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I agree that they were all maniacs.
In your situation, I would suggest an alternative way for you to see all the sites of the city is to go on the Le Petit Train tour.
It really is a MUST for anyone going to Noumea in my opinion. If we hadn't done the train tour, my husband and I agree that Noumea wouldn't have been much to us.
From memory, we booked it through P&O before the cruise and paid $49 per adult.
The train picks you up outside the terminal and goes all around the city.
There is commentary telling you about all the sites, it's so informative and really enjoyable.
The train works it's way up to a mountaintop where the view is just gorgeous. There, you stop at a war memorial thingy and have champagne and French pastries before continuing the tour.
It goes for approx 1.5 hrs.
I found it thoroughly enjoyable and would do it again in a heartbeat.
I'm glad I listened to everyone on this forum and booked it, because I wasn't interested initially. DEFINITELY WORTH IT!
Just a consideration for you- it's a great way to relax and chill out while taking in the sites and learning about everything.
Driving around and doing your own thing could be really stressful and time consuming, in my opinion.
Tina & Brad
Married in Port Vila, September 12th 2006
Pacific Sun Coral Bliss (N627) 7th September 2006
Yes I agree, I wouldn't like to drive there, sheer panedmonium, take the Le Petit Train, relax and listen to the commentary. I would do it first then see if you are still wanting to hire a car. Braver than I am.