New Caledonia Travel Tips

Essential travel tips to help you get the most out of your trip to New Caledonia.

Location – New Caledonia is located in the southwest Pacific Ocean, around 1200km east of Australia and 1500km northwest of New Zealand.

Area – 18,575 sq km

Population – 221,943

Capital city – Nouméa (population 91,400)

Government – French Overseas Territory since 1957

Climate – New Caledonia enjoys a sunny and pleasant tropical climate year round. For dry sunny days, visit between May and mid-December, with September to November the best.

The warm season is from September to March, with temperatures averaging 26°C (78°F). The cooler season is from April to August, with temperatures averaging 21°C (70°F) – a good time if you wish to go trekking.

The wet season runs from January to March, bringing with it higher temperatures, heavier rains, mosquitoes and the occasional tropical cyclone.

Time Zone – GMT/UTC +11 hours

Currency – French Pacific Franc (CFP)

Electricity – 230 volts, 50hz. European-style, two-pin plugs

Tipping – Tipping is not encouraged and goes against local tradition

Language – French. English and Japanese are also widely spoken

Useful phrases – Try these French phrases: Bonjour – ‘good day’; Parlez-vous Anglais? – ‘Do you speak English?’; Comment allez-vous? – ‘How are you?’; Très bien, merci – ‘Very well, thank you’

Entry requirements – A passport valid for at least six months beyond intended period of stay as well as a ticket for return or onward travel. Visas are not required for stays up to 90 days for Australia, New Zealand, EEC, US, Japan and South Korea passport holders.

What to pack – Bring casual, comfortable clothing, swimmers, hat and sunscreen. Dress is casual and informal throughout the islands. A light sweater may be useful for cooler evenings in the cooler months.

Local etiquette – Melanesian society great importance on modesty and courtesy. Swim wear should be confined to the beaches. Bargaining is considered rude.

Tip – Hats and sunscreen are a must and sneakers or sandals are advisable for walking and swimming around coral. If you cut yourself on coral pour lemon or lime juice over the wound to relieve the pain, or use hydrogen peroxide.

Did you know? – New Caledonia is the third largest island in the Pacific Region after Papua New Guinea and New Zealand.

Latest update: New Caledonia Travel Tips: 27 April, 2022