Day 360 of Traveling the World, Noumea, Grande Terre, New Caledonia. January 26, 2019.

What a difference the weather makes! We stopped here in Noumea on our journey from LA to Australia, and the day was dark, cloudy, and stormy. We had read about the white-sand beaches, the coconut trees, and all the water sports, but the town seemed tired, without too much to look at. But now….wow! We were able to rent a scooter for several hours, get out of the center city, and experienced freedom and the wind in our faces and a whole other dimension to this beautiful island of Grande Terre, which has the largest enclosed lagoon in the world. Parts of it felt like the Riviera, with big hotels and beach-y restaurants across the street from the sand. We would have rented a scooter on every island, as we have done in the Caribbean, the Greek islands, and Bora Bora…but this is the first place that one was available on this cruise! It is a business opportunity just waiting to happen. We paid about $25 per hour for the two of us, and in comparison, the ship’s cheapest tours start at $60 per person. It is so much better than a bus filled with people being shuttled from place to place.

The first photo is a high-end restaurant…can you imagine the views out the windows? I would guess it would be a lot like a cruise ship! After that are a lot of colorful wind surfers in the bay. We also saw kite surfers, snorkelers, and people fishing. Then there are various views of the lagoon, with the distant one from the top of the highest vantage point, Ouen Toro. We encountered the adorable yellow train at a few different stops…do you see the spelling of its name? It is the Tchou Tchou Train! And the final photo is from 3 days ago, but it took several days to load properly. We didn’t want to miss the opportunity to give you a laugh….it is SO non-PC…a tour for old people! But, so as to not alienate anyone who would pay $25 for a 35-minute cruise tour, it is also for non-snorkelers and for “any ages.” Just sit there, and you will see all. If you pay $25.