Weather & climate
New Caledonia boasts a sub-tropical climate, with warm weather year round. The cooler months are from July – September and temperatures average 20-22° Celsius, while the warmer months of December to February enjoy an average temperature of 27-28° Celsius. If hiking in the mountain ranges during the cooler months, you may experience overnight temperatures of 0° Celsius. Sea temperatures throughout the year are quite pleasant, and can vary from 21-28° Celsius depending on the season. Cyclones can occur in New Caledonia, between February and April.
Passports & visas
Australian and New Zealand passport holders don’t require a visa for visits up to 90 days. You will, however, need a current passport with two blank pages and six months’ validity from the date you return home, along with a return air ticket, proof of insurance, and proof of purpose of your visit.
Consult your GP or a travel doctor at least six weeks before you travel. You may be required or recommended to get vaccinations for measles, yellow fever, rabies, typhoid and hepatitis A & B, among others. Malaria is not an issue in New Caledonia, however Dengue fever, Chikungunya, and Zika virus may be present, and mosquito nets and insect repellent should be used. A yellow fever vaccination certificate is required for anyone entering New Caledonia from a yellow fever endemic country.
New Caledonia has one main international airport, La Tontouta International Airport, which is located on Grande Terre island, approximately 40 minutes outside of Nouméa, the capital city. You can fly direct to New Caledonia from Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, and Auckland.
Travelling between New Caledonia’s islands is possible by air or boat. Domestic flights are available between Nouméa, Isle of Pines, Maré, Ouvéa, Lifou, Tiga, Koumac, Belep, and Touho. Scenic boat trips are also available between the islands.
Getting around New Caledonia is easy with a number of private, public, and adventurous options. Inter-hotel road transfers and shuttle are available, with the option of private guides and vehicles to explore the island are your own pace. Grande Terre island has a very efficient system of buses, and taxis are also available. Cycling and walking are a great way to explore an island, and water taxis are great for travelling between islands.
Currency & language
The local currency is the Pacific Franc (CFP). Banks and ATMs are available in the capital of Nouméa, along with currency exchange services at the airport and cruise terminal. Credit card is widely accepted at hotels and shops, however it is recommended to carry cash when visiting some of the islands.
French is the official language, and there are over 30 Melanesian languages spoken by the Kanak people. English is also spoken in Nouméa in hotel, shops, and restaurants.