Like many other South Pacific destinations, New Caledonia is possessed of a distinctively tropical beauty, but this is far more than just another generic white sand/blue sea island. The unique blend of cultures that have grown up over the territory’s storied past makes this a colourful and intriguing destination that doesn’t exclusively lean on its (admittedly stunning) natural assets. Whether you want to connect with the native Kanak culture or delve into the French roots of New Caledonia, there are all sorts of cultural gems in store for those who choose to look. As fascinating as New Caledonian heritage can be, you won’t want to leave without sampling the attractions that nature has to offer. There are a number of excellent spots for snorkelling and diving to suit all experience levels, hiking will treat you to some incredible scenery and activities like rock climbing and microlight flights will satisfy more adventurous souls.
Getting hold of a New Caledonia car rental is a brilliant way to get the most out of your time here. The main island of Grand Terre is well suited to self drive tours, with roads that are generally pretty well maintained and highways that allow you to cruise blithely toward your next destination.
AirportRentals.com - the easiest way to book your New Caledonia car hire
Pretty much as soon as you land, you’ll be needing to pick up your car rental from whichever New Caledonia airport you’ve flown into. The pick up should be easy, as long as you’ve booked ahead of time. To streamline the booking process and cut down on the tedious sifting of dozens of car rental sites, opt for AirportRentals.com instead. Airport Rentals combines all the best deals from various top suppliers and brings them together in one easily searchable spot.
All you have to do to kick off the booking process for a car rental in New Caledonia is enter a few basic details about your trip into the AirportRentals.com search box, such as where and when you want to pick up/drop off your rental. You’ll then be able to scroll through a list of New Caledonia car rental deals that suit your specifications. To narrow things down even further, you can filter these deals using categories like rental brand and vehicle type, which makes it simple to find exactly the type of deal you’re looking for. After you’ve nailed down which rental deal is best for you, the actual booking will be done and dusted in just a few minutes.
Airport rentals around New Caledonia
There are two main options when it comes to rental locations on New Caledonia: you can pick up a car hire from Nouméa Magenta Airport or rent a vehicle from La Tontouta International Airport. Visitors will arrive in the country via La Tontouta, but you might opt for a connecting flight to Nouméa before starting your journey.
● La Tontouta airport car rental - The vast majority of travellers will start their journey here, as this is the only international airport in New Caledonia. It’s around 50 kilometres from La Tontouta Airport to Nouméa, but if you’re not planning to visit the capital immediately you may want to strike out northward instead.
● Nouméa car rental - Nouméa isn’t a big city by any means, but it’s still home to around half of the inhabitants of New Caledonia. This ethnically diverse place has a little something for everyone, whether you’re here to shop, dine, party or simply people-watch.
Car rental suppliers in New Caledonia
Depending on where exactly you opt to pick up your New Caledonia car rental, there are quite a few options when it comes to rental suppliers you can choose between. Some of the biggest car rental names on earth are represented here, like Hertz, Avis and Europcar, so there’s certainly no issue finding reputable brands.
New Caledonia road rules
As New Caledonia is one of those Pacific islands that owes its Western heritage to France, not England, traffic moves on the right hand side of the road. If you usually drive on the left, be extra careful at intersections and roundabouts (traffic circles). Speaking of roundabouts, there are quite a few of them in New Caledonia. The two most important things to remember are to give way to traffic that’s already on the roundabout and coming from your left, and travel anticlockwise around the roundabout. The legal blood alcohol limit is 0.05% which could see you over the limit after just one drink, so it’s best to leave the driving duties to someone else if you’ve enjoyed a drink or two. The default speed limit in residential areas is 30 km/h, 50 km/h elsewhere in towns and cities and 110 km/h on the open road. Speed limit signs always take precedence over these defaults so keep a careful lookout for these signs no matter where you are. You need to have a valid driver’s licence with you (international licences are fine) to be eligible to drive on New Caledonia roads.
New Caledonia driving tips
● There are two toll roads branching out from Nouméa which can often catch travellers out. Ask your rental supplier about getting a digital pass for your vehicle so you can use these roads at any time of the day or night.
● Potholes become a bit of a problem as you get further away from major centres, so keep a sharp eye on the road to avoid any nasty surprises.
● Try not to drive at night if you help it. Street lighting isn’t always the best and poor road conditions can make night driving hazardous.
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