New Caledonia travel guide

New Caledonia Tourism | New Caledonia Guide

You're Going to Love New Caledonia

A mixture of natural beauty, welcoming locals and a vibrant culture that combines local Melanesian island life with French influence, New Caledonia is a country to take time exploring.

What to do in New Caledonia

1. Explore Nouméa

Visit the Museum of New Caledonia or the Tjibaou Cultural Centre to learn about the traditions and history of the island. Shop at the local markets and wander through town to see the colonial architecture that still exists.

2. Engage in Water Sports

Try windsurfing, snorkeling, and deep-sea diving. Dive to the La Dieppoise wreck – a ship that once belonged to the Royal Navy - or snorkel to Ilot Canard to see the variety of tropical fish. Try windsurfing at Nouméa on the Bay of Anse Vata.

3. Relax on the Beach

Beach-goers are spoiled for choice. Close to Nouméa are the Baie des Citrons and the Anse Vata, while a water taxi can be taken from Anse Vata to Îlot Maitre where there is a beach resort. Île des Pins off the south coast of Grande Terre is another option.

4. Head to the East Coast

Visit the village of Yaté, situated among waterfalls, lakes and woodlands. Venture along the coast to see the beaches, churches, the lagoon and the eroded limestone cliffs - Lindéralique Rocks - at Hienghéne.

5. Hike Around Grande Terre

Go to Sarraméa, a town in the central mountain range of Grande Terre, and explore the many trails. Visit the Dogny Plateau for expansive views or try the hikes around Mont-Dore or Blue River Park.

1. Explore Nouméa

Visit the Museum of New Caledonia or the Tjibaou Cultural Centre to learn about the traditions and history of the island. Shop at the local markets and wander through town to see the colonial architecture that still exists.

2. Engage in Water Sports

Try windsurfing, snorkeling, and deep-sea diving. Dive to the La Dieppoise wreck – a ship that once belonged to the Royal Navy - or snorkel to Ilot Canard to see the variety of tropical fish. Try windsurfing at Nouméa on the Bay of Anse Vata.

3. Relax on the Beach

Beach-goers are spoiled for choice. Close to Nouméa are the Baie des Citrons and the Anse Vata, while a water taxi can be taken from Anse Vata to Îlot Maitre where there is a beach resort. Île des Pins off the south coast of Grande Terre is another option.

4. Head to the East Coast

Visit the village of Yaté, situated among waterfalls, lakes and woodlands. Venture along the coast to see the beaches, churches, the lagoon and the eroded limestone cliffs - Lindéralique Rocks - at Hienghéne.

5. Hike Around Grande Terre

Go to Sarraméa, a town in the central mountain range of Grande Terre, and explore the many trails. Visit the Dogny Plateau for expansive views or try the hikes around Mont-Dore or Blue River Park.

When to visit New Caledonia

New Caledonia in May
Estimated hotel price
$136
1 night at 3-star hotel
New Caledonia in May
Estimated hotel price
$136
1 night at 3-star hotel

The most pleasant time to take a trip to New Caledonia is between September and November when temperatures range between 79°F and 86°F. For cooler temperatures, think about visiting just after the rainy season in April or May.

How to Get to New Caledonia

Entry requirements

Nationals from the EU, Canada, UK, USA and Australia, as well as those from various other Asian, African and South American countries, will not need a visa to visit New Caledonia, but will need proof of funds, proof of travel insurance and a return or onward ticket. This will allow the passport holder to stay for 90 days.

Plane

Aircalin is the national carrier that flies into La Tontouta International Airport in Nouméa. With various airline partnerships, Aircalin has flights from the west coast of the US, Europe, Middle East and Asia that fly into New Caledonia.

Boat

Nouméa is the international port in New Caledonia and cruise lines, such as Holland America, Royal Caribbean and Carnival Cruises, all have this port on various itineraries.

Entry requirements

Nationals from the EU, Canada, UK, USA and Australia, as well as those from various other Asian, African and South American countries, will not need a visa to visit New Caledonia, but will need proof of funds, proof of travel insurance and a return or onward ticket. This will allow the passport holder to stay for 90 days.

Plane

Aircalin is the national carrier that flies into La Tontouta International Airport in Nouméa. With various airline partnerships, Aircalin has flights from the west coast of the US, Europe, Middle East and Asia that fly into New Caledonia.

Boat

Nouméa is the international port in New Caledonia and cruise lines, such as Holland America, Royal Caribbean and Carnival Cruises, all have this port on various itineraries.

Popular airports in New Caledonia

Popular airlines serving New Caledonia

Air France
Good (984 reviews)
Japan Airlines
Excellent (955 reviews)
Qantas Airways
Good (556 reviews)
Air New Zealand
Excellent (315 reviews)
Fiji Airways
Excellent (142 reviews)
Air Tahiti Nui
Excellent (39 reviews)
Aircalin
Good (8 reviews)

Where to stay in New Caledonia

Accommodation offers in New Caledonia include hotels (both high end and midrange), campsites, farm stays (in the countryside) and homestays, as well as small basic hotels and bungalows (gîtes).

Where to stay in popular areas of New Caledonia

How to Get Around New Caledonia

Public Transportation

The public bus network in Nouméa is run by Karuia Bus Company. Other smaller towns have little in the way of public transportation, so it may be necessary to catch a taxi.

Bus

There are 18 different lines operating within Nouméa and tickets cost in the region of 190 XFP (1.80 USD) if purchased before travel and 210 XFP (2 USD) if purchased on the bus. The Rai bus company runs buses that connect all the towns of Grande Terre.

Car

Cars can be rented from international car rental companies, which have desks at the airport in Nouméa. Driving is a good way to see out of the way places on the island.

Plane

Domestic flights are operated out of Magenta Airport by Air Calédonie between Nouméa and the Loyalty Islands off the east coast of Grande Terre. Flights also link Nouméa with Touho, Koné and Koumac in the north of the main island and Île des Pins in the south.

Public Transportation

The public bus network in Nouméa is run by Karuia Bus Company. Other smaller towns have little in the way of public transportation, so it may be necessary to catch a taxi.

Bus

There are 18 different lines operating within Nouméa and tickets cost in the region of 190 XFP (1.80 USD) if purchased before travel and 210 XFP (2 USD) if purchased on the bus. The Rai bus company runs buses that connect all the towns of Grande Terre.

Car

Cars can be rented from international car rental companies, which have desks at the airport in Nouméa. Driving is a good way to see out of the way places on the island.

Plane

Domestic flights are operated out of Magenta Airport by Air Calédonie between Nouméa and the Loyalty Islands off the east coast of Grande Terre. Flights also link Nouméa with Touho, Koné and Koumac in the north of the main island and Île des Pins in the south.

The Cost of Living in New Caledonia

While credit cards can be used at large hotels and tourist restaurants and shops in Nouméa, outside of the capital they may not be accepted. ATMs are also prevalent in the city, but may include a withdrawal limit. In terms of cost of living, a gallon of milk and a dozen eggs will cost around 1,025 XPF (9.60 USD) in a grocery store while eating at restaurants is relatively expensive with prices of around 2,900 XPF (27.10 USD) per person to eat in a slightly cheaper restaurant.

Popular cities in New Caledonia