The Brooding Hen
Facing the Sphinx at the eastern side of the bay, the Hen is a far more interesting and readily recognizable rock. It has a very inviting sliver of beach on its left, if you could get hold of a boat to take you out there...
The best place to view it is the designated (and signposted) viewpoint on the left as you head out of town past the cultural centre, from the other side of the town it looks much less "hen-like".
Goa Ma Bwarhat Cultural Centre
Just across the bay from the town centre, this place is well worth visiting.
On its grounds stand traditional Kanak houses, carved posts, a carvers' workshop and most interestingly an excellent, small museum.
It even has a small library with free internet access - the only place where I could access the web outside Noumea!
The centre also hosts various cultural events and demonstrations every now and then - ask!
Clicking on the "2 more photos" link under the photo here would let you see some of the exhibits.
This line of fantastic limestone formations stretches a few kilometres east along the coast from the Brooding Hen. You will see plenty of them either from the same viewpoint, or, even closer up, from the main road!
The Club Med and two campsites offer accomodation in this area.
Do click on the tiny "3 more photos" link under the photo to the right to see rather different views of various rocks in varied settings.
The actual township of Hienghéne itself is tiny - pretty much all you can see on this photo.
It is basically a government and commercial centre, with very few inhabitants, two or three grocery stores, a museum, a tourist office and a restaurant.
The Sphinx is one of the two named rock formations guarding the entrance to the bay on its western side. It is covered in dense vegetation and takes a bit of imagination to recognize.