New Caledonia - Facts

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  • New Caledonia is situated in the South Pacific, between Vanuatu and Australia.  It is about 780NM north east from the port of Bundaberg in Queensland and 860NM north west from New Zealand’s Bay of Islands.
  • New Caledonia (Nouvelle Calédonie) is a French Overseas Territory.
  • The 2019 census recorded the population at 271,407.  French is the official language with more than 30 Melanesian/Polynesian local dialects.
  • The currency is the French Pacific Franc.  For details see General Info.
  • New Caledonia has one time zone – New Caledonia Time.  For details see General Info.
  • 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 160 kms (100 miles) to the east (Maré, Lifou and Ouvéa), the Ile des Pines 80 kms (50 miles) to the south, the Chesterfield Islands 800 kms (500 miles) west and Belep Island 32 kms (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.
  • Noumea is the only port of entry and exit in New Caledonia. It is no longer possible to clear in or out at the Loyalty Islands unless you are coming here with a Rally.   See Formalities for more details.
  • 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 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 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 here, do observe local Customs.

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  1. May 24, 2023 at 9:30 AM
    Werner Gysi says:

    Check-in. As usual things change. As of today May 22/23 Customs also closes at 11:00 like Immigration. However, taking the two day special as mentioned below the Office does take care of customs once you filled in the form. I just went to Immigration. At the marina I dealth with Sonja and she was the most helpful person on Earth.
    Biosecurity does NOT come to your boat at anchor (as described on Noonsite Clearance) you have to bring the boat to the specified dock. Moselle Marina will arrange a spot on the dock for a specific time only, if you ask or they offer the two day berth special. Anchoring in front of marina is almost impossible as the whole designated Anchorage is packed with moorings. That in itself is not very inviting.
    Re Biosecurity, all fresh food need be discarded also eggs, butter, popcorn, Yogurt but not bacon from NZ origin. Also not sour cream. I had no cheese so don’t know. Cashew nuts, all canned stuff and flour no problem.
    I handed the goods over in a garbage bag plus another with “garbage” only I was told to drop in the bin ashore.

  2. June 29, 2022 at 5:08 AM
    profile photo
    SfS says:

    This is a summary of our experience arriving in and leaving New Caledonia in May 2022.

    Prior to leaving for New Caledonia, we were in contact with a health official there who demanded pre-departure Covid-tests and a number of forms. We sent the forms but couldn’t do the tests because of timing. It turned out that neither the tests nor the forms were actually needed for clearing into New Caledonia.

    Upon approaching Marina Port Moselle we called them on the VHF (several times, until they answered – keep trying!). They assigned a berth (the q-pontoon no longer exists) and had marina personnel waiting for us to take the lines. At the marina office, we filled in some forms, including those for customs. There is no longer a need to go to the Customs Office unless they tell you otherwise.

    Our next stop was the Immigration Office, which we visited the next morning as they are only open until 11:30h. Use the map and picture of the office that the marina provides, as the entrance is not well signposted. That left only the post-arrival Covid test to be done the next day (you are asked to do it on the second day after arrival). It can be done at one pharmacy in town, for free.

    To check out we had to go to immigration (again before 11:30h), customs, and the port authority.

  3. June 3, 2022 at 11:50 PM
    svdazzler says:

    SAFETY RELATED – CRUISERS ROBBED AT ATM

    Just a few days ago a couple arrived in Noumea on their sailboat. They were planning to go out to dinner with friends of ours who were already there. They stopped at an ATM and were robbed. The woman was thrown to the ground where she sustained a broken wrist that required pins. She also received multiple lacerations on her body.

    BE CAREFUL! Don’t use ATMs after dark and always be aware of your surroundings. At a time when inflation is hitting hard around the world more crime is likely to occur.

  4. May 10, 2021 at 3:18 PM
    profile photo
    sue-richards says:

    Feedback received from Sonja Novotny:
    Our boat (with its previous owners) arrived July 2019 and we arrived in February 2020 to take possession of it. The borders closed March 2020 and both our personal visas and the boat have been renewed continually with no charges or maintenance requirements. The boat customs officials asked us how long we expect to stay and then gave us another three months past our estimate. The travel visa office has extended our visas every month without question, and the most recent visit resulted in a three month extension, without us even asking for it.

    Everyone has been incredibly helpful and kind. They understand that the only country currently open to us is Fiji and they’re in a lockdown crisis at the moment, and no one suggested we leave during cyclone season.

    We’ve been very fortunate to be here!

    Thanks,
    Sonja

  5. December 23, 2019 at 6:43 AM
    littlewing says:

    While in Nouméa New Caledonia we needed assistance with our roller furling as it broke on the way from Fiji. “Little Wing’s” crew can highly recommend the services of Laurent Du Vaure of Pacific Accastillage located on the boardwalk at Port Moselle Harbor. He speaks English and has a great support team to help with any the necessary boatwork and finding parts. [email protected]

  6. November 27, 2019 at 6:52 PM
    sonja605 says:

    First time paying someone for a bottom paint job on a 39ft catamaran in Noumea. Does $1700 sound fair? Low? High? Any advice appreciated!

  7. August 22, 2019 at 1:12 AM
    dvkall says:

    Any information on the best way to have parts sent from the US? Thanks

    1. September 19, 2019 at 9:58 PM
      lyndalim says:

      You can send spares parts to New Caledonia to a marina address, but make sure that “yacht in transit: xxxxx” is mentioned in the address.

      FedEx or DHL are the recommended couriers. Get a copy of your customs clearance (IFT) at Customs office and show it to DHL or Fedex (by email is recommended) so they you will be exempt from of paying taxes.

      Noumea Yacht Services will receive your parts and arrange customs clearance, but charge a fee for the service.

  8. December 24, 2018 at 4:03 AM
    Data Entry5 says:

    Immigration is notifying everyone that as of January 2019, it will be a requirement to have a health insurance certificate which includes repatriation when you clear in. I’m not sure what is going to happen if you arrive without this insurance.

  9. September 14, 2018 at 9:42 AM
    Data Entry5 says:

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

    1. October 16, 2018 at 1:22 AM
      Data Entry5 says:

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

  10. September 14, 2018 at 9:39 AM
    Data Entry5 says:

    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.

    1. October 16, 2018 at 1:21 AM
      Data Entry5 says:

      After 6 weeks in New Caledonia, I realize 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 for 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.

  11. September 14, 2018 at 9:09 AM
    Data Entry5 says:

    The post about the 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 gets you nowhere…some web pages use that just to open the home page. You cannot recharge your account via the 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 text messages to keep it going…pathetic for 2018!

  12. February 23, 2018 at 8:29 PM
    Data Entry5 says:

    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.

  13. March 16, 2017 at 12:43 PM
    Data Entry5 says:

    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

  14. May 3, 2016 at 4:29 AM
    Data Entry5 says:

    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

    1. September 14, 2018 at 9:40 AM
      Data Entry5 says:

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

  15. September 21, 2014 at 9:41 AM
    Data Entry5 says:

    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

  16. September 17, 2014 at 2:06 AM
    Data Entry5 says:

    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 we’re 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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