The main Nouméa taxi stand is on rue d'Austerlitz just off the Place des Cocotiers. All taxis have meters with a higher rate 1800-0600 weekdays and anytime weekends. Trips outside Nouméa are charged at a flat rate per kilometer.
To hitch, take a black-line or blue-line city bus to Normandie (Saint-Quentin) at the junction of RT 1 to Bourail and RT 2 to Yaté. But unless saving a few hundred francs is crucial, it's much better to take the public La Tontouta bus to the airport to get well out on the road to Bourail, or the Robinson, St. Louis, or Plum buses for the road to Yaté. Hitching up the southwest coast is easy, but it's slow elsewhere due to a lack of traffic. Also, very few drivers speak English.
Several offices along Baie de la Moselle and Anse Vata sells taxi boat tickets to Îlot Maître, a reef islet surrounded by a white sandy beach just southwest of Nouméa. These companies also rent bicycles, peddle boats, kayaks, sailboards, canoes, and catamarans.
Tour operators at the Anse Vata resorts offer organized sightseeing tours from Nouméa, including half-day trips to Mt. Koghi and full-day trips to Rivière Bleue Provincial Park and Yaté. Also ask about the less frequent La Foa/Farino tour.
The best excursion available from Nouméa is the day trip to Isle of Pines on the high-speed ferry Betico every Saturday and Sunday at 0700. The price only includes the boat ride, but you get seven hours free time on the island. It's easy to pass the day exploring the Kuta/Kanumera area on foot, or sign up for one of the organized bus tours offered at the wharf (the lunch can be expensive on these, so bring picnic fare).
Between Nouméa and the Isle of Pines, the ferry goes through the narrow Canal de Woodin separating Ouen Island from Grande Terre, and then passes Prony Bay, scenic highlights. This trip is highly recommended—verify the departure times as soon as you arrive in Nouméa. Except on major holidays, you can buy your ticket at the office an hour prior to boarding the ferry.
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