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What do you get when you combine France and a tropical archipelago? New Caledonia, of course!
Located just a couple of hours flight from Australia, New Caledonia is the perfect mix of rich blue lagoons, jungle-topped mountains and pristine coral reefs – all in the setting of French culture and history. But don’t just take our word for it – escape the chills of winter and head to a tropical paradise with a difference.
Here’s everything you need to know about travelling to New Caledonia!
If you’re travelling to New Caledonia on an Australian passport, you won’t need a visa to enjoy your holiday. In fact, as long as you have a return ticket within a three-month period of travel, a visa isn’t required.
This said, as New Caledonia is an overseas French territory, elements such as visas, customs and quarantine are subject to change at short notice. As such, Smart Traveller suggests double checking with the Consulate of France in Sydney or Embassy or Consulate of France for the most up-to-date travel advice for New Caledonia.
At least six weeks before heading to New Caledonia, it’s important to ensure that your vaccinations and medicines are all up-to-date. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests that routine vaccines are required for New Caledonia which include:
It’s also recommended to have your Hepatitis A and B vaccinations as current as possible.
Like many tropical nations, mosquitos and mosquito-borne illnesses are prevalent in New Caledonia. In fact, in late February 2018, the New Caledonian Government declared a dengue fever epidemic across the whole archipelago.
During the warmest and wettest months of the year, dengue fever, zika virusm, malaria and chikungunya can be common. So, how can you protect yourself?
There are no preventative vaccination for mosquito-borne illnesses so vigilance is key. Smart Traveller offered the following tips:
While most resorts and hotels will offer a decent level of WiFi coverage, New Caledonia roaming charges can be high when you’re out and exploring. This is when it’s handy to a local SIM card available so you can post to Instagram from the top of a mountain or when relaxing on the beach of an outer island.
Mobilis is the only telco in New Caledonia, but offers a great package for your holiday. Simply take your passport to the Office des Postes et Telecoms (OPT) store at La Tontouta International Airport (or any of the 50 across the country) and purchase a prepaid SIM card for XPF6,195 (AUD$82.85).
This SIM card is preloaded with XPF3,000 credit so you can continue to check in with family and friends back home. Just be aware that if you run out of data, internet speeds are much slower until you recharge (the local term for topping up).
Despite its proximity to Australia, New Caledonia is world away from the hustle and bustle of home. Whether you find yourself lying on sandy white beaches with not another person in sight or learning more about its French connections at the Tjibaou Cultural Center, there’s plenty to like about New Caledonia.