New Caledonia: Nouméa municipal market

Formerly situated in a cramped location on a square in the town centre, Nouméa market moved to the Baie de la Moselle district near the town’s port in 1991.

Covered with blue tiles, the market comprises five hexagonal halls which are easily recognisable from afar, and houses dozens of stalls, each one more colourful than the last.

Here you’ll find local fruit and vegetables, as well as bouquets of flamboyant flowers and stalls selling cakes and pastries.

If you get here early in the morning, you can watch the fishermen unloading their fresh fish and shellfish directly on to the quay and admire the local women in their beautiful, brightly coloured mission dresses doing their shopping.

At the weekend, groups of musicians add to the atmosphere and you can enjoy the sound of Oceanic music as you stroll around the market. This lively, colourful scene is also a meeting-place for artisans who set up their stalls in the market hall or on the square nearby, selling a selection of sarongs, basketwork items, and little statues made from wood or soapstone.

Quench your thirst with a Number One beer, a local speciality made in New Caledonia, then sample a bougna in one of the snack bars or brasseries in the nearby Quartier Latin. Many of the fresh ingredients used to make this famous Melanesian dish, such as meat, sweet potatoes, bananas and yams, are sold at the market.

Open daily 5am to noon (closed the 3rd Monday of the month). 50 bis, rue Georges Clémenceau, 98800 Nouméa.