QANTAS: Back to Noumea in New Caledonia – a piece of France in the Pacific
Qantas is re-commencing flights to the capital of New Caledonia, Noumea from Saturday 4 June. Flights leave from either Brisbane (1 service/week starting 4 June) or Sydney (3 per week -Sun, Mon, Wed – starting 5 June). Sydney will add another flight on Saturdays from 13 August.
If you are on a Qantas flight on Qantas metal, then it is the Boeing 737 for you. Perfectly OK for the 3-hour flight. Watch out for the code-share flights with Aircalin, which use a new Airbus A320neo (Brisbane) or A330neo (Sydney). These are the pride of the fleet and certainly a step up from the single aisle Boeing 737s used by Qantas.
Fares range from AU$1,280 economy to around AU$1,600 if booking with Qantas. You can save yourself around AU$100 or more if you book direct with Air Cailin, but then you don’t get your Qantas status credits.
Since May, vaccinated Australians have been able to travel to New Caledonia without a pre-departure test, but you will need a RAT test within 48 hours of arrival, which is free at any chemist on the isle.
New Caledonia is like a little piece of Europe, and more particularly France in the pacific. The tropics with French food and wine – what’s not to like? OK, yes, the French people seem to still act like French people if you know what I mean. Make sure you visit the Kanak Museum to savour the indigenous culture too.
I love digital, except when my phone dies, which happened to me on the last night of my recent visit to New Zealand
I’ve only had one visit to Noumea and loved it. My idea would be to spend a week or so with a hire care exploring the delights of the long thin island, and then a couple of days of RnR on the Ile des Pins.