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Country Reports

New Caledonia Country Report

Overview

INTRODUCTION

The faraway archipelago of New Caledonia is a French territory located in the Melanesia sub-region of the South Pacific. This French archipelago has a population of 267,000 inhabitants spread out over 19,000 km².

POLITICS

On August 9, 2013, the principal party of the pro-independence coalition (FLNKS), the Caledonian Union (UC), revealed its roadmap for independence. In July 2013, the French prime minister implied that a referendum on the subject of independence would take place by 2019. Local elections will take place in May 2019.

NATURAL RISKS

Generally speaking, New Caledonia offers good travel conditions as of the second half of 2017. Visitors (approximately 100,000 per year) should nevertheless be aware of a few potential issues, beginning with natural hazards.

Cyclones strike the region between late October and early May, with a peak of storms in February and March (in March 2003, Tropical Cyclone Erica destroyed 3000 homes in the territory). Intense storms can cause serious travel disruptions and can even force potential visitors to cancel their trip altogether.

On January 12, 2011, a magnitude-7.3 earthquake struck the territory. The epicenter was located 100 km (60 mi) northeast of the town Tadine (located on the Loyalty Islands).

CRIME

Despite relatively low crime rates, travelers should remain prudent and take basic common sense precautions (keep an eye on your belongings, keep valuable objects and important papers in a safe place, be vigilant after sundown, etc.).

TRANSPORTATION

On Grande Terre, New Caledonia’s largest island, main roads are paved. Nevertheless, road accidents are relatively common, particularly considering the archipelago’s small population (more than six times the number of accidents take place annually in New Caledonia than on the French mainland).

Intercity buses connect the island’s main towns. Ferry services run between the capital Nouméa and other islands of the archipelago.

OTHER

Finally, it should be noted that the local currency is the CFP franc (Comptoirs Français du Pacifique).

Climate

New Caledonia owes its mild climate to the tempering ocean and trade winds that pass over the island all year round. The hot and humid season begins in November and lasts until April. Temperatures are milder in the winter (July-August) although temperatures remain relatively constant throughout the year (22°C to 28°C). There is a risk of cyclones from March to November.

Useful Numbers

Country Code: +687 Police-Emergency: 17 Fire Dept.: 18 UAS: 15 Sea Rescue: 16

Electricity

Voltage: 220 V ~ 50 Hz

Outlets:

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