The centres of population are Noumea (Numea), the capital, on a fine harbour of the west coast near the southern extremity of the island, with 7000 inhabitants; Bourail, an agricultural penitentiary (1800); La Foa, in the centre of the coffee plantations; Moindu, St Louis and St Vincent.
Noumea is the seat of a superior tribunal, a tribunal of first instance, and a tribunal of commerce.
Noumea alone has (since 1879) a municipality, other localities being administered by commissions.
Coal has been worked near Noumea, and kaolin is found in places.
The chief industrial establishments are smelting furnaces for cobalt, meat-preserving works at Ouaco, sugar-works and distilleries at Noumea and La Foa, tobacco, oil and soap factories at Noumea.
A railway running north-westward from Noumea to Dumbea, &c., is designed to connect the capital with Bourail.
The capital, Noumea, was founded in 185 4 (it was then called Port de France); in 1860 New Caledonia became a colony distinct from the French possessions in the Pacific at large; in 1864 the first penal settlement was made on Nou Island, off Noumea.
Riviere, Souvenirs de la Nouvelle-Caledonie: l'insurrection canaque (Paris, 1881); Gallet, La Nouvelle-Caledonie (Noumea, 1884); Cordeil, Origines et progres de la Nouvelle-Caledonie (Noumea, 1885); C. Lemire, La Colonisation.
The infection is supposed to have been brought from Noumea, in New Caledonia, where it was present at the end of 1899; and the medical authorities believe that the first case, which occurred on the 19th of January, was recognized.
(Noumea, 1893); Voyage a pied en NouvelleCaledonie (Paris, 1884); M.