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  #1  
Old January 24th, 2012, 04:40 AM
Aussie71 Aussie71 is offline
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Question How much foreign currency to take?

Just wondering how much foreign currency (VUV & CFP) should a family of four take on the 7 day cruise to Noumea, Vila and Lifou? We will not be prebooking shore tours and the kids want to go snorkeling. We may purchase some duty free alcohol to take home from one of the islands. Any left over notes can be sold back to the bank when we return, so I am not too worried about having too much, just concerned about not having enough.

We usually purchase our foreign currency from the bank in advance of overseas travel, as we get a better rate? I do not want to use my credit/debit card, due to the fact that our card number was compromised on a past holiday in Fiji.
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  #2  
Old January 24th, 2012, 04:50 AM
Aus Traveller Aus Traveller is offline
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The currencies are Pacific francs, vatu and pacific francs. I strongly suggest you buy no currency. When buying currency from the post office you have to buy a minimum of AUD$200 in any currency.

Suggestions -
Noumea - You can buy tours in the cruise terminal either sightseeing or a swim/snorkel trip to Duck Island. They take Aussie dollars. A tour for the fur of you should cost less than AUD$150 total. If you are going to DUck Island for the day you might need some money to buy food/drinks, but you can exchange a small amount of currency either at the reception desk on the ship or when you arrive in Noumea at the currency exchange counter in the cruise terminal. The rates are not fantastic, but you would not need much. Otherwise take bottles of water and tell the kids to wait until they get back to the ship to eat!!!

Vila - AUD is accepted everywhere. Either go to the Mele Cascades for a swim (amazing place) or snorkelling off either Irririki Island or Hideaway Island. Costs - taxi $50-$60 to Mele cascades and return + entry $20 pp, taxi to town to go to Irririki $15 + $20pp entry to the island but this entitles you to food and drink to this value; Hideaway Is, taxi plus an entry fee. Buy duty free alcohol at Fung Kuei - prices and range available are amazing. Shop at the markets. AUD accepted everywhere. taxi back to the ship AUD$10.

Lifou - no money needed. Walk to Janek Bay and snorkel. Coral/fish are great here. There is a small market. They accept AUD.

We travelled for years with kids (three) so I know how the costs can mount up if you are not careful.
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Old January 24th, 2012, 06:09 AM
Aussie71 Aussie71 is offline
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Thanks for the tips :-)

We usually purchase our foreign currency from fx4you, as we have found that we get the best exchange rate from them. You do not have to be a Wpac customer and I like that you can pay by Bpay. When it arrives i pick it up from the local branch. They have always repurchased any foreign currency notes that we bring back.

https://www.fx4you.com/westpac/tandc.cfm

I have never purchased foreign currency from Aust Post. Once we bought it from the airport and the exchange was terrible.
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Old January 24th, 2012, 06:14 AM
Aus Traveller Aus Traveller is offline
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Originally Posted by Aussie71 View Post
Thanks for the tips :-)

We usually purchase our foreign currency from fx4you, as we have found that we get the best exchange rate from them. You do not have to be a Wpac customer and I like that you can pay by Bpay. When it arrives i pick it up from the local branch. They have always repurchased any foreign currency notes that we bring back.

https://www.fx4you.com/westpac/tandc.cfm

I have never purchased foreign currency from Aust Post. Once we bought it from the airport and the exchange was terrible.
Australia Post is easy and convenient and the exchange rates are good but the minimum purchase is AUD$200 in each currency and they will not buy back excess notes.
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Old January 24th, 2012, 06:53 AM
thied thied is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aussie71 View Post
Just wondering how much foreign currency (VUV & CFP) should a family of four take on the 7 day cruise to Noumea, Vila and Lifou? We will not be prebooking shore tours and the kids want to go snorkeling. We may purchase some duty free alcohol to take home from one of the islands. Any left over notes can be sold back to the bank when we return, so I am not too worried about having too much, just concerned about not having enough.

We usually purchase our foreign currency from the bank in advance of overseas travel, as we get a better rate? I do not want to use my credit/debit card, due to the fact that our card number was compromised on a past holiday in Fiji.
you do not need any foreign currency for any of these ports.
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Old January 24th, 2012, 02:47 PM
rkmw rkmw is offline
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Originally Posted by thied View Post
you do not need any foreign currency for any of these ports.
thied the OP might need some foreign currency for Noumea as some places dont take AUD
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Old January 24th, 2012, 03:03 PM
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Originally Posted by rkmw View Post
thied the OP might need some foreign currency for Noumea as some places dont take AUD
I agree, there are some places in Noumea where local currency is eiher required or easier. We always take some Pacific Francs with us for taxis in Noumea and use the rest for lunch, museum / aquarium entry and on the last trip snack food and purchases at the unexpected (and fun) South Pacific Games market in Coconut Square.

Colleen
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Old January 24th, 2012, 03:28 PM
Aussie71 Aussie71 is offline
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I agree, there are some places in Noumea where local currency is eiher required or easier. We always take some Pacific Francs with us for taxis in Noumea and use the rest for lunch, museum / aquarium entry and on the last trip snack food and purchases at the unexpected (and fun) South Pacific Games market in Coconut Square.

Colleen
Okay thanks. Do have a recommended dollar amount for each currency for a family of four? As Aus Traveller said things add up quickly whenever you take kids on holidays.
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Old January 24th, 2012, 06:47 PM
Aus Traveller Aus Traveller is offline
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Originally Posted by Aussie71 View Post
Okay thanks. Do have a recommended dollar amount for each currency for a family of four? As Aus Traveller said things add up quickly whenever you take kids on holidays.
This depends what you want to do. I know it might be difficult to work this our at the moment, but it will be easier if you plan ahead.

Noumea is the only one of the three ports where you could need some local currency. If you want to go to the aquarium (good by the way) you will francs for the entry fee (google to get the current prices) and francs for either the local bus or a taxi. Taxis work out at the equivalent of AUD$40 per hour, but they only take francs. We don't eat in local retaurants in the ports when we have a superb restaurant tied up at the wharf.

I will go out on a limb and suggest maybe AUD$100-$150 would give you plenty for a day in Noumea for your family. Once again, this depends what you want to do.

There is a small market upstairs in the cruise terminal in Noumea. They have some lovely local souvenirs at reasonable prices. They accept AUD, but you could get rid of your francs there by buying a few bits and pieces. Better than changing back and losing a percentage in the conversion. Look for freshwater pearls (great prices), sarongs. If you do use AUD here their conversion rate is good.
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Old January 24th, 2012, 10:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Aussie71 View Post
Okay thanks. Do have a recommended dollar amount for each currency for a family of four? As Aus Traveller said things add up quickly whenever you take kids on holidays.
I agree with Aus Traveller. We change $200 but have lunch ashore. If you have any Pacific Francs left and have already done your souvenir shopping, you can buy snacks, soft drinks and other items at the large Casino Supermarket directly across the road from the cruise terminal. A taxi to the aquarium wil cost $1000 XPF - $10 - $11 AUD (depending on exchange rate. There are lots of street level snack outlets around the main square and you can always join the locals and eat your lunch in the park, with an icecream from the Kiosk near the Information Centre in the middle of the square. Snack / light meals places near the beaches are also a good bet with children in preference to the touristy sit down with a tablecloth restaurants where they will take AUD.

There is also a tourist bus that goes to the most visited spots - beaches, aquarium etc. and public buses to the Tijbaou Centre - about $2 AUD equivalent. Pick up a copy of the tourist magazine The New Caledonia Weekly at the cruise terminal ground floor. This is also the place to track down cheaper (than the ship) tours if you are interested.

Colleen

Last edited by cjm66; January 24th, 2012 at 11:12 PM.
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Old January 24th, 2012, 11:37 PM
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My DS used Euros when he had a holiday in Noumea last year. I did ask him why, but I've forgotten his answer.
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  #12  
Old January 25th, 2012, 01:20 AM
Aus Traveller Aus Traveller is offline
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My DS used Euros when he had a holiday in Noumea last year. I did ask him why, but I've forgotten his answer.
My research indicated that the exchange rate from Euros to francs was worse than from AUD to francs. I know when we have bought things in Noumea using AUD the exchange rate they quoted every time (and that would be more than six occasions) was better than we could get at the bank at home. When we expressed doubt and suggested they check it, they did and confirmed the rate. We were happy.
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Old January 25th, 2012, 01:56 AM
MissCruising1 MissCruising1 is offline
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We have some francs left over from our recent cruise through Tahiti so hoping we can use them in Noumea!

Our cruise gets in on a Monday though - so not sure what will be open...
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