Buying alcohol in New Caledonia
buying alcohol in new caledonia

Buying alcohol in New Caledonia is now simpler! A mini revolution has some local medias said!

This sign “alcohol sale forbidden” used to be commonly seen in our local shops or supermarkets. But, not any more! From June 1st 2020, rules have changed and buying alcohol in the Southern Province of New Caledonia has been made much simpler.

Now in the Southern Province, you can buy alcohol:

  • all days from Monday to Sunday
  • from 7:30 am till 21:00
  • YOU NEED to show an ID document (passport, id card, driving license…) at the cashier. The minimum age for buying alcohol in New Caledonia is 18, but this rule apply to everyone, young or older 😉

Be aware that these new rules apply to the South Province only and may differ in the North and Loyalty islands. A “safe” option could be to buy a bottle before you drive North of fly to the islands!

One thing that hasn’t changed though is price. New Caledonia has a very high level of taxation over alcohol, and drinks in New Caledonia are not cheap! If you plan to have a drink at your hotel, you’d be better off purchasing your bottle of favorite drink at Tontouta airport dutyfree, on arrival!


Some history of buying alcohol in New Caledonia.

Before June 1st 2020, you could not buy alcohol anytime, anywhere…  A ban on alcohol had been put in place for many years to try to limit alcohol abuse.

As weirdly as it might look now, you could not buy alcohol on Wednesdays afternoon (school half a day break), Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays afternoons, and on bank holidays. This ban (very similarly to the alcohol prohibition in the US in the 1920s) proved to be an inefficient measure, leading to the creation of a black market. So let’s welcome this new measure.


Excessive drinking is dangerous for the health; alcoholic beverages should be consumed with moderation.

Oleti for reading us!