Best time to visit New Caledonia

The best time to visit New Caledonia is during September, October and November, when the weather is pleasantly warm and sunny, with little rainfall.

However, anytime from July to early-December is good for a range of outdoor actvities.

New Caledonia is considered a year-round destination.

New Caledonia weather

New Caledonia experiences a tropical climate, with a hot, rainy season from late-December to late-March, a cool, drier season from July to September; as well as two short transitional seasons.

The transitional seasons – April through May, and October through November – are characterized by comfortable temperatures around 26°C (78°F) during the day, with some rainfall.

The hot summer season includes the wet cyclone season from January through March, which usually brings torrential downpours at anytime of the day, but especially during the hottest months of February and March.

New Caledonia comprises the main island of Grande Terre plus several smaller islands.

To the north-east of Grande Terre lie the Loyalty Islands of Lifou, Maré and Ouvéa; while to the south-east lies the Isle of Pines.

To the north-west lie the Belep Islands, and further west, the uninhabited, Chesterfield Islands.

Here are the weather averages for Nouméa, the capital, which is located on the southern coast of Grande Terre…

(Also, weather in the Loyalty Islands and Iles des Pins…)

What is the best month to visit New Caledonia?
September, October and November are the best months to visit New Caledonia – the climate is pleasant with warm sunny weather, mainly clear blue skies and rainfall is at its lowest.

What are the best months for activities in New Caledonia?
The cooler months between April and August are best for hiking, climbing, cycling and horseback riding; while May to September is best for surfing; and October to January is best for swimming, snorkelling, diving and sunbathing.

April to November offers the best time for sailing, with southeasterly trade winds providing a regular 15-20 knots of wind daily. The tidal range in New Caledonia is only half a metre and currents are negligible.

Which is the hottest month in New Caledonia?
The hottest month in New Caledonia is usually February, with an average high of 30°C (86°F) with high heat and humidity, and a low of 21°C (70°F).

The hot season lasts from mid-December to late-March, with an average daily high temperature above 28°C (82°F).

However, on the warmest days of the hot season, the temperature may climb to around 35°C (95°F).

Which is the coldest month in New Caledonia?
August is usually the coldest month in Nouméa, with an average high temperature of 24°C (75°F) and an average low temperature of 15°C (59°F).

The cool season lasts from mid-June to mid-September, with an average daily high temperature below 24°C (75°F).

When is it sunniest in New Caledonia?
The sunniest time of year in New Caledonia is normally October, with more than eight hours of sunshine per day; that's an average of around 63% of daylight hours.

The amount of sunshine in Nouméa is good from September to December, when the sun shines about 65% of the time.

What is the humidity in New Caledonia?
New Caledonia experiences significant seasonal variation in perceived humidity, with approximate average relative humidity calculated at between 69% – 79% over the course of the year.

What do the humidity conditions feel like in New Caledonia?
We derive the humidity comfort level – what conditions feel like – from the dew point temperature, which measures moisture content in the atmosphere: a higher dew point feels more humid, while a lower dew point feels drier.

Meteorologists agree that dew point temperature is a more consistant indication of 'absolute humidity' than relative humidity, which fluctuates with temperature. 

The average annual dew point in New Caledonia is 18°C (64°F), and varies over the course of the year from comfortable at 14°C (57°F) to muggy at 22°C (72°F). 

The more humid time of year in New Caledonia lasts from mid-October to early-June, when you can expect the comfort level to be muggy at least 30% of the time.

The months with the most muggy days in New Caledonia are January, February and March, when every day in each month is muggy or worse.

July and August are generally more comfortable, with an average of three days in each month that are muggy.

When is the sea warmest in New Caledonia?
The sea is usually at its warmest in New Caledonia in February when the water temperature averages a high of 27°C (80°F), which is pleasant for swimming.

You can expect warmer water from early-January to mid-April, with an average temperature above 26°C (78°F).

From July through to mid-October, the water is cooler, with an average temperature around 23°C (73°F), which is acceptable for swimming.

Which month has the most rain in New Caledonia?
April is usually the wettest month in Nouméa, New Caledonia with 191mm (7.5in) of rainfall on average distributed across 11 days.

You can expect rainfall anytime in New Caledonia, with bright sunshine between showers.

Typically, the northeast-facing coast of Grande Terre island – where there are no major cities – receives more rainfall than the one exposed to the southwest. Nouméa is situated on the southern coast of the main island.

The wet season lasts from mid-December through June, with a greater than 22% chance of a given day being a wet day.

The drier season lasts from July to mid-December. The months of August and September are typically the driest months in New Caledonia.

Which is the windiest month in New Caledonia?
March is the windiest month in Nouméa, New Caledonia, with an average hourly wind speed of 23 kilometres per hour (12 knots; 14mph).

The windier part of the year lasts from late-December to mid-June, with average wind speeds of more than 21 kilometres per hour (11 knots; 13mph).

The less windy time of year lasts from mid-June to late-December. September is the calmest month of the year, with an average hourly wind speed of 19 kilometres per hour (10 knots; 12mph).

The predominant average wind direction in New Caledonia is from the east throughout the year.

What's the likelihood of a storm in New Caledonia?
New Caledonia is susceptible to tropical cyclones and summer thunderstorms. There's a 4.5% likelihood of a tropical storm in New Caledonia during the month of March.

The storm season lasts from January through March.

What is the worst time to visit New Caledonia?
January through to March is the worst time to visit New Caledonia, since this is the hot, rainy season, when daytime temperatures often exceed 29°C (84°F).

The wet season also brings higher humidity levels that can make outdoor activity uncomfortable as well as an increase in mosquito activity, posing potential health risks.

This period is also New Caledonia's cyclone season, with occasional tropical storms that may disrupt travel plans.

New Caledonia Weather Averages

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Average high temperature (°C)
30 30 30 28 26 25 24 24 26 28 29 31
Average low temperature (°C)
21 21 21 19 17 16 15 15 16 17 19 20
Average daily sunshine (hrs)
7 7 6 6 5 5 6 7 7 8 8 8
Average daily daylight (hrs)
13 13 12 11 11 11 11 11 12 12 13 13
Comfort level – heat
Moderately warm icon Moderately warm icon Moderately warm icon Moderately warm icon Low heat & humidity icon Low heat & humidity icon Low heat & humidity icon Low heat & humidity icon Low heat & humidity icon Moderately warm & humidity icon Moderately warm icon Moderately warm icon
Comfort level – humidity (#muggy days)
29 28 30 25 19 10 5 5 7 13 19 26
Average dew point temperature (°C)
21 22 21 20 18 16 15 14 15 16 18 20
Average relative humidity (%)
74 78 79 77 76 76 74 71 69 69 69 72
UV Index (max)
11+ 11+ 11+ 9 7 5 6 7 9 11 11+ 11+
Average days of rainfall (≥1mm)
8 9 10 11 7 7 5 4 3 3 5 6
Average monthly rainfall (mm)
124 149 155 191 98 64 59 42 39 64 51 101
Average wind speed (km/h)
22 22 23 23 22 21 21 20 19 20 21 21
Average sea temperature (°C)
27 27 27 26 25 24 23 23 23 23 24 26
Nouméa, New Caledonia

New Caledonia weather by month

Source: Meteorological data for New Caledonia is based on weather statistics gathered during 2012 to 2021 by Météo France en Nouvelle-Calédonie at the closest weather station: La Tontouta International Airport (NOU), also known as Nouméa – La Tontouta International Airport, located 37km (23mi) northwest of Nouméa.

Advice on the best time to visit a particular destination is based on average local weather statistics, when the weather conditions are generally better than at other times of the year. We consider high and low temperatures, risk of rain (and thunderstorms, etc.), amount of sunshine and sea temperature. For general outdoor activities we favour clear, rainless days with a temperature range between 18°C (64°F) and 27°C (80°F); and for hot-weather activities we favour clear, rainless days with a temperature range between 24°C (75°F) and 32°C (89°F). Often, the best times to visit correspond to high season and therefore involve higher prices.

Latest update: Best time to visit New Caledonia: 10 May, 2024

Disclaimer: The information on this site is provided as is, without any assurances as to its accuracy or suitability for any purpose. Weather data and conditions at any given location and time are unpredictable and variable. We assume no responsibility and can not be held legally responsible for any decisions made on the basis of the information presented on this site.