Planning your Holiday
Frequently Asked Questions about New Caledonia
- What is the Capital of New Caledonia? Noumea
- Which Airlines Fly to NC? Air Calin, Virgin Australia, Qantas, Air New Zealand
- Where is the International Airport? Tontoutel on Grand Terre
- What is the currency of New Caledonia? Central Pacific Franc
- What Electricity and Electrical Sockets? Same as France / Europe Standard
New Caledonia Tourist Information
Which Airlines Fly to New Caledonia?
Virgin Australia, Qantas, Air New Zealand, AirCalin, Air France and Air Vanuatu all fly to New Caledonia. AirCalin is the local airline and offers domestic flights.
Where is the International Airport?
Tontoutel International Airport is about half way up the west coast of Grand Terre and an hour drive north of the capital Noumea.
When is Winter? When is Summer?
The high season for tourism is in July / August when French arrive from Europe on their long summer holidays and coinciding with the Australian winter months when the warm tropics beckon. During these months, and also in December, rooms at the more popular resorts and regions can often be booked out well in advance. New Caledonia is tropical with temperatures averaging 30 degrees Celsius in summer and 23 degrees in winter. Night-time temperatures in summer drops only a few degrees whilst in winter the variation can be up to 10 degrees cooler giving need to a light jumper in the evenings.
Who are New Caledonians?
The indigenous people of New Caledonia are of Melanesian descent, known locally as Kanaks and speak one of 24 Kanak languages. However, being an overseas collectivity of France, many expatriate French live and work in New Caledonia, mostly in Noumea and along the west coast of Grand Terre with French being the official language.
What is the currency of New Caledonia? Are there banks and ATM machines?
The currency of New Caledonia is the Central Pacific Franc (CFP) which is fixed to the Euro - most resorts set room rates in Euros and this is the currency we have used for all quotations. Banks and ATM machines are found in Noumea Town and most small towns on the main island of Grand Terre. There are also ATMs and bank in the main town of Lifou in the Loyalty Islands. There are money exchange booths and an ATM at the international airport.
Can I use my Credit Card?
Visa and Mastercard are accepted by most restaurants and shops and by the majority of hotels and resorts. A credit card fee of around 3% is commonly charged.
What Electricity and Electrical Sockets are in New Caledonia?
Electricity is 220 AC voltage as per France and uses the same two round pin plugs as found in Europe.
What Tourist Information is available?
There is a tourist information centre at the international airport as well as in Noumea Town..
Should I Tip for Service?
Probably - tipping is not encouraged in the South Pacific although French influence has meant that tipping has become more and more common. If unsure, ask the hotel reception.
What Items should I pack for holiday?
A wide brim hat, sunglasses and suncream are the most essential items.
A good water bottle if you're going to explore.
Airy clothes, preferably cotton with an emphasis on shorts and shirts or t-shirts.
A light jumper is handy to have in winter in case it gets cool.
Reef shoes if exploring the sea or beachcombing.
What Health Issues are there?
The country is free from malaria, yellow fever and most other diseases endemic in tropical countries. Mosquitoes are present and can be annoying during the wetter months (Dec to April). Water is safe to drink.