The currency in Noumea, New Caledonia is the Pacific Franc (abbreviated CFP or XFP). It is tied to the value of the Euro (there is a fixed rate of 1 Euro equals approximately 120 CFP).
The question you may ask is whether you need CFP when travelling to New Caledonia?
The answer is still YES, but it is very easy to withdraw CFP in Noumea.
More and more shops in Noumea accept Australian dollars, at least around the cruise ship terminal and in touristic places, nonetheless many shops still only accept CFP. If you need CFP, you can purchase CFP from the pursers’ desk on board of the cruise ship or at the currency exchange booth at the Cruise ship terminal. But the easiest option is probably to withdraw CFP at any ATM in Noumea. There is one ATM just in front of the cruise ship terminal and many all around the city so I wouldn’t worry about getting some cash.
The CFP is a rather “weak” currency and therefore prices are likely to seem high for our visitors (we will talk about the cost of living in a later blog article 😉 ). At the time of writing this article, 1 000 CFP was equivalent to 13 Australian dollars (AUD) or 10 US dollars.
For more practical information, feel free to contact us.
A bit of history about the currency in Noumea:
The CFP has been the currency in Noumea since 1945. CFP stands for Communauté Financiere du Pacifique (Pacific Financial Community) and is the currency in use in the 3 French overseas collectivities of French Polynesia, Wallis & Futuna and New Caledonia.
The CFP was originally created in order to protect those overseas collectivities from the strong devaluation of the Franc after the 2nd world war.
Funny to notice, is that the CFP had initially a fixed rate with the US dollars and it is only in 1949 that it has had a fixed rate with the French Franc and later with the Euro.