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FESTIVALS, HOLIDAYS AND OTHER ANNUAL EVENTS IN Nouméa

There are many holidays and festivals in Nouméa every year.
Here are the top ones:

1st January: New Year's Day (national)

Every year, the traditional New Year fireworks display takes place over Sainte-Marie Bay in Nouméa, treating the capital city's residents to twenty minutes of magic. This huge pyrotechnical event never fails to impress onlookers of all ages.

21 June: Music Festival (national)

Artists take over public spaces for a jam-packed evening of shows and concerts. Enjoy moving and grooving to the beat of the music, right in the heart of Nouméa.

14 July: Bastille Day (national)

Nouméa celebrates Bastille Day with a parade of lanterns from Place Bir-Hakeim to Place des Cocotiers. The party continues at city hall, where a fireworks display is followed by the traditional community dance.

September: Nouméa Carnival

Every year, the streets of Nouméa are flooded with brightly-coloured musical floats and dancers, including the famous Brazilian troupe Banda Momo. This popular festival is all about friendliness, and spectators are encouraged to come in fancy dress. The parade concludes with a spectacular fireworks display.

25 December: Christmas (national)

December is when “Fairytale Nouméa” comes to town, complete with a myriad of coloured lights. All sorts of family-friendly shows are staged in Place des Cocotiers every evening throughout the month. The magic of Christmas is also all around, with a Christmas tree and a postbox for letters to Santa set up in Place de la Marne.

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CLIMATE AND WEATHER IN Nouméa

New Caledonia enjoys a temperate tropical climate all year round. Nights are cooler between April and November, and days are mild and fairly sunny: perfect for outdoor activities and excursions. From November to March, the weather is hot and more humid, with water temperatures reaching up to 26/28° C - a great time of year to enjoy the lagoon, the beaches, and the islands. Trade winds also blow across New Caledonia all year round, making it a wonderful place for all sorts of activities, including board sports.

Month Min. Average Temperature (°C/F°) Max. Average Temperature (°C/F°) Average Rains (MM) Best Time to Travel
January 23 30 111.8 Good period to go Good period to go
February 24 30 129.7 Not the best period to go
March 23 29 168.3 Not the best period to go
April 22 27 109.6 Not the best period to go
May 20 26 91.9 Not the best period to go
June 19 24 99.8 Not the best period to go
July 17 23 67.1 Good period to go Good period to go
August 17 23 72.3 Good period to go Good period to go
September 18 25 39.2 Good period to go Good period to go
October 20 26 45.8 Good period to go Good period to go
November 21 27 55.6 Good period to go Good period to go
December 22 29 78.9 Good period to go Good period to go
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La Tontouta International Airport

La Tontouta International Airport is located around 50 kilometres to the north of Nouméa.

  • 1 terminal:
    • International airline terminal (Air France)
  • Car travel:
    • Access: via the RT1. Journey time approx. 45 minutes.
    • Parking: There are 570 car parking spaces outside the terminal building. The first twenty minutes are free (<1H = 200 XPF; <2H = 400 XPF; subsequent hours charged at 100 XPF). You'll need to validate your ticket at the automatic pay stations in the hall (cash payment) or at the Information Point (card payment).
    • There are several car hire firms in the airport bus terminal, located 50m from the airport's exit on the right-hand side. Most only open when a flight arrives or departs.
  • Shuttle:
    • A number of private companies offer transfers at very similar rates. Allow for around 2,500 XPF per person. Think about reserving your transfer ahead of time, either by email or via the transport company's website.
      You can find all contact information on the La Tontouta website at www.aeroports.cci.nc/en/tontouta/shuttle-services
  • Taxi:
    • Taxis may or may not be available to hire on the day, depending on whether they been booked for any transfers to the airport. We advise booking in advance.
      You can find all contact information on the La Tontouta website at https://www.aeroports.cci.nc/en/tontouta/taxis
  • Services:
    • Shops, restaurants, free internet access (Wi-Fi), currency exchange services and ATMs, OPT counter (postal and telecommunications services).
    • Telephone numbers:
      Passenger information: +687 35 11 18 Flight times: +687 36 67 18
    • Website: https://www.aeroports.cci.nc/en/tontouta

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GETTING AROUND Nouméa

Nouméa has an excellent public transport network, and much of the city can be reached on foot.

Car

Travelling by car is still the most practical way of exploring Grande Terre and New Caledonia's smaller islands. The road network is well-maintained, but you also have the option of hiring a 4x4. Although there are plenty of service stations about nowadays, finding one that's open on a Sunday or certain bank holidays outside of Nouméa may still be difficult.

Taxi

You'll be able to spot taxis in Nouméa by their colour: green and white. If you want to make a complaint, you'll need the licence number printed on the bodywork.
Taxis wait for customers in Nouméa's main stations. These are in the city centre at Nouméa market, Anse Vata and Nouméa Magenta Airport. You should always take the taxi at the head of the queue. You can expect a journey from the city centre to Anse Vata to cost around 1,600 XPF.

Water Taxi

Water taxis are New Caledonia's most exotic and glamourous form of transport. They're a great way of getting to the idyllic islets surrounding Grande Terre. There are several private carriers to choose from.

Plane

The quickest way to get to the islands is by plane. The local domestic airline, Air Calédonie (www.air-caledonie.nc), offers daily flights out of Nouméa Magenta Airport to the Isle of Pines, which is around a 30-minute flight, and some of the Loyalty Islands (Maré, Lifou, Ouvéa) around 40 minutes away.
Air Loyauté (www.air-loyaute.nc) offers regular flights between the Loyalty Islands.

Ferry

The high-speed Betico2 ferry serves the Isle of Pines, Maré and Lifou from Nouméa. Expect to spend around five hours on board to reach Lifou, four hours for Maré and two and a half for the Isle of Pines. You'll find timetables and prices at www.betico.nc

Bus

The bus network is very extensive, particularly in Nouméa. With the number 12 bus you can ride all along the bays from the Quai Jules Ferry (ferry terminal) to Anse Vata. Lines 10-11 go from the Nouville peninsula to Anse Vata and Ouen Toro, with stops at the Maritime Museum and Place des Cocotiers. Line 41 travels from the city centre to the Forest Park on weekends. Single tickets can be bought on the bus or in one of the many sales outlets (210 XPF).
The Raï intercity network (www.rai.nc) is a great way to explore New Caledonia at an extremely reasonable price. The comfortable, air-conditioned coaches stop at Grande Terre's main towns and cities. You can either buy your ticket on board the coach or at the bus terminal in Nouméa (prices range from 600 to 2,000 XPF).

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Visitor information

Once you get to Nouméa, there are plenty of travel and tourism professionals who will be happy to give you more information and help you organise your trip.

Nouméa Tourist Information Centre

The Nouméa Tourist Information Centre has two different offices: one in the city centre and the other in Anse Vata.
Practical information and useful advice (accommodation, food and drink, transport, celebrations and festivals, cultural events, etc.)

  • City centre address: Office du Tourisme 22 quai Jules Ferry, Gare Maritime, 98800 Nouméa
  • Anse Vata address: Office du Tourisme 113 Promenade Roger Laroque, Anse Vata, 98800 Nouméa
  • Telephone: +687 05 75 80 / +687 28 75 80
  • Website: https://www.newcaledonia.travel/en/

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Medical information

New Caledonia has modern hospital facilities and is home to many healthcare specialists.

Vaccinations

You do not need any vaccinations to visit New Caledonia.
For more information, please contact your Air France international vaccination centre:

Water

You can drink the tap water in Nouméa.

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Administrative Requirements

Regardless of nationality, all visitors must be in possession of a passport that is valid for three months after the date of their departure.
For more information, please see the French New Caledonian High Commission:
http://www.nouvelle-caledonie.gouv.fr

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Useful addresses

For a stress-free visit to Nouméa, take a look at your country’s Foreign Office or Ministry of Foreign Affairs website.

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Essential phrases

Here are some Creole phrases which you might find useful during your stay in Nouméa:

Hello / Good morning / Good afternoon: Bonjour (morning) Hello / Good morning / Good afternoon: <em>Bonjour (morning)</em>

Good evening: Bonsoir Good evening: <em>Bonsoir</em>

Goodbye: Au revoir Goodbye: <em>Au revoir</em>

Yes: Oui Yes: <em>Oui</em>

No: Non No: <em>Non</em>

No, thank you: Non, merci No, thank you: <em>Non, merci</em>

Thank you very much: Merci beaucoup Thank you very much: <em>Merci beaucoup</em>

Please: S'il vous plaît Please: <em>S'il vous plaît</em>

I don't understand: Je ne comprends pas I don't understand: <em>Je ne comprends pas</em>

Could you repeat ?: Pouvez-vous répéter ? Could you repeat ?: <em>Pouvez-vous répéter ?</em>

What time is it ?: Quelle heure est-il ? What time is it ?: <em>Quelle heure est-il ?</em>

Sorry: Pardon
Excuse me: Excusez-moi Sorry: <em>Pardon</em><br />
Excuse me: <em>Excusez-moi</em>

Airport: Aéroport Airport: <em>Aéroport</em>

Train station: Gare Train station: <em>Gare</em>

Taxi: Taxi Taxi: <em>Taxi</em>

Hotel: Hôtel Hotel: <em>Hôtel</em>

Hospital: Hôpital Hospital: <em>Hôpital</em>

Bank: Banque Bank: <em>Banque</em>

Telephone: Téléphone Telephone: <em>Téléphone</em>

I'm (…): Je suis (…) I'm (…): <em>Je suis (…)</em>

I'm looking for (…): Je recherche (…) I'm looking for (…): <em>Je recherche (…)</em>

How much is (…)?: Quel est le prix de (…) ? How much is (…)?: <em>Quel est le prix de (…) ?</em>

Do you have (…)?: Avez-vous (…) ? Do you have (…)?: <em>Avez-vous (…) ?</em>

Where can I find (…)?: Où puis-je trouver (…) ? Where can I find (…)?: <em>Où puis-je trouver (…) ?</em>

Where can I buy (…)?: Où puis-je acheter (…) ? Where can I buy (…)?: <em>Où puis-je acheter (…) ?</em>

I'd like (…): Je voudrais (…) I'd like (…): <em>Je voudrais (…)</em>

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Good to know

00 687
+ the phone number you want to ring
11 : 00
of time difference with
London
Daylight saving time not observed in New Caledonia.

Bank
Generally open from Monday to Friday between 07:30 and 15:30.
Government Offices
Generally open from Monday to Friday between 08:00 and 15:00.
220-240 V - 50 Hz

What about tipping? People don't tend to tip in New Caledonia, and the prices displayed always include taxes.