New Caledonia lies astride
the Tropic of Capricorn, between 19 and 23 south latitude. The climate
of the islands is tropical, and rainfall is highly seasonal, brought by
trade winds that usually come from the east.
French is the official
language of New Caledonia as in the rest of the French Republic. At the
2004 census, 97.0% of people whose age was 14 or older reported that
they could speak, read and write French, whereas only 0.97% reported
that they had no knowledge of French.
The local currency in New Caledonia is the French Pacific Franc (XFP)
with 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 francs coins and 500, 1000, 5000 and
10, 000 francs notes. US$1 is equivalent to around 83 French Pacific