New Caledonia FAQ
Why choose New Caledonia for your next holiday?
New Caledonia is the perfect destination for a quick escape. Situated closer to Australia than Fiji and Vanuatu, this South Pacific nation is conveniently located while still giving you the feeling that you’re worlds away!
The culture in New Caledonia is like nowhere else in the world. French influences are strong, but so too are the country’s Melanesian roots. There are museums, galleries, and festivals which showcase it all, plus a plethora of restaurants that fuse French, Asian and Pacific cuisines! Hike up mountain trails, dive deep in the reefs, or spend your days relaxing on secluded beaches in front of luxury resorts. New Caledonia truly is a paradise for everyone, no matter what your vision of a perfect holiday is. Learn more about it below!
How do I get there?
New Caledonia is Australia’s closest neighbour, with direct flights from the east coast taking between 2 and 3 hours. Aircalin, the national airline of New Caledonia, departs regularly from Sydney, Brisbane, and Melbourne. This is a full-service airline offering a comfortable flight, spacious seating, French cuisine, and complimentary beverages for all passengers!
What is the weather like?
New Caledonia has a distinct wet and dry season, with average temperatures sitting at 24°C. The warmer months, from December through to April, make up the wet season. Temperatures range up to 28°C. The cooler months, May to September, make the dry season and temperatures drop to the low 20’s. Click here for on more weather.
What is the capital?
The capital of New Caledonia is Noumea. This vibrant, bustling hub is located in the South Province of the main island, Grand Terre. Noumea is an oceanfront city and is populated by approximately 100,000 people. There is plenty to do in the capital. Learn a range of water sports, dine at gourmet restaurants and cafés, explore cultural sites, or head off on a hike!
What is the national language?
French is the official language of New Caledonia however, most locals involved in the tourism industry speak English. Native Kanak languages are widely spoken throughout the regions of the country. There are 28 languages and 11 dialects included in this language group, plus a range of Asian languages are also common, including Japanese, Indonesian, and Vietnamese.
What is the currency?
The official currency in New Caledonia is CFP Franc. Some stores or service providers in Noumea accept payment in Australia Dollars (AUD), plus Visa, Mastercard, and American Express are widely accepted. Currency exchange offices and ATMs are located at the airport, the cruise ship terminal, some resorts, and most banks in Noumea.
What can I do there?
New Caledonia has something for all types of holiday makers. If you’re an active traveller try out the walking tracks, snorkelling, and horse-riding. If you’re all about the culture, check out New Caledonia’s must-see museums, including the T’jiabou Cultural Centre, or treat yourself to the flavours of the world. For more things to do, click here!
What’s the best way to travel around Noumea?
If you’re based in New Caledonia’s capital, you’ll want to know how to get around to all the different activities on offer! Most of Noumea can be accessed by foot, plus there are tourist trains that run throughout the city. Alternatively, you can call a taxi, travel on the “Karuïa Bus” city bus service, or rent a bike or moped!
Can I travel to the surrounding islands?
The Isle of Pines, Ouvéa, Lifou, Tiga, and Maré are the 5 main islands that surround New Caledonia’s mainland, Grand Terre. All islands are easily accessed either via air or sea. Travel 10 minutes out of the city centre to board an Air Calédonie flight from the Magenta domestic airport or take a water taxi or the high-speed catamaran, Betico.
Are there alcohol restrictions?
There are local restrictions that apply to the sale of takeaway alcohol. These sales are generally prohibited after midday on Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, plus on the eve and day of public holidays. Only wine retailers are exempt from this regulation. Ask our New Caledonia Holiday Experts for more information on this when booking your holiday!
Is it just for couples?
No! New Caledonia is a destination for everyone. It’s great for families, foodies, adrenaline junkies, nature lovers, and sun worshippers alike. There are plenty of luxury hotels to base yourself at and, from there, you can choose to completely unwind, set out on an adventure, or spend your days enjoying the beautiful surrounding lagoon. Read more here!
Are there any travel insurance requirements?
Under new customs laws, every traveller visiting New Caledonia must be able to show a copy of their travel insurance certificate before entering the country. To avoid any nasty surprises or hassles upon arriving in New Caledonia, please make sure to have your travel insurance documents with you. Please call our My New Caledonia Holiday Experts to gain a quote on 1300 642 642. For more information, please head to https://www.newcaledonia.travel/au/passport-visa-customs.
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