Travel Tips for New Caledonia

Some things to keep in mind when traveling to New Caledonia...

 

Location

New Caledonia is a group of islands located at the north-east coast of Australia and belonging to France. The main island Grand Terre is surrounded by the New Caledonia Barrier Reef, the second-largest coral reef after the Australian Great Barrier Reef.

Climate

The Caledonian climate is pleasant throughout the year, with the most popular time to visit being the Australian winter, between April and November. Its tempered tropical climate makes a certain mildness of life possible. It is never too hot or too cold. Indeed, in Noumea the mercury hovers between 59°F and 97°F. This mild climate is faithfully maintained by the trade winds, the chilly winds that blow from east to southeast, 250 days a year on average.

Entry Requirements

You need a passport valid for six months beyond the duration of your stay in New Caledonia. You do not need a visa if your stay in New Caledonia is less than one month.

Tipping Protocol

Neither tipping nor bargaining are part of the local culture, although you can round up your bill in the less traditional and more European restaurants.

Language

French is the official language. A number of Melanesian-Polynesian dialects are spoken. English is widely used in tourist areas.

Health

Routine vaccinations are a must, while typhoid, and hepatitis A & B are recommended, especially if traveling to more rural areas.

Currency & Exchange, Credit Cards, and Banking

The currency of New Caledonia is the CFP Franc (French Pacific Franc); after being pegged to the French Franc for 50 years, the rate is now pegged to the Euro at a fixed equivalent parity. 1,000 F.CFP to 8.38 Euros. Credit cards are accepted almost everywhere in Noumea, but a minimum amount is sometimes asked. You'll also find plenty of ATMs in Noumea. Note that outside Noumea, there are less ATMs and that many shops in remote places may not accept your card.

Jet Lag

Westbound flights appear to be the worst for jet lag but many people report feelings of jet lag with any long haul flights. To prevent feeling the worse for wear when you arrive at your destination try the following tips: Be well rested before boarding your flight, drink plenty of fluids and cut back on the alcoholic and caffeinated beverages, try to exercise by stretching in your seat or strolling the isle. One of the best tips is to try to set your body clock to your destination’s time while in flight. Waiting until you land can leave you literally in the wrong time zone.