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New Caledonia Travel Guide

Transportation

Three distinct bus networks are based in Nouméa: les bus interurbains (inter-city buses), les bus suburbains (regional buses), and les bus urbains (city buses). Each operates from a different terminal.

Inter-City Buses

Most inter-city buses leave from the Gare Routière at 36 rue d'Austerlitz opposite the market. The times quoted are only indicative, so check the schedule at the ticket office (Mon.-Fri. 0730-1200 and 1330-1600, Sat. 0730-1200) the day before. The buses do fill up, so arrive at the station early. If the ticket office is closed, simply pay the driver.

The bus to Yaté (two hours) leaves daily except Sunday at 1130. To Thio (two hours) the bus leaves Monday to Saturday at 1130, Sunday at 1700. Buses to Canala via La Foa (3.5 hours) are Monday to Thursday at 1400, Friday at 1700, Saturday at 1200, and Sunday at 1600.

The west coast is well served, with buses to Bourail (three hours) at Monday to Saturday at 0600, 0800, 0930, 1030, 1130, 1200, and 1230, Sunday at 1000, 1130, 1200, and 1500. If you miss these, the bus to La Foa (two hours) is Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday at 1530, Wednesday and Friday at 1730, and Saturday at 1130. To Koné (four hours) there are buses Monday to Saturday at 0600, 0930, and 1130, Sunday at 1000 and 1500. Buses to Koumac (5.5 hours) are Monday to Saturday at 0600 and 1130, Sunday at 1000. Buses to Pouébo (seven hours) via Koumac are Wednesday at 0800 and Friday at 1130 and 1730.

To the east coast, buses run to Houaïlou (four hours) Monday to Saturday at 0800, 1030, and 1200, Sunday at 1130 and 1200. To Poindimié (five hours) Monday to Friday at 1030, and Saturday and Sunday at 1130. The Poindimié continues to Touho. Buses to Hienghène (six hours) via Houaïlou leave Monday to Thursday and Saturday at 0800, Friday at 1730.

Regional Buses

The CarSud bus to La Tontouta Airport (one hour) departs from a stop called "Passeport" on rue Georges Clemenceau near the corner of rue Paul Doumer. It runs almost hourly weekdays from 0400-1900, Saturday 0450-1735, but only in the morning on Sundays. You pay the driver.

Other CarSud buses operate to Dumbéa, Païta, St. Louis, and Mont-Dore. Ask the tourist office on Place des Cocotiers for schedule information.

The special airport buses will pick you up right at your hotel but cost a lot more.

City Buses

Nouméa's city bus system is excellent. There are eight color-coded bus routes, serving such places as Anse Vata (green-line and orange-line), Baie des Citrons (green-line), Île Nou (green-line), Magenta Airport (blue-line), and the Tjibaou Center (blue-line). Study the route maps posted at all stops. Monday to Friday the buses run every 15 minutes 0530-1900 (every 30 minutes weekends). Catch them at the Place des Cocotiers, or at marked bus stops along the routes. A flat fare is charged and you pay the driver.