New Caledonia

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New Caledonia

Welcome to New Caledonia

Defined by its UNESCO World Heritage lagoon, New Caledonia is its own perfect paradise. Here, you’ll close to Australia, yet you feel as if you’ve discovered a secret Pacific utopia.

The main island, Grande Terre, offers outdoor adventure, wonderfully warm people, authentic cultural experiences and amazing landscapes. Feel the mix of French and Melanesian influences, take a day trip to a tiny islet, go whale watching and swim through subterranean caves. Spend a day shopping and dining along Alma Street in the joyful city of Noumea.

View the petroglyphs of Montfaoue and visit the site of the mystical Heart of Voh. Kayak along the clear waters of the Blue River in the south. Visit the Tjibaou Cultural Centre and learn about the local Kanak culture.

New Caledonia effortlessly combines natural wonders, art and culture, gastronomy, relaxation and more, making it a one-stop shop for vacationers seeking the best of both worlds.

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Need To Know

Unique Facts

  • It’s located in the South Pacific, but New Caledonia is a French territory. New Zealand is to the South and Australia is to the west.
  • New Caledonia is surrounded by the world’s largest lagoon. It’s more than 9,000 square miles and home to abundant marine life, including several types of sea turtles, rare crabs and humpback whales.
  • The indigenous Kanak people make up 42 percent of the population today. They arrived in the archipelago approximately 3,000 years ago.
  • What cannot fly and barks like a dog? No, not a dog. It’s the elusive cagou, the national bird of New Caledonia.
  • Although the official language is French, there are more than 30 local dialects spoken in New Caledonia.

Language

New Caledonia’s official language is French.

When To Go

The best times to go to New Caledonia are May, June, September and October. If diving and snorkeling will be your main activities, aim for June to October for optimal visibility and fewer rain and wind storms. The high seasons, and therefore the most crowded, are from mid-December to the end of January, as well and July and August.

Airports

La Tontouta Airport, Noumea

Passport Validity

Passport must be valid at time of entry for six months past arrival date.

Visa Required By US Citizen?

None required for stays of 90 days or less

Vaccinations

The CDC recommends the following vaccines for most travelers when visiting New Caledonia: Hepatitis A and Typhoid. Depending on where you are traveling, you may also need Hepatitis B and Yellow Fever vaccines.

Electrical Outlets

Power plugs and sockets: type F. Standard voltage: 220V. Frequency: 50Hz.

Currency

Official local currency: Pacific Franc

Getting Around

Roads are generally well maintained, except in remote areas. Driving at night can be hazardous due to animals and pedestrians sharing the road and poor lighting.

Noumea, as well as some of the larger towns, offer taxi and bus service.

Driver’s License

Valid driver’s license from country of origin required.

US Embassy Info

U.S. Embassy Suva
158 Princes Rd, Tamavua
Suva, Fiji Islands
Telephone: +(679) 331-4466
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(679) 772-8049
Fax: +(679) 330-2267
SuvaACS@state.gov

Local Visitor Info

Tourism Office
22 quai Jules Ferry, Cruise Ship Terminal or Anse Vata
113 Promenade Roger Laroque
Tel. +687-05-75-80/+687-28-75-80

Local Emergency Phone Numbers

General Emergency: 112

Safety and Security

Avoid protests and demonstrations because they have the potential to turn violent.

The crime rate is low in New Caledonia. Petty crime includes pickpocketing and purse snatching.

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