Most visitors to this area seem to consider climbing the mountain way too much effort to bother with (they don't know what they are missing!) and will be content with the short hike to the base of New Caledonia's highest and most impressive waterfall instead.The falls are actually visible from a bridge on the main road, but if you do want to walk...more
There are no stores, let alone restaurants in this remote area.
The only place to buy any food at all was this humble little roadside-stall belonging to the family guarding the entrance to the Tao Falls.
They sold delicious papayas, and occasionally bananas and pumpkins for a pittance, but you do need correct change as it operates on a honesty basis!
Bring everything else you think you might need during your stay here from Hienghéne.
The single daily bus between Pouébo and Poindimié provides the only public transport option to reach this area.
Unless you happen to connect with it, hitching may just be faster.
The same stall meantioned in my "Restaurants" tip also sold a few local crafts like simple little carvings, basketware and a few shells.
And that's it.
The next river-crossing past the Tao Falls, the trailhead, and near the Chambonnier campsite will pass a large, crystal-clear pool of water formed before that river would flow into the sea.
It has a uniquely inviting, short white-sand beach, which is better than the beaches on the seaside itself in this area!
From the ridge, you will have sweeping views of Grande Terre's interior, all the way to the west coast. Having climbed through the dense forest of this magnificent nature reserve, it is somewhat depressing to see all the deforestation on the other side of the range.There is actually an alternative trail up the peak from that side, but having seen...more
Finally, you will emerge to a flatish plateu covered with low bush.Here you have fine views of the spine of the ridge and its neighbouring peaks, but ironically, the peak of Mount Panié itself is not very obvious.Again, the trail here splits into smaller ones, but following the biggest one upwards should eventually bring you to the "peak", which is...more
As Mount Panié is a nature reserve, public access is limited and you will need a permit to enter the reserve and climb the mountain.
Fortunately, this permit can be obtained quite readily and painlessly at the tourist office in Hienghéne - but not anywhere near the mountain itself! It is issued free of charge in a few hours.
Once you have it in hand, you will have to show it to the ranger who lives just east of the bridge crossing the river under the Tao Falls the day before you plan to start your climb.