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By No owner — last modified Oct 29, 2018 04:38 PM

 New Caledonia - Profile

Facts

  • New Caledonia is the French Overseas Territory of Nouvelle Calédonie. The main island is the mountainous Grande Terre, 250 miles (400 km) long and 30 miles (48 km) wide. Also part of the territory are the off lying islands, the Loyalty Group about 100 miles to the east (Maré, Lifou and Ouvéa), the Ile des Pines (50 miles to the south), the Chesterfield Islands (500 miles west), and Belep Island (20 miles to the north).
  • Grande Terre also boasts one of the largest insular coral reefs in the world, and one can sail around much of the island inside the reef.
  • In in the past troubles flared up as a separatist movement grew up among the indigenous Melanesians demanding independence from France. Peace accords were signed with the separatists in 1998, with the promise of a referendum on possible independence at some point in the future. The current situation seems peaceful and stable, and the French have made an obvious effort to improve the country’s infrastructure.
  • Nouméa itself is a cosmopolitan city and an excellent place to reprovision the boat, as virtually everything is available. Noumea offers all facilities that cruisers may have missed whilst sailing the Pacific, such as dairy products, big supermarkets, wines and health services. Perhaps not the cheapest place to provision, Noumea however offers a remarkable range of products imported from New Zealand, Australia and France.
  • Facilities are extensive as there is a fairly large local yacht population. The new marina facilities at Port Moselle are situated in the heart of Noumea and are central to everything. The marina is fast becoming a haven for cruising people in the cyclone season, but marina places are already scarce.
  • Other ports with some facilities for yachts are Touho on the East Coast of the mainland, and Koumac in the north-west of the mainland.
  • When sailing around the Loyalty Islands or in the north of New Caledonia, one should pay the traditional call to the chief of the tribe or village. This is an important token gesture and the usual gift is a stick of tobacco, a length of cloth, a souvenir T-shirt from your country, or some money (500 or 1000 Pacific Francs); rice or food may be appropriate for more remote tribes. Always ask permission before taking photographs or picking fruit.

Weather

Cyclone preparations begin in New Caledonia on 1 December, and the season lasts until the beginning of May, when it is more humid and warm. It is cool and dry from April to August, when the prevailing SE trades are stronger.

New Caledonia is divided up into various regions and the weather forecasts for each region are broadcast on VHF Ch: 66 at a set number of minutes after the hour. For example Noumea region is 12 minutes after the hour for the lagoon (Lagon) and 24 minutes after the hour for offshore (au Large). These are not announced on VHF Ch: 16.

For full details see New Caledonia - Weather & Climate
http://www.meteo.nc/nouvelle-caledonie/mer/bulletin-lagon

There are other forecasts which are announced 2 or 3 times a day on VHF Ch: 16 with instructions to go to Ch: 65.

Other Links

A useful guide to South Pacific weather resources complied by a Noonsite contributor, Rory Garland.

For links to free global weather information, forecast services and extreme weather information see the Noonsite Weather Page.

Meteo France New Caledonia
Special bulletins (BMS, Bulletin Météo Spécial) in the event of bad weather are given in both French and English. Previsions Metéo France: Tel:(687)366711.

Main Ports

Alan
Alan says:
Sep 14, 2018 09:42 AM

The best thing you can do is buy the Rocket Guide to New Caledonia...
https://cruising-newcaledonia.com/

Alan Leslie
Alan Leslie says:
Oct 16, 2018 01:22 AM

This comment only applies to the Bulletin au large, or the offshore forecast.
The new information provided above for the local forecasts is correct.

Alan
Alan says:
Sep 14, 2018 09:39 AM

The information about weather forecasts on VHF is also outdated. They stopped doing that years ago. Today you have to listen on Ch16 and Noumea Radio will announce that the weather forecast will be broadcast on Ch65...it seems to happen around 1130 and 1630...but it's not consistent, sometimes early, sometimes late, so leave Ch16 on all the time and wait for it.....

Alan Leslie
Alan Leslie says:
Oct 16, 2018 01:21 AM

After 6 weeks in New Caledonia, I realise my post below is not 100% correct.
How it works is for example the 400CFP/24hr option.... It runs at up to 6mbps for the first 200mb and then drops to around 1mbps fro the remainder of the 24hrs, so it is in effect always on. BUT our experience is that it is not always LTE or even 3G. In a lot of bays we have been in all you get is E or EDGE which is VERY VERY slow. Otherwise on 3G it works OK.
The rest of my comments about this arcane system still stand.

Alan
Alan says:
Sep 14, 2018 09:09 AM

The post about internet is misleading.
Unless you sign up for a monthly plan there is no "unlimited" internet.
The carte Liberte only gives you two options as detailed 100Mb for one hour @ 90 CFP (~A$1.20) or 200Mb for 24 hours @ 400CFP (~A$6)..I know because i just bought one.
200mB get's you nowhere...some web pages use that just to open the home page.
You cannot recharge your account via internet, you can only do it with vouchers bought at Mobilis agents...it's a last century system, because it's govt run and there's no competition. By comparison the Digicel product in Vanuatu is very user friendly and inexpensive.
This isn't...it's expensive...very ...and inconvenient as you have to keep sending txt messages to keep it going...pathetic for 2018 !

Richard Chesher
Richard Chesher says:
Feb 23, 2018 08:29 PM

Regulations on pets aboard have changed and you'd be totally nuts to have a cat or dog aboard. The requirements are summarized on https://davar.gouv.nc/sites/default/files/atoms/files/procedure_cnct_yachts.pdf - there will be a 125 Euro fee for mandatory quarantine (even if you are stopping for a day for fuel) and you require extensive vet documentation from the previous countries plus advance notification and submission of importation documents prior to arrival.

Richard Chesher
Richard Chesher says:
Mar 16, 2017 12:43 AM

Internet for yachts is now super good in New Caledonia - 3G and 4G Lte - and available almost everywhere around Grande Terre and the other islands. For what you'll need and how to set it up visit
http://ncvan.us/nci
The Cruising Guide to New Caledonia (on the same website) gives you mobile phone/ internet reception at all 212 anchorages

Richard Chesher
Richard Chesher says:
May 03, 2016 04:29 AM

The hard copy book by Joel Marc et. al. Cruising Guide to New Caledonia (South Pacific)is long out of print and very difficult to find. See the comparison between the old book (done in the 1990's) to the DVD interactive program here:
http://ncvan.us/book

Alan
Alan says:
Sep 14, 2018 09:40 AM

It's always been that way...if you need a Visa...Eu passport people don't have that issue

Val Ellis
Val Ellis says:
Sep 21, 2014 09:41 AM

Note: This restriction only applies to cruisers whose nationality requires them to have a visa for New Caledonia. Others are allowed a maximum stay of 90 days in any 6 month period.
The Noonsite Team

DDarden
DDarden says:
Sep 17, 2014 02:06 AM

New staff and new policies at Customs and Immigration, New Caledonia. Recently, cruisers who left their boat in New Caledonia to fly home for a month, were not granted a new 3 month visa after they returned to New Caledonia, and were required to depart at the end of their first 3 month visa.Be sure you confirm with officials before planning to leave your boat in NewCal to fly out and back to renew your visa.

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Chesterfield Islands
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