Troubles in Noumea

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An adventure for those there for sure, just be smart and situation aware.

Having been in and ‘helped’ people out of troubled areas before I heard on ABC radio Australians demanding Canberra get them out right now. Not sure what anyone was going to do until the airport was open but that didn’t seem to stop them whinging about the Aus govt not immediately dispatching half the airforce to a French territory.

What I’ve learnt is the French will get it sorted in a few days and transport out will be fine. Laos after the 1970s on the other hand….
 
An adventure for those there for sure, just be smart and situation aware.

Having been in and ‘helped’ people out of troubled areas before I heard on ABC radio Australians demanding Canberra get them out right now. Not sure what anyone was going to do until the airport was open but that didn’t seem to stop them whinging about the Aus govt not immediately dispatching half the airforce to a French territory.

What I’ve learnt is the French will get it sorted in a few days and transport out will be fine. Laos after the 1970s on the other hand….
You're right about the whinging. Went out for lunch and the next table was doing the math on how many QF A380s would be needed by the Government to get us all home. The concept of the road hadn't sunk into their heads.
 
Sunday PM
What I’ve learnt is the French will get it sorted in a few days and transport out will be fine.
This is the way, our thoughts are the same. Sit tight, the army will do what they do best and we should be off on Wednesday or so.

There was an unpublicised meeting at the Hilton today with the consulate staff, that is if you weren't in the Hilton you didn't know. Apparently DFAT had sorted out buses to scoop us up to Magenta airport, then Hercules to take us back to Brisbane but the French said no at 0400h this morning as Magenta was too busy with military traffic. TBH I'd rather wait a few more days, but I suspect almost everyone else is much more stressed about it than we are.

Went for a walk before lunch, chemist was open, finally bought some milk, cheese and butter then had two steaks for lunch as some of the Anse Vata restaurants were open. Locals ribeye is very good, will have that again tomorrow. Just woke up from my post-steak nap to learn about the meeting. Another day in paradise.
 
There was a 7 news article last night about 16 Aussie students caught in Vanuatu on one of the smaller islands. P&O picked them up when going past and they are being taken to Sydney. So a couple of Karen's were right on the cruise ship it's just that they had the wrong country.
The students were on a Rotary exchange visit to an outer island I believe. I'm surprised Rotarian insurance didn't cover them moving to another airline.
 
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You're right about the whinging. Went out for lunch and the next table was doing the math on how many QF A380s would be needed by the Government to get us all home. The concept of the road hadn't sunk into their heads.
I'm sure They can find some old Hercs in mothballs and send them over. Nice quiet comy flight home lol. Seriously though, I'm sure there are resources being organised.
 
RadioNZ Defence Force Hercules awaits French approval before heading to New Caledonia
The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) is ready to send a Hercules to Noumea to bring New Zealanders home as soon as the French give permission to do so.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade is in contact with around 250 New Zealanders in New Caledonia registered on SafeTravel. But they cannot leave until the airport has reopened and the roads are safe to use.
<snip>
"My understanding - and I've been keeping up to date with this - is that the NZDF is really willing and able to go and to collect New Zealanders. But of course… there's issues that the French government obviously needs to sort out around the airport and the road to the airport."
<snip>
Would expect AU govt has the same intention.
 
Monday.
It's a public holiday here so the bakery was shut. Dead quiet around Anse Vata but still other areas are troublesome. The McDonalds at Boulari was torched, haven't seen too much new news to learn anything. The forces are still working on the airport road.

A nice person came to our hotel room and gave us a map to the consular meeting at the Hilton at 1630h. Walking there I saw an air force A400M, so nice to see a new aircraft type for me.

We went to the meeting at the Hilton, and the poor bloke from the consulate really copped it.

To summarise the meeting:
There were two simple messages. One, register on the crisis website and if you can't we can do it here. Two, the government is ready to get you back to Australia when France and Australia can determine it's safe to do so. Those in hotels will be collected there and delivered to Australia. I'm sure they'll have a plan for those in AirBNBs in the hills, etc.

I won't repeat the rumours spread before and after the meeting, as people pick up on those and manifest them into facts in their own minds. Some of the people/amateur logistics wizards at the meeting really were persistent with some ... questions such as "Will there be military air cover for our convoy to the airport? What is your plan A, B, C, D? Explain the aircraft type!, etc."

After that we visited the convenience store next to the hotel. Milk, butter, plenty of ice creams, fresh vegetables, those tubs of pre-made salads and tuna dishes were in abundance - so the food supply chain is ramping up again around some parts of Noumea.

Still hoping the airport can be accessible by Wednesday so we can bail out with all our luggage.
[edit]
Nope. Just as I submitted this, the airport is closed again until the 24th, maybe.
The protestors have been rebuilding roadblocks after the forces cleaned them up.
QF rebooked us to 1st of June. Time to wash some more clothes in the tub!
 
Last edited:
Monday.
It's a public holiday here so the bakery was shut. Dead quiet around Anse Vata but still other areas are troublesome. The McDonalds at Boulari was torched, haven't seen too much new news to learn anything. The forces are still working on the airport road.

A nice person came to our hotel room and gave us a map to the consular meeting at the Hilton at 1630h. Walking there I saw an air force A400M, so nice to see a new aircraft type for me.

We went to the meeting at the Hilton, and the poor bloke from the consulate really copped it.

To summarise the meeting:
There were two simple messages. One, register on the crisis website and if you can't we can do it here. Two, the government is ready to get you back to Australia when France and Australia can determine it's safe to do so. Those in hotels will be collected there and delivered to Australia. I'm sure they'll have a plan for those in AirBNBs in the hills, etc.

I won't repeat the rumours spread before and after the meeting, as people pick up on those and manifest them into facts in their own minds. Some of the people/amateur logistics wizards at the meeting really were persistent with some ... questions such as "Will there be military air cover for our convoy to the airport? What is your plan A, B, C, D? Explain the aircraft type!, etc."

After that we visited the convenience store next to the hotel. Milk, butter, plenty of ice creams, fresh vegetables, those tubs of pre-made salads and tuna dishes were in abundance - so the food supply chain is ramping up again around some parts of Noumea.

Still hoping the airport can be accessible by Wednesday so we can bail out with all our luggage.
[edit]
Nope. Just as I submitted this, the airport is closed again until the 24th, maybe.
The protestors have been rebuilding roadblocks after the forces cleaned them up.
QF rebooked us to 1st of June. Time to wash some more clothes in the tub!
Is the Hilton supplying breakfast and room service? What is the service standard at the hotel with the current situation?
 
You know you have first world problems when the consulate tries to get everyone back at all costs even though no citizen has even a scratch wound on their body. This coming from the government of the chillest nation in the world (straya). Based on their reactions you might have assumed the whole Caledonia is going to sink into the ocean any minute now...or is it?
🧐🧐
 
DFAT should be glad I'm not in charge:
Will there be military air cover for our convoy to the airport?
Yes, 300 helicopters (per person)
What is your plan A
Evacuation out of Magenta (via fighter jets)
Bonza 737
Cruise ship (one per person)
Teleportation (maximum 5kg weight limit)
Explain the aircraft type!
Concorde

Ok all jokes aside, It's a shame people had a go at the consulate person given they literally have a plan that the French won't approve. Some of the posts on facebook have been good comedy as well.
 
DFAT should be glad I'm not in charge:

Yes, 300 helicopters (per person)

Evacuation out of Magenta (via fighter jets)

Bonza 737

Cruise ship (one per person)

Teleportation (maximum 5kg weight limit)

Concorde

Ok all jokes aside, It's a shame people had a go at the consulate person given they literally have a plan that the French won't approve. Some of the posts on facebook have been good comedy as well.
You missed option E) award everyone 500,000 qantas points for in flight emergency redemption (points redemption credit for on board cattle class food shortage, overweight luggage from packing essential checked items10 Litres of mineral water, bringing extra family member on board including dog/cat/parrot/snake on plane, purchasing wifi credit to use Facetime to call loved ones, yadda yadda).


Update: I almost forgot: And the ability to combine all points of everyone on board and bump ONE person into J (at the detriment of everyone else on board) in case of the ULTIMATE emergency. The ULTIMATE mile redemption
🤣🤣
 
Another suggestion today was zodiacs from the beach to a cruise ship.
Look there are worse ideas but question is a cruise ship willing to partake... probably not.

Interestingly I've seen on smart traveller they've bumped it up to a level 3 warning (reconsider need to travel), some travel insurance won't cover those who travel to areas with that level (obviously not a problem for those already there) but an issue if that level doesn't drop after reopening.

Qantas has also put out a new commercial policy with anyone travelling up to 30 June that allows for a rebook (+/- 14 days), a credit or a full refund. Air Calin on the other hand is only offering rebooks/refunds for flights actually cancelled by the closed airport.
 
You missed option E) award everyone 500,000 qantas points for in flight emergency redemption
Whilst everyone loves to hate on Qantas, I've got to give it to them, they are planning to resume flights as soon as the airport reopens with A330s scheduled, plus as per my post above a rather flexible rebook/refund policy.
 
Whilst everyone loves to hate on Qantas, I've got to give it to them, they are planning to resume flights as soon as the airport reopens with A330s scheduled, plus as per my post above a rather flexible rebook/refund policy.
Too bad a little birdie told me QF WP1 VIP secret evacuation is already in progress (just joking please no one take this literally we are all strayans I don't want to be the guy that is spreading misinformation because people don't understand sarcasm) 🤣 🤣
 
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