Qantas returns to Noumea

As the French jewel bids ‘Bienvenue’ to travellers, Qantas resumes flights from Sydney and Brisbane.

By David Flynn, June 1 2022
Qantas returns to Noumea

Grab your diving gear and be sure to pack a healthy appetite as Qantas brings back its popular flights to Noumea.

Brisbane-Noumea is the first to take wing, restarting at once service per week on Saturday June 4.

Sydney-Noumea swings back on Sundays, Mondays and Wednesdays from June 5, with Saturday being added to the schedule on August 13.

All flights rely on the airline’s workhorse Boeing 737, with a QF ‘codeshare’ on Aircalin – the flag carrier of the petite French island collective – on most other days.

Travellers are in for a treat too, with the flights onboard Aircalin’s new Airbus A320neo from Brisbane and the A330neo aircraft from Sydney.

Both offer state-of-the-art seating and HD touchscreens, with an entertainment offering of more than 90 programmes plus inflight WiFi.

New Caledonia opened its borders for Australian travellers in March and in May removed its pre-departure test requirements.

Australian travellers now need only complete a rapid antigen test 48 hours after arrival, which can be done for free in pharmacies in Noumea and across New Caledonia.

Just two hours from Brisbane or less than three from Sydney, New Caledonia is often described as a piece of France that broke off and drifted down to the Pacific. Yet it’s much more than that, with traditional Kanak culture, astonishing coral reefs, and a French-Melanesian culinary scene best described as manifique.

"After more than 2 years of Covid closure, it is a very exciting time and the opportunity to rebuild tourism to New Caledonia,” says Julie Laronde, New Caledonia Tourism’s General Manager. "We cannot wait to welcome our Australian neighbours back to our shores!”

Additional reporting by Chris Ashton

Joe
Joe

03 May 2013

Total posts 660

Noumea is fine if you remember two things. 1. Stay away from downtown and 2. Be prepared to pay through the teeth for everything from accommodation to a coffee.

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 1102

Yes, it is a place where you should look for an all-inclusive package.  I stayed at Club Med a few times when it was there and arrived on a cruise ship the other times so have never had to buy much.  Noumea is not a great duty free port either; Port Vila, on the other hand, is brilliant.

07 May 2015

Total posts 34

Sure, it's expensive, but not sure what you mean about staying away from 'downtown'? I have been there and never fely unsafe. Where do you prefer to stay when you are in Noumea, Joe?

Joe
Joe

03 May 2013

Total posts 660

Safety wasn't what I was referring to. It's a run down and ugly capitol. Staying at Le Meridian it's a waste of a taxi fare.

21 Jan 2022

Total posts 1

Is there any announcement when Aircalin will return to Melbourne?

Thai Airways International - Royal Orchid Plus

15 Jan 2013

Total posts 422

about time.for the last two years as expensive as it is we have during the closure been subjected to overpriced alternatives such as Hamilton Island or Cairns.This is much overdue alternative to say any domestic tropical island destination.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

01 Apr 2017

Total posts 27

What's wrong with Downtown?   I've been there a few times and wandered around. Beautiful old buildings. Nice green parks. Lots of interesting things to explore in the back streets.  Great access to the bus network. Excellent local food options and better prices than outside downtown.

I'm more worried about the statement of "...and proof of an approved vaccine less than nine months ago."

For me, I had my booster in Dec 2021... so the nine months is rolling around "soon" (August).    I suspect other jurisdictions will start implementing time-based vaccination requirements too.   So hoping our Aust Govt - whomever they may be come the middle of 2022 - will be up to to the task of managing this in a timely manner for Aust travellers.

Thai Airways International - Royal Orchid Plus

15 Jan 2013

Total posts 422

what's their definition of fully vaccinated.I know the elderly or high risk setting workers might need 4 vaccines but for all others it is 3,It's a nice place if a bit pricey but as an alternative to anything Asian why not.

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 1102

Most countries define fully vaccinated as 2 shots of an approved vaccine (all 4 commonly used in Australia meet this requirement) with the second shot at least 14 days before travel.  


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