Colonial house in New CaledoniaColonial house in New Caledonia
©Colonial house in New Caledonia|Oneye Production / NCT


of New Caledonia

Embark on a journey to uncover the wealth, diversity, and beauty of New Caledonia’s heritage, a testament to the shared history of its people. Explore the archipelago’s most enchanting historic sites and monuments.

Historic sites and monuments

New Caledonia offers more than just exceptional museums for exploring its rich historical and cultural heritage, including the renowned Centre Culturel Tjibaou. Grande Terre and the surrounding islands are dotted with historic structures, theatres, and a multitude of cultural events. The archipelago’s living heritage is further celebrated through exhibitions, performances, and traditional festivals. Additionally, during Heritage Month, lesser-known but intriguing places open their doors to the public, offering guided tours, shows, exhibitions, and conferences. Explore our selection of the finest heritage sites for an exhilarating New Caledonian experience!

Place des Cocotiers


Since the late 19th century, Place des Cocotiers has been the heart of Nouméa, now a vibrant pedestrianised square with a central bandstand and fountain. An iconic bronze statue commemorating the historic handshake between Jean Marie Tjibaou and Jacques Lafleur was unveiled here in June 2022, symbolising peace. Stroll through the square, relax beneath the flamboyant trees, and join locals for lunch on the grass or a bench.

Théâtre de l'Île


Located a short distance from downtown Nouméa on the Nouville peninsula, this structure, originally built as a church, has transformed over the years into a theatre. It boasts exposed stonework and intricate cornices, creating an irresistible charm. Explore the historic site of Île Nou as well.

Château Hagen


Nestled in the heart of Nouméa, the Château Hagen estate encompasses a historic château (Villa du Banian), Maison Taragnat, artist residences, stables, and a sprawling park featuring exhibition spaces, an amphitheatre, and an educational vegetable garden. This colonial mansion has evolved into a thriving cultural centre, hosting exhibitions, shows, concerts, and events year-round.

Fort Teremba


Overlooking the sea from the Moindou hills, Fort Teremba is a significant historical landmark, housing the remnants of Governor Gaultier de la Richerie’s penitentiary and administrative centre. After extensive rehabilitation work, it now offers a museum with permanent exhibitions, making it an ideal family destination.

Amédée Lighthouse


Originally displayed at the 1962 London World’s Fair, the 56-metre steel Amédée lighthouse was meticulously dismantled into 1265 pieces, transported and reassembled in 10 months on îlot Amédée, becoming the world’s tallest metal lighthouse (along with its Dutch twin Lange Jaap). Climb the 247 spiral steps to enjoy a breathtaking panorama of the lagoon and reef. Relax on the beach and soak in the turquoise lagoon in this nature reserve.

Bagne de Nouville

In Nouméa, the Île Nou historic site is home to the buildings of the main penitentiary, with the Commandant’s house, the convicts’ bakery, the chapel and workshops retracing the beginnings of European settlement in New Caledonia. The former convict bakery now houses a museum. A tour retraces the lives of convicts and overseers, delving into the heart of the penal colony. Architecture is omnipresent on the Nouville peninsula (formerly Ile Nou), notably the workshops that today house the Théâtre de l’Île and the law and economics department of the University of New Caledonia.

Saint Joseph's Cathedral


Perched on the heights of Nouméa, the Cathédrale Saint-Joseph, constructed almost a century ago, is a place of religious worship. Its unique architecture, including ribbed vaults, stained glass windows, and apostle paintings, is a captivating experience. Don’t miss the authentic period organ, chandeliers, and other decorative details on a guided tour.

Maison Célières


Tucked away in one of Nouméa’s oldest districts, Maison Célières is one of the few colonial houses open to the public. Its typical architecture, antique furnishings, and gardens transport visitors to the past. Explore its collections and temporary exhibitions on guided or self-guided tours. Starting at Maison Célières, explore the 1930s neighbourhood of Faubourg-Blanchot with an explanatory booklet to identify key houses and buildings along the route.

Thio Mining Museum

Located a 2-hour drive from Nouméa on the East Coast, the town of Thio played a vital role in New Caledonia’s nickel mining history. Discover the Mining Museum, housed in the former home of the director of the SLN (Société Le Nickel), and explore the area’s rich heritage, including an old steam locomotive and cable car pylons.



On the islands of Lifou, the Notre-Dame-de-Lourdes chapel, built as a tribute to whalers, offers an exceptional panorama ideal for whale-watching from mid-July to mid-September. Its simple yet charming architecture features stained glass windows and a wooden ceiling. Explore other churches on the islands and in the Great South, each with its unique character.

Other similar sites include Notre-Dame-du-Pacifique, a 3.50-metre pink granite statue overlooking Nouméa Bay on its azure-blue rock, or Notre-Dame-des-flots, which watches over ships from the heights of Gouaro Bay in Bourail, offering a breathtaking view of La Roche Percée beach and the Néra River.

City Museum of Nouméa

Situated near Place des Cocotiers, this 19th-century colonial building, once New Caledonia’s first bank in 1874, later served as the town hall and is now a museum. It beautifully preserves the architecture and furnishings of the 1900s, providing insights into the history of Nouméa.

Vao Church

Isle of Pines

In the heart of Vao village on the Isle of Pines stands this magnificent, colourful church, an emblem of the island. Adorned with stained glass windows and a wooden ceiling, it’s a charming site to explore. Nearby, visit the presbytery and Notre-Dame-de-la-Salette sanctuary for picturesque views of the village.

Historic village of Prony


Located 1 hour and 20 minutes from Nouméa, the historic village of Prony preserves the history of New Caledonia’s penal colony. Wander among the remnants of the original logging penal colony and mining huts, engulfed by massive banyan trees. Regular visits are organised, allowing you to delve into the magic of this unique place.