaks that work in one of the South Pacific‘s most industrialised cities. The city lies on a protected deepwater harbour which serves as the chief port for New Caledonia. There are 180,000 inhabitants in the metropolitan area of Greater Nouméa (French: agglomération du Grand Nouméa), 100,000 of whom lived in the city (commune) of Nouméa proper.

The first European to establish a settlement in the vicinity was British trader James Paddon in 1851. Anxious to assert control of the island, the French established a settlement nearby three years later in 1854, moving from Balade in the north of the island. This settlement was initially called Port-de-France and was renamed Nouméa in 1866. The area served first as a penal colony, later as a centre for the exploitation of the nickel and gold that was mined nearby.

Phare Amédée Lighthouse © Bruno.Menetrier Place des Cocotiers © Torbenbrinker/cc-by-sa-3.0 Museum of New Caledonia © Torbenbrinker/cc-by-sa-3.0 Bernheim Library © GeorgeLouis/cc-by-3.0 University of New Caledonia © GeorgeLouis/cc-by-3.0 Nouméa © Torbenbrinker/cc-by-sa-3.0
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Museum of New Caledonia © Torbenbrinker/cc-by-sa-3.0
During World War II, Nouméa served as the headquarters of the United States military in the South Pacific. The five-sided U.S. military headquarters complex was adopted after the war as the base for a new regional intergovernmental development organisation: the South Pacific Commission, later known as the Secretariat of the Pacific Community. The city maintains much of New Caledonia’s unique mix of French and old Melanesian culture. Even today the U.S. wartime military influence lingers, both with the warmth that many New Caledonian people feel towards the United States after experiencing the relative friendliness of American soldiers and also with the names of several of the quarters in Nouméa. Districts such as “Receiving” and “Robinson”, or even “Motor Pool”, strike the anglophone ear strangely, until the historical context becomes clear.

Although Nouméa has more sunshine days than any other Pacific Island capital and some excellent beaches not far from the city centre, it is not currently a major tourist destination. The cost of living is high and the air travel there is not discounted as much as that to other destinations on the Pacific Rim. Nouméa is one of the most rapidly growing cities in the Pacific and has experienced a major housing construction boom in the preceding decade. The installation of amenities has kept pace and the municipality boasts a public works programme. Much of this construction is fuelled by investment from France and it is hoped that over the lifetime of this multi-decade track towards increased autonomy planned under the Matignon Agreements and now the Nouméa Accord, the local economy will become independently sustainable.

Here you can find the complete Overview of all Theme Weeks.

Read more on City of Nouméa, NewCaledonia.travel – Nouméa, Wikitravel Nouméa and Wikipedia Nouméa. Learn more about the use of photos. To inform you about latest news most of the city, town or tourism websites offer a newsletter service and/or operate Facebook pages/Twitter accounts. In addition more and more destinations, tourist organizations and cultural institutions offer Apps for your Smart Phone or Tablet, to provide you with a mobile tourist guide (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Global Passport Power Rank - Travel Risk Map - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.




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