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living in noumea

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Bunbury, Australia
posts: 1
reviews: 18
living in noumea

hey there

we are moving to noumea soon and i'd like to know about cheaper rental houses(prices,locations, deposits,etc) 1 bedroom. is there a website?

whether i can work usng my british passport?

french language classes?

clothing standards

any of this type of info would be very appreciated

Toulouse, France
Destination Expert
for New Caledonia
posts: 507
reviews: 41
1. Re: living in noumea


Real estate is very expensive in New Caledonia. You can look some local websites:






To work, you'll need a visa (not the same conditions as in France), and be careful, in NC, if the is a Caledonian and somebody else (French or from another country) with the same diploms for the same job, there is a priority for the Caledonian.

Don't think there is French language classes, clothing : tshirt from september to june, something hotter for july/august. Cotton and light colors are best for hot monthes. February/march: wet season, with cyclones nearly every year.

Chiang Mai, Thailand
posts: 120
reviews: 82
2. Re: living in noumea

Hi biggles

Well nico is saying it nicely but unless things have changed dramatically since I lived in NC (late 90's), you should expect it to be difficult to find work.

Best chance would probably be in the nickel industry (the SLN nickel smelter in Noumea, or the other processing plants and mines up country). This tends to be dirty and at times dangerous work, and you cannot expect European/British working standards. So expect things to be rough. Ask around after arrival for advice.

There is probably very little opportunity elsewhere (the economy is not big enough to need foreign labour, and all unskilled jobs are filled by locals), unless you are a specialist with rare skills that would be in demand. Getting a work permit is, in most cases, extremely difficult. This is due to the history of the country, and the wish of the locals to be self-sufficient to a large degree, and employ their own people whenever possible. Do not make the mistake to think that NC is part of France. It is perhaps in a mainly historic sense, but not in the sense of "being part of the EC" or similar. Europeans (including French, who also need work visas if they want to work in NC) have, generally speaking, no more options to work there than any other non-New Caledonian.

To learn French: theultimatelanguagestore dot com has CD sets that can teach you basic French in 30 days, with that you can then learn more once in-country. That is a US company, you order online, the stuff works in my experience (I learnt basic Portuguese that way). Have not heard of any French courses whilst living in Noumea (New Caledonia is generally off the popular tourist trail, due to costs being significant; most tourism is from Japan, as they can afford the higher prices).

You could consider staying at the youth hostel in Noumea (need to book prior, as often full), until you find accommodation. As nico said, rents are high (when I was living with my wife in Noumea in the 1990's, we would spend the equivalent of around XPF 300,000 per month (GBP 1850 or so) on rent (one bedroom average apartment), groceries, power, phone and gas for the car. We had an average to basic lifestyle, no luxuries. I would expect this to be the same or higher now.

Dress code: normally shorts and t-shirt during the day, long pants and perhaps polo shirt at night or when going out. Business people usually wear dress pants, white business shirt with open neck (no jacket, no tie - you see anyone wearing that, they're Euros on a business trip). NC is mostly considered to have two seasons, (Southern) summer which has temperatures around 30 degrees most days (but can go to the high 30's for a week or two each year) and winter which sees daytime temperatures in the early to mid 20's. Cyclones occur and can be devastating (and can flood your house if you're down the hill, as we experienced).

Good luck!

3. Re: living in noumea

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