You believe buying alcohol in New Caledonia will be simple? Not always 😉 !
You cannot buy any type of alcohol, anytime, anywhere… Bans on alcohol exist!
And even for us, as locals we sometimes get to our favourite local shop and find a sign indicating that alcohol cannot be purchased. (:
This partial ban on alcohol has been in place for many years now and might slightly differ according to the township, but in general here are the rules:
- You need to be 18 years old or older to purchase or consume alcohol.
- The ban doesn’t apply to bars and restaurants, where alcohol is directly consumed on site.
- It doesn’t apply to all alcohol types purchased in specialized bottle shops (“caviste” in French). In a bottle shop during the ban, you can still buy wine, but cannot buy strong alcohol or beers. Not simple indeed 😉
- The ban applies to general food stores (grocery stores or supermarkets) . In Nouméa (and it is very similar in most townships of New Caledonia), the sale of alcohol for take away is forbidden the following days:
|Wednesday||Allowed||Forbidden during school period|
|Day before a bank holiday||Allowed||Forbidden|
To summarize, buying alcohol during your trip in New Caledonia, is possible:
- Anytime in a bar or restaurant
- Anytime at Tontouta airport dutyfree
- Anytime wine in a bottle shop
- In a supermarket or grocery stores, generally mornings are ok.
We agree it is not the simplest set of regulation 😉 Be also aware that there is high level of taxation over alcohol, and drinks in New Caledonia are not cheap!
Excessive drinking is dangerous for the health; alcoholic beverages should be consumed with moderation.
Oleti for reading us!