Best Time to Visit New Caledonia
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Discover when is the best time to visit New Caledonia to make sure you get the best value for your once in a lifetime trip. New Caledonia’s seasons are technically split into the warm, rainy season, and the dry, winter season, rather than the common four season split.
With french influence and a dozen islands to its name, New Caledonia is a lesser known honeymoon destination in the South Pacific. Many of the islands have the picture-perfect clear blue waters and sandy shores that evoke fantasies of the ultimate getaway, whether that be with your spouse or a break with friends.
Best Time to Visit New Caledonia by Season
New Caledonia in December, January, February: The warmest months on the islands are also the rainiest, with temperatures between the mid 20’s to low 30’s. You’ll also want to keep an eye out for cyclone warnings during this time. February is the wettest month.
New Caledonia in March, April, May: March, May and April will still have rainy days, but by the end of April / start of May the weather becomes more favourable with rains happening less often.
New Caledonia in June, July, August: As winter begins with temperatures in the low 20’s, this period is a great time to visit New Caledonia. While you may need a cardigan, especially in the evenings, the weather is still warm enough for swimming in the ocean. Certain islands may still attract rain during June.
New Caledonia in September, October, November: September being the month with the least rain, is a great month to visit if you’re not too sensitive to the cold. October and November bring the occasional heavy but non-frequent rain in preparation for the rainy season, but is still a pleasant time to visit without too many rainy days.
Best Time to Visit New Caledonia by Type of Trip
Best time to go diving and/ or snorkeling in New Caledonia: June to October when the visibility is the best and the waters calm.
Best time to travel to New Caledonia for a Honeymoon: May to October, keeping in mind that July and August is peak season.
When to visit New Caledonia on to save money: The off season months – see off peak below.
When to visit New Caledonia for the best weather: June to September. September has the least amount of rainy days but may be a little chilly at night. Day temperatures during these months are in the low 20’s.
High season: Corresponds with the peak holiday seasons of Australia and New Zealand, which are December, January, July and August. Note if you stuck visiting in school holidays go for the mid-year months for more comfortable weather.
Off peak: The months between the high and low season, May, June, September and October. Here you can expect decent weather but it is considered off peak as you wont have a lot of tourists around due to kids being in school.
Low season: November, February, March and April. If visiting during this period you can expect some rain which can be heavy at times
How to get to New Caledonia?
New Caledonia is easily reached from Australia and New Zealand, and you can often get fairly cheap return flights. From Australia the most frequent flights are from Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney, and from New Zealand your best bet is Auckland.
Travelers from other countries will most likely have a stopover in one of these destinations.
Travel Tips for New Caledonia
- Noumea has two airports, make sure you know which one you’re going to.
- If you’re going to book a car for your time in New Caledonia, get your booking in early. Cars can book out fast on the islands especially if visiting during high season.
- Flights are especially cheap from Australia and New Zealand, so if you have a bit of time consider spending some time in either of those countries on your trip too.
- Although New Caledonia is a French territory, it has its own currency (pacific franc).
- Power points are 220V
- If visiting in the rainy seasons keep an eye out for cyclone warnings. While New Caledonia often avoids the brunt of these storms, its still a good idea to know if one is coming your way.
- New Caledonia is not as polished in a tourism way as you may be used to, accept that and learn to go with the flow.
- See if Le Pass is a good option for you – its a pass that may save you money if you intend to fly to different islands.
- Cash is your best bet as not all restaurants and tours will accept card.
- Some sights and tours are closed on Sundays and Mondays
Travel insurance is one of those things that you should never go on a trip without. Medical expenses can add up big time on a holiday especially if something more serious happens to you. It’s also a great thing to have in case your valuables get stolen.
I personally use World Nomads, hence that’s the company I’m recommending. I’ve claimed with them a couple of times and find them to be one of the most flexible and cheapest (but still with great coverage).
As with any type of insurance, make sure you read carefully to discover what is and isn’t covered. You can visit the website to see prices here.