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Surfing in New Caledonia

New Caledonia is only two hours flight from Auckland and is home to not only the largest lagoon in the world, but some stunning scenery and of course epic waves!

New Caledonia is situated in the heart of the South Pacific, 1500km east of Australia. The main island is accompanied by the Loyalty Islands, Isle of Pines, Belep and a myriad of small islands. The barrier reef around New Caledonia stretches over 1600km and encircles the main island, creating the world's largest (and one of the most beautiful) lagoons on the planet.. with lots of reef passes!

Cooled by the Pacific Ocean and the trade winds, New Caledonia enjoys a sunny semi-tropical climate year round. The warm season, from September to March, has temperatures averaging between 25-27°C, with short occasional rains. The cool season, from April to August, has temperatures averaging between 20-23°C, but water temperature stays warm enough for swimming. January to March is the rainy season, while September to November is the dry season.

New Caledonia receives swell all year round, with the months of May through to October providing optimum wind conditions.

INFORMATION + MAP (click to open/close)

CURRENCY

French Pacific Francs are the official currency, and the exchange rate is fixed to the French Franc. Australian and New Zealand dollars are readily exchanged and most credit cards are accepted. It's recommended that travellers cheques are in francs.

Banks are open from 7:30 am to 3:30 pm, and there are several ATMs in Noumea.However, the south-east trade winds temper the heat, and evenings are pleasantly cool. Occasional cyclones strike the islands during the wet season.

INTERNATIONAL DEPARTURE TAX:
There is no departure tax.

VISA

Visas are not necessary for less than 30 days for citizens of most countries (eg, EEC countries, Japan, New Zealand and the USA).

CLIMATE

New Caledonia has a mild climate that is divided into a warm, wet season and a dry season. The dry cooler months are from April to November and the daily temperature ranges from 17-27°C. During the wet season, from December to March, the temperature gets as hot as 32°C. Occasional cyclones strike the islands during the wet season, the south-east trade winds temper the heat, and evenings are pleasantly cool.

LANGUAGE

French is the official language, but many people on New Caledonia Island also speak English. English is less common, however, on the outer islands. There are also 28 local Polynesian and Melanesian dialects.

RELIGION

New Caledonia is a strongly Christian country, with the majority being Roman Catholic (60%), Protestant (30%) and other Christian denominations. Asian immigrants brought Islam to the country (4%).

HEALTH/MEDICAL FACILITIES

No immunisations are compulsory unless travelling from areas infected with Yellow Fever or Cholera. However, it is recommended to have Hepatitis A and B immunisation and it is advisable to take precautions against mosquitos as dengue fever and filariasis can occur.

The medical facilities in Noumea are good, with private doctors and a hospital that also provides emergency and outpatient services. Facilities are more limited in outlying centres.

WATER

Treated tap water is fine to drink, but it is advisable to drink boiled or bottled water where treated water is not available.