Money and Banking in New Caledonia - South Pacific Francs CFP
New Caledonia money is the South Pacific Franc or Cour de Franc Pacifique, abbreviated CFP or XPF. It is tied to the value of the Euro at a fixed rate of 1 Euro equal to 119.332 CFP.
New Caledonia Banks
The Bank Caledonienne d'Investissement (BCI) has branches throughout New Caledonia can can provide cash advances on credit or debit cards. The BCI has the lowest commission for exchanging foreign currency or travellers checques.
There are ATMs in Noumea that accept Cirrus credit cards and debit cards and the companion Rocket Travel Guide to New Caledonia shows you where the ATMs are located. In French ATMs are called DAB.
Noumea is expensive. If something costs $1 in Australia you will generally find the same product for 120 CFP (or more) in Noumea. Depending on the current rate of exchage that means the $1 item will be costing around AUD$ 1.6 plus any exchange commissions from the banks when you exchange your dollars for cfp. In general, living costs are about 60% higher than in Australia.
Parts and supplies for boats are even higher because of the import duty on such items.
There are exceptions to this rule of thumb. High quality marine products imported directly from France are often reasonably priced. The price of a skilled tradesman - carpenders, welders, electricians will often surprise you - and they do excellent work.
In the market, fresh vegetables (often imported but also locally grown) are stunningly expensive but fresh aquacultured prawns are an excellent buy. Locally grown chickens are the highest priced in the Pacific - possibly in the world - but imported frozen chickens from the US are reasonable. French wines and excellent locally produced beers are reasonably priced in the supermarkets.