Work and Travel in New Caledonia
VOLUNTEER AND PAID WORK OPPORTUNITIES IN NEW CALEDONIA FOR TRAVELLERS
New Caledonia is a department of France in the Pacific Ocean. It’s one of the most remote islands in the world, with few people deciding to travel in New Caledonia. So why not do something different this year with work and travel in New Caledonia?
It’s not easy to get to and there’s not a huge amount of information about the island for visitors. But if you’re tough enough then this will be the adventure of a lifetime.
Here’s our travel guide to New Caledonia with everything you need to know.
1. Study and Protect Rare Birds in New Caledonia
New Caledonia has long been a hub for scientific exploration. One of the big volunteering opportunities in New Caledonia is the study of the rare birds that make their homes here.
Throughout the whole year there are different species nesting on the island. You won’t find them anywhere else outside of this specific region.
Anyone with an interest in the study and conservation of rare island birds should consider picking up this sort of work in New Caledonia.
2. Work on a Farm in New Caledonia
New Caledonia may be a small island, but there’s still a certain amount of small-scale farming work here. Travel in New Caledonia and see how people really live by working on a farm.
There are many types of farms on the island. You could work on a bee farm, a crop farm, or even a dairy farm. Most of these jobs are also combined with homestays.
Take note that most islanders don’t speak other languages. Before you pick up a homestay you should consider learning enough French to get you along. Homestays are like immersion language learning programmes in their own right.
You won’t find any huge farming complexes here. They’re still very much connected to local families who have farmed for generations.
3. Teach English in New Caledonia
As a French department, it shouldn’t surprise you to find out that the main language of the island is French. Naturally, a lot of young people want to see the world beyond the island, and so they have a desire to learn English.
Although teaching English in New Caledonia isn’t as easy as it is in other countries, there are still positions here. These volunteering opportunities in New Caledonia may be in schools or combined with homestays.
Finding a job teaching English is far more informal than it is in other parts of the world.
VOLUNTEER WORK VISA / PERMIT REQUIREMENTS FOR NEW CALEDONIA
To work and travel in New Caledonia you need to make sure that you have the correct visa. Citizens of the European Union (EU) are able to travel in New Caledonia for as long as they like. Brexit will change the situation for the UK and will likely limit stays for 90 days in a 180-day period.
A 90-day stay is also available without applying for a formal visa for citizens of North America, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and South Africa.
It should be mentioned that South Africans and Russians must apply for a visa from a French embassy in advance of their trip. A successful visa application to visit New Caledonia does not entitle the bearer to visit mainland France or any of the other French territories around the world.
You should further bear in mind that Chinese citizens can visit on organised trips, but independent travel will require a visa.
SEASONAL BACKPACKER SKILLS NEEDED IN NEW CALEDONIA
Spring in actually the start of winter in New Caledonia because of its position in the southern hemisphere. We recommend work in New Caledonia in spring because this is one of the coldest periods of the year, so it’s more bearable to work outside.
The best volunteering opportunities in New Caledonia in spring are those involving conservation. New Caledonia is one of the leading biodiversity hotspots and you’ll be able to work in a number of different fields.
The most popular conservation projects are those involving birds, flora, and reptiles.
The summer season is a continuation of the southern hemisphere’s winter. You should refer back to the previous section for more information on some of the things you can do in summer.
We would also recommend farm work. It’s the ideal time to work outside and you can combine it with a homestay. There’s no better way to find out about the reality of living on one of the most remote islands in the world.
The autumn season is the shoulder season. It’s warmer than the summer and the spring and you may experience limited amounts of rain. Practically every type of project is available in autumn, so you should refer back to the previous sections and to the following section.
The winter brings the tropical rainy season and the hottest, most humid temperatures of the year all at the same time. We wouldn’t recommend visiting the island in winter because a lot of volunteering projects are no longer available.
However, if you do visit you can expect to find plenty of English teaching jobs. Try to have a position already secured before you land because it’s not always easy to find a role on the ground.
ATTITUDE TO FOREIGNERS WORKING OR VOLUNTEERING IN NEW CALEDONIA
Take note that New Caledonia is not rich and there’s a high level of poverty. It’s an island that relies entirely on aid coming from France.
You should be wary of this when taking up certain roles on the island. Ask yourself whether you could be taking a paying job from a local. There’s hostility towards foreigners who do this, so stick to the volunteering projects presented in this guide to avoid any problems.
Other than that, you should arrive with a working knowledge of French. English speakers are not common in the country. Most locals never leave the island, and the few immigrants are normally their brethren from mainland France.
Are you ready to challenge yourself with work and travel in New Caledonia?
- Edited on May 19 2021 by Lily