New Caledonia

New Caledonia

Use Normal Level of Caution

New Caledonia, located in the south Pacific Ocean, east of Australia, is home to white sandy beaches, exotic wildlife, exciting adventure tourism and the world’s largest lagoon. The rich blend of tropical and French cultures permeates all aspects of the country and beckons the traveller to experience this up-and-coming tourist destination.

Colonized by both the French and British, New Caledonia became a French colony in 1853 and was used primarily as an island where French prisoners were sent. Since the rejection of the independence referendum in 1998, New Caledonia has been classified as a territorial collectivity of France, but will soon reassess this status in the independence referendum of 2018. In this parliamentary democracy, the chief of state is the president of France while the head of government is the president of the government of New Caledonia.

The population of New Caledonia is approximately 275,355 people (2016 estimate), with indigenous peoples representing 40 percent of the population. Although French is the official language of New Caledonia, there are over 33 Melanesian-Polynesian dialects spoken. Furthermore, New Caledonia boasts the second largest nickel reserve in the world.

Currency XPF: Comptoirs français du Pacifique franc (CFP franc)
Language French
Capital Noumea
Recent Alerts 3
Latest Alert April 07, 2021 - COVID-19 Precautionary Measures in New Caledonia (07 April Update)

Diseases To Be Aware Of

The diseases listed below are those which occur most often in New Caledonia. Other, less frequently encountered diseases might be displayed within the Travel Alerts section if they have occurred recently.

Hepatitis A

There is a risk of exposure to hepatitis A virus in this country through contaminated food or water.

Hepatitis B

There is a risk for acquiring hepatitis B in this country.

Rabies

Rabies may be present in bats, but has not been reported in domestic or wild animals in this country.

Typhoid Fever

Unvaccinated people can become infected through contaminated food and water in New Caledonia, especially when visiting smaller cities, villages, or rural areas where water and food may not be safe.

Dengue Fever

Dengue fever may occur in this country.

Zika Fever

Zika virus may occur in this country. NaTHNac notes that this is a low risk.

Chikungunya Fever

Chikungunya may occur in this country.

Yellow Fever

There is no risk of yellow fever in New Caledonia, however, there is a certificate requirement. Under International Health Regulations, a yellow fever vaccination certificate is required for travellers 1 year of age and older arriving from countries with risk of yellow fever transmission and from travellers having transited for more than 12 hours through an airport of a country with risk of yellow fever transmission.

Vaccinations to Consider

The following is a list of recommended vaccinations for travelling to New Caledonia.

Hepatitis A Vaccine

There is a risk of exposure to hepatitis A in this country, therefore, the vaccination is recommended.

Hepatitis B Vaccine

There is a risk of infection with hepatitis B for this country, therefore, the vaccination is recommended.

Rabies Vaccine

Vaccination against rabies is recommended for travellers whose activities or employment may bring them into direct contact with bats (i.e. adventure travellers, veterinarians, wildlife professionals, researchers, etc.).

Typhoid Fever Vaccine

There is a risk of exposure to typhoid fever in this country through consumption of unsafe food and water. Since exposure to unsafe sources is variable within this country, the vaccination against typhoid fever is generally recommended, especially when visiting smaller cities, rural areas, or staying with friends and family.

Yellow Fever Vaccine

There is no risk of yellow fever in New Caledonia, however, there is a certificate requirement. Under International Health Regulations, a yellow fever vaccination certificate is required for travellers 1 year of age and older arriving from countries with risk of yellow fever transmission and from travellers having transited for more than 12 hours through an airport of a country with risk of yellow fever transmission.

Medications to Consider

The following is a list of recommended medications for travelling to New Caledonia.

None required.

Safety and Security in New Caledonia

Emergency Numbers

17
15
18
16 Rescue at sea
256767

Ensure travel and medical insurance are acquired before departing. When travelling off the main island, medical facilities may not be adequate and, in severe cases, evacuation may be the only option.

Personal Safety

There is general hospitality towards tourists in New Caledonia, and the crime rate is low. Nevertheless, travellers are advised to take normal precautions to stay safe and avoid petty crime and theft. Always be alert in your surroundings. Keep valuables secured and out of sight. Safeguard your important documents, such as your passport. Keep identification with you at all times. Avoid walking alone at night. Do not accept drinks or food from strangers and never let your drink out of your sight.

Take necessary precautions when travelling on roadways in New Caledonia. Although all roads in the capital are paved, roads outside of the city may be poorly maintained, unpaved and potentially dangerous. Avoid travelling after dark as rural roads may not be well lit. Safety standards for transportation and adventure activities may be lower.

Due to New Caledonia’s location in an active earthquake zone, seismic activity is not uncommon. Tsunamis may result from this seismic activity. There is a higher risk of tsunamis on the east coast, Loyalty Islands and the Isle of Pines. Bushfires are also common between September and February.

The traveller should be aware of whether they are travelling during cyclone season (November to April) as cyclones may cause infrastructure damage, flooding, and landslides. Travellers should inform themselves of the 4-phase cyclone alert system used in New Caledonia to properly prepare themselves in the event of a cyclone. Travellers should also note that much of the natural hazard and weather alerts are published in French only.

There are no restrictions on same-sex relationships in New Caledonia. However, in rural areas outside the capital, the conservative nature of the society may result in a lack of tolerance towards gay behaviour. All travellers are advised to dress and behave conservatively when travelling to areas outside of Noumea.

Political Unrest

To minimize safety risk, avoid large public gatherings and protests in the event that they turn violent. In some countries, it is against the law for foreigners to participate in political demonstrations.

Protests and civil unrest may result in road closures around Noumea.

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