Exposition permanenteMusée MaritimeThe golden age of sea travel

Thousands of medals were specially minted in England to commemorate James Cook's second circumnavigation (1772-1775). The one shown here, found in 1950 in New Caledonia's district of Ouegoa by a member of the Jacques family, is the only tangible remain of the great navigator's visit to New Caledonia in his ship HMS Resolution.

MedailleJamesCookAvers MedailleJamesCookRevers

Gargoyles were used as ornamental gutter outlets to lead rain-water away from the walls. They were often fashioned in the shape of grotesque animal or human heads.

This lion-headed example is a copy of one of the sixteen bronze gargoyles originally set on the roof of Amédée Lighthouse.

Reproduction of the original in resin


These two millstones, meant for grinding grain into flour, had been loaded onboard the ships of the La Perouse expedition (1785-1788). They formed a part of a flour mill capable of producing up to 200 kg of flour a day.

Four mills of this type had been shipped, two for each ship, and been set up on the stern decks of the Astrolabe and the Boussole.


This machine gun was mounted on an American Air Force P-39 Airacobra which crashed into the reef at Tetembia (near the International Airport) on November 28, 1942. The pilot, Howard Hulbert, died while carrying out a training exercise.

Pierre Larue, member of the Maritime Museum, tells the story of the discovery of tje airman's body nearly 50 years after the accident.

The NCTV reports starts at 1:03:05 






Seeds of Banksia, a native plant of Australia, were found in 1986 in the wreck of the Boussole. They were probably collected by one of the La Perouse expedition's botanists when the ships called at Botany Bay in 1788.

By 2010, a number of these seeds were sent to the French National Botanical Conservatory at Brest to attemps to germinated them. Unfortunately after 3 years of treatment, the scientists were unable to induce any of the seeds to germinate.