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Country Guides New caledonia:


New Caledonia

  1. Country Facts
  2. Health
  3. Media
  1. Intro
  2. Geography
  3. People
  4. Travel
  5. Embassies & Visas
  6. Finance
  7. Cities/Regions

Quick Facts

Region: Asia & Oceania
Full Name: Territory of New Caledonia and Dependencies
Capital City: Noumea
Language Spoken: French (official), 33 Melanesian-Polynesian dialects

New Caledonia Travel Insurance

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Geographic data

21 30 S, 165 30 E

Elevation Extremes

lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m highest point: Mont Panie 1,628 m

Land boundaries

0 km

Natural hazards

cyclones, most frequent from November to March

Natural resources

nickel, chrome, iron, cobalt, manganese, silver, gold, lead, copper

Land use

arable land: 0.32% permanent crops: 0.22% other: 99.46% (2005)

Environmental current issues

erosion caused by mining exploitation and forest fires


Warm, subtropical climate. The cool season is from April to August and the hottest period is from September to March. The main rains are between January and March. The seasons are less defined on the east coast than the west. Climate is tempered by trade winds. Required clothing Tropical lightweights, with jackets and sweatshirts for evenings.

Time difference

time difference: UTC+11


219,246 (July 2006 est.)

Age structure

0-14 years: 28.4% (male 31,818/female 30,503) 15-64 years: 64.9% (male 71,565/female 70,815) 65 years and over: 6.6% (male 6,773/female 7,772) (2006 est.)

Median age

total: 27.8 years male: 27.4 years female: 28.2 years (2006 est.)

Population growth rate

1.24% (2006 est.)

Birth rate

18.11 births/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Death rate

5.69 deaths/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Net migration rate

0 migrant(s)/1,000 population note: there has been steady emigration from Wallis and Futuna to New Caledonia (2006 est.)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female 15-64 years: 1.01 male(s)/female 65 years and over: 0.87 male(s)/female total population: 1.01 male(s)/female (2006 est.)

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 74.27 years male: 71.29 years female: 77.39 years (2006 est.)

Total fertility rate

2.28 children born/woman (2006 est.)

Business Practices

Business meetings are generally casual, but appointments should be made in advance. Nearly all businessmen speak French, but many also speak English. Business people generally work long hours and take long lunch breaks, but business lunches are rare as most businessmen go home at lunchtime. Prices should be quoted in French or French Pacific Francs. Office hours are 0730-1130 and 1330-1730 Monday to Friday; 0730-1130 Saturday


Petty crimes against tourists and other visitors occur, but still remain below crime rates in most countries. Violent crime against visitors is very rare. Travel to the northern part of the main island should be restricted during political campaigns due to past incidents of violence against foreigners by Kanaka activists.


There is a very good selection of accommodation available with hotels, country inns and rural lodgings. Hotels are mostly small and intimate. Prices range from moderate to expensive. Modern hotels have been built at Anse Vata and the Baie des Citrons and there is also new bungalow-style accommodation in remoter parts of the main island and in the outer islands.


Telephone: IDD is available. Country code: 687. Outgoing international code: 00. There is a 24-hour service for international calls. International calls can be booked at the Post Office (0730-1800) or through hotels. The Post Office, located on rue Eugene Porcheron, is open 0715-1115 and 1200-1800.


is 220 volts AC, 50Hz and uses European-style, two-pin plugs. Electricity 220 volts AC, 50Hz. European-style, two-pin plugs are in use.

Plug Types


Food And Dining

The choice of eating places and food on New Caledonia is excellent; costs vary from moderate to expensive. Gourmet restaurants and bistros serve African, Chinese, French, Indonesian, Italian and Spanish cooking. Dishes include Pacific spiny lobsters, prawns, crabs or mangrove oysters and salads of raw fish (marinated in lime juice). An island specialty is bougna: fish or chicken wrapped in banana leaves and cooked on hot stones covered with sand. First-class delicatessens and grocers in Noum?a and at Anse Vata Beach provide a wide choice of picnic fare. There is a good selection of French wine available. Tipping : There is no tipping.

There are plenty of discos and also two casinos, situated in the Anse Vata area. Nightclubs in Noum?a are lively with both European and local floorshows. There are also several cinemas, which show French films.

Entry departure requirements

* Please see passport section below

Visa immigration information


Passport valid for at least six months, except for the following:
1. nationals of Belgium, Germany, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, Monaco, The Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and Switzerland, who are holders of national identity cards.


Required by all except the following:
(a) nationals of the EU (except 1. nationals of the Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania who do require a visa) and nationals of Andorra, Chile, Iceland, Liechtenstein, New Zealand, Norway, St Maarten, Switzerland and the Vatican City;
(b) nationals of Argentina, Bermuda, Brunei, Croatia, Malaysia, Mexico, Uruguay and Venezuela for stays of up to one month;
(c) transit passengers continuing their journey by the same or first connecting aircraft, provided holding valid onward or return documentation and not leaving the airport.

Types of visa and cost

All visas, regardless of duration of stay and number of entries permitted, cost US$41 In most circumstances, no fee applies to students, recipients of government fellowships and citizens of the EU and their family members.


Short-stay (up to 30 days): valid for two months (single- and multiple-entry). Short stay (31 to 90 days and double- or multiple-entry): valid for a maximum of six months from date of issue. Transit: valid for single- or multiple-entries of maximum five days per entry, including the day of arrival.

Application to

French Consulate General (for personal visas), or Consular section at Embassy (for diplomatic or service visas); see General Info section for France. All applications must be made in person.

Application requirements

(a) Valid passport with blank page to affix the visa. Minors traveling alone must submit notarized parental authorization, signed by both parents, plus one copy. (b) Up to two completed application forms. (c) One passport-size photo on each form. (d) Fee, to be paid in cash only if paying by person. If not, fee should be paid by cheque or postal order. (e) Evidence of sufficient funds for stay (two last bank statements, plus copy, or other proof of funds equivalent to US$100 for each day of trip). (f) Letter from employer, or proof of stay in country of residence. (g) Proof of address. (h) Medical insurance. (i) Return ticket and travel documents for remaining journey. (j) Proof of accommodation during stay. (k) Registered self-addressed envelope, if applying by post. (l) Detailed itinerary, including reservations and round-trip airline tickets (only required when visa is issued), plus one copy. (m) Proof of employment (eg last payslip or letter from employer). (n) Proof of valid health/travel insurance with worldwide coverage, plus copy. Business: (a)-(n) and, (o) Business invitation guaranteeing payment of travel expanses, plus one copy.

Working days required

One day to three weeks, depending on nationality.

Temporary residence

If intending to work or stay for longer than 90 days, nationals should contact the Long Stay visa section of the French Consulate General or Embassy (tel: (020) 7073 1248). Nationals of the EU may gain long-stay in New Caledonia on the condition that they have independent means and self-employed (proof must be submitted).

HIV entry requirements

No Test Required

Departure tax



Office of the High Commissioner

Street address: 1 avenue du Mar?chal Foch, Noum?a, New Caledonia
Postal address: BP C5, 98848 Noum?a, New Caledonia
Tel: 266 300.

Most visits to New Caledonia are trouble-free but you should be aware of the global risk of indiscriminate international terrorist attacks, which could be against civilian targets, including places frequented by foreigners.
This advice is based on information provided by the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office in the UK. It is correct at time of publishing. As the situation can change rapidly, visitors are advised to contact the following organizations for the latest travel advice:

British Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office

Tel: (0845) 850 2829.

US Department of State



French Pacific Franc (XPF). Notes are in denominations of XPF10,000, 5000, 1000 and 500. Coins are in denominations of XPF100, 50, 20, 10, 5, 2 and 1. New Caledonia is part of the French Monetary Area. Australian and New Zealand dollars are widely accepted in shops, hotels and restaurants. The French Pacific Franc is tied to the Euro. For further details on the Euro, see France section.

Currency restrictions

Any amount of money in excess of FCFP909,000, being carried by a person in their baggage, must be declared to customs. This does not engender supplementary costs.

Banking hours

Mon-Fri 0730-1545.

Currency exchange

Exchange facilities are available at the airport and at main branches of banks, but may charge a steep commission. ATMs are available in Noum?a, but sometimes have a maximum weekly withdrawal limit.

Credit cards

American Express and Visa are widely accepted; Diners Club and MasterCard have more limited use. Check with your credit or debit card company for details of merchant acceptability and other services which may be available.

Travellers cheques

To avoid additional exchange rate charges, travelers are advised to take traveller's cheques in Euros. There is, however, a charge of XPF515, including tax for each transaction.

City/RegionCity/Area codeFollowed by
Belep47+ 4 digits
Boulouparis46+ 4 digits
Lifou45+ 4 digits
Noum?a29+ 4 digits
  1. Health Information
  2. Recent Disease Outbreaks
  3. Hospital Database

Dental care

Good quality dental care is available in Noumea and reasonable care can be found elsewhere

Medication Availability

Supplies of international medications are available

Blood supplies

Blood supplies are considered as safe, collected from volunteer donors and screened to international standards

Medical facilities

Medical treatment on the main island is generally good, but is more limited on the remote outer islands. The Centre Hospitalier Territorial in Noum?a provides emergency and outpatient services, as does the smaller Centre Hospitalier Territorial in Koumac on the other side of the main island. Medical services in the remainder of the country are limited. Patients with more serious illnesses are often referred to Noum?a or to Australia for treatment. In a case involving medical treatment, the Australian visa authorities will require a referral from a local doctor, proof of acceptance by an Australian doctor, and proof of the patient's ability to pay for the medical treatment.

General caution

Recent medical and dental exams should ensure that the traveler is in good health. Carry appropriate health and accident insurance documents and copies of any important medical records. Bring an adequate supply of all prescription and other medications as well as any necessary personal hygiene items, including a spare pair of eyeglasses or contact lenses if necessary. Drink only bottled beverages (including water) or beverages made with boiled water. Do not use ice cubes or eat raw seafood, rare meat or dairy products. Eat well-cooked foods while they are still hot and fruits that can be peeled without contamination. Avoid roadside stands and street vendors. Swim only in well-maintained, chlorinated pools or ocean water known to be free from pollution. Wear clothing which reduces exposed skin and apply repellents containing DEET to remaining areas. Sleep in well-screened accommodations. Carry anti-diarrheal medication. Reduce problems related to sun exposure by using sunglasses, wide-brimmed hats, sunscreen lotions and lip protection.

Specific concerns

AIDS occurs. Blood supply may not be adequately screened and/or single-use, disposable needles and syringes may be unavailable. When possible, travelers should defer medical treatment until reaching a facility where safety can be assured. Hazards to bathers include corals and jellyfish, poisonous fish, and sea snakes. According to a study commissioned by an environmental group, Friends of the Earth, high levels of nickel contamination from a refinery in Noumea, the capital, have been identified in the air and water. Exposure to nickel in the environment over a period of time can lead to cancer and may cause skin irritation in sensitive individuals.


Hepatitis A: Consider active immunization with hepatitis A vaccine or passive immunization with immune globulin (IG) for all susceptible travelers. Especially consider choosing active immunization for persons planning to reside for a long period or for persons who take frequent short-term trips to risk areas. The importance of protection against hepatitis A increases as length of stay increases. It is particularly important for persons who will be living in or visiting rural areas, eating or drinking in settings of poor or uncertain sanitation, or who will have close contact with local persons (especially young children) in settings with poor sanitary conditions. Hepatitis B: Vaccination is advised for health care workers, persons anticipating direct contact with blood from or sexual contact with inhabitants, and persons planning extended stays of 6 months or greater (especially those who anticipate using local health care facilities, staying in rural areas, or having intimate contact with the local population). Note: All routine vaccines (such as DTP or Td, Hib, MMR, polio, varicella, influenza and pneumococcal) should be kept up-to-date as a matter of good health practice unrelated to travel.

Disease risk summary

Insect-borne illness: Dengue fever - occurs Dengue hemorrhagic fever - occurs Filariasis - prevalent Food-borne and water-borne illness: diseases such as the diarrheal diseases, the typhoid fevers and helminthic infections are common. Hepatitis occurs. Biointoxication may occur from raw or cooked fish and shellfish. Other hazards: Diseases such as measles and diphtheria are commonly reported. Influenza risk extends throughout the year.

Entry requirements

Cholera: None. (However, travelers coming from infected areas are required to complete a form for the use of the Health Service.) Yellow fever: A yellow fever vaccination certificate is required from travelers over 1 year of age coming from infected areas.

Recent disease outbreaks

No recent disease outbreaks

C. H. T. Magenta Maternity Hospital7 Rue Paul Doumer Noumea 98800
Clinique MagninVallee des Colons Noumea 98800
Gaston Bourret Hospital (Centre Hospitalier Territorial de Nouvelle Caledonie)7 rue Paul Doumer BP J 5 Noumea 98800
Polyclinique de l'Anse VataNoumea 98800


Press: Newspapers are published in French and include Les Nouvelles Cal?doniennes (daily) and L'Hebdo, Les Infos and T?l? 7 Jours (weekly).
Radio: BBC World Service (website: and Voice of America (website: can be received. From time to time the frequencies change and the most up-to-date can be found online.