Anse Vata is both a beach and a destination, and oh-so-French, down to the locals playing a game of boules in the afternoons. It has a long, curving mainly-sandy beach, with pontoons that you can swim out to or laze on, beachside cafes and restaurants, a lot of good quality shops and a seriously high-class Le Meridien hotel. If you're feeling lucky, the Casino is just around the corner from the beach and before you get to the hotel proper. Best of all, the drive from the centre of Noumea (specifically, the Place des Cocotiers, where the Information Centre is) wil take you by three outstanding bays (de la Moselle, de L'Orphelinat and des Citrons) packed with sleek yachts and other water craft and a wide variety of restaurants proclaiming their French heritage and cuisine. It's by far the best value, better even than the ship-organised "Chou-Chou" train tour, although the latter does take you up to the Cross of Lorraine and its commanding vista of the capital.
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