Industrial and political disputes as well as strikes can cause disruptions to essential services including transport links. Monitor developments and plan as required. See Safety
You can drive in New Caledonia on a valid Australia driver's licence for up to one year after arrival.
To find out about driver's licences and driving regulations:
The road toll in New Caledonia is high.
You're more likely to die in a road accident in New Caledonia than in Australia.
On the road:
- drivers may be unlicensed or drunk
- vehicles may be poorly maintained
- vehicles may be uninsured
You could encounter:
- stone throwing
These incidents are uncommon, but dangerous. See Safety
If stones are thrown at your car, leave the area quickly and safely.
If you plan to drive:
- check your travel insurance covers it
- learn local traffic laws and practices
- keep your car windows up and doors locked
- don't drink and drive
- follow the advice of local authorities
Make sure your travel insurance covers you when using a motorbike, quad bike or similar vehicle.
Always wear a helmet.
Hire a taxi from a taxi rank or make a phone booking. Book your taxi in advance. Long delays are common.
In Noumea, taxi rank locations and tariffs are available on the website of the Southern Province Tourism Office (in French). The Noumea Central Taxi number +687 28 35 12 is available for bookings 24/7.
You can't hail a taxi from the street in Noumea unless it is located more than 100 metres from a taxi rank.
Some taxis only accept cash, others may accept payment by credit card.
Other municipalities in New Caledonia have taxi services. Check the website of the relevant city hall (municipality) from the New Caledonian Government website for further information.
Buses operate throughout Grande Terre (the main island). Visit the website of New Caledonia Tourism for information on public transport services (in English).
On other islands, public transport is limited.
Passenger ferries run from Noumea to:
- Île des Pins
- Maré, Lifou and Ouvéa in the Loyalty Islands
Many international cruises stopover in New Caledonia.
Australians have been evacuated from cruise ships to hospitals in Noumea. Some insurance claims have been refused.
Medical costs in New Caledonia are high.
To reduce your risks if you plan to travel on a cruise ship:
- check the onboard medical facilities are suitable
- understand the costs of onboard medical treatment
- be aware Medicare benefits may not apply during your journey
Make sure your travel or medical insurance covers you for both existing conditions and medical evacuation.
DFAT doesn't provide information on the safety of individual commercial airlines or flight paths.
Check New Caledonia's air safety profile with the Aviation Safety Network.