Cross-island road to Koné
There are several roads across Grande Terre from the west coast to the east, but the most beautiful yet least known one, not desribed in any guidebooks, is the one that branches off between Poindimié and Touho to go across the mountains to Koné.
It passes beautiful lakes and forested hills with very few signs of human habitation, but has several roadside picnic stops and even a few marked hiking trails along it.Add to your Trip Planner
At 1628 metres the highest mountain in New Caledonia, Mount Panié forms the heart of a lush nature reserve housing some of the richest flora and fauna in the territory.
It's a rather steep and strenous climb to the top, and a permit is required - available from the Hienghéne Tourist Office for free.
Very few people seem to bother with the climb - I even met French living in nearby Hienghéne who go hiking in New Zealand but never climbed this mountain.
Too hard, they say... :-)
Not to be missed if you are a nature lover!
See my separate Mount Panié page for information on the area around the mountain, and the climb up to the peak!Add to your Trip Planner
North of Pouebo, the area of Balade is connected with several important events in New Caledonia's early history.
Captain Cook anchored here, the first Catholic mass in land was held under a banyan tree near the beach, and there is a beautiful church commemorating these historic events.
There is also an ugly monument for France's rule over the territory.
The stunning golden beach alone makes a visit worthwhile though!
See my Balade page for more on this remote area.Add to your Trip Planner
the lighttower of Ile Amedée
Sometimes a misunderstanding might be a good thing like it happened in Noumea: a prefixed iron lighttower was built in France and should have been delivered to Fort-de-France in Martinique. But there was a Fort-de-France at that time as well in Noumea and so the lighttower was sent to the wrong place, where they found out about the misunderstanding, but did not want to send it back.
So the lighttower was taken to Amedée, a small island, 20km off Noumea.
And it is still there and became a wellknown attraction for the tourists.
I did not go there, but saw this advertisment in Noumea, and it will be on my list, when I return to Noumea some day !
Read more about it in the link below !Related to:
- Budget Travel
Lifou: the cemetery of Easo
When on the island of Lifou, Dont miss to take a look at the cemetery of Easo as well, when you visit the church there. It was interesting to see some different styles of graves there and also the idea to have a hat on top of the grave, like you see it in my 2nd picture here.
I also saw some woodcarvings, that might have been a cross once, but I am not sure about that (my last 3 pictures)Related to:
- Historical Travel
- Family Travel
Inland from Hienghéne, there is a string of Kanak tribal villages stretching into the mointainous interior along this valley.
The special thing about them is that they encourage tourism by offering programs like horse-riding and even accomodation in traditional Kanak huts.
This can be a good way to experience everyday life of the Kanaks if you speak French - if not, it's still interesting to go hiking in the surrounding mountains for a day or two.Add to your Trip Planner
The North-East Coast
The North-East is Grande Terre's most beautiful region.
It is dominated by steep hills covered in lush, green forests, which overlook beautiful stretches of coast with Grande Terre's great barrier reef within sight.
The population here is mostly Kanak, with the Caldoche only living in the few small towns scattered along the coast.Add to your Trip Planner
A small town on a pretty bay with a good beach, Touho also has an old mission attached to it.
For budget travellers, it offers some of the best and cheapest campsites in New Caledonia - a good reason to make it a base for exploring the surrounding countryside.Add to your Trip Planner
7 kms north of the ferry crossing, the highest and most famous waterfall in the territory is actually visible from the road.
It is nevertheless well worth paying up the 200 francs to use the trail up to the falls' base through the jungle.
The track is very slippery so wear proper shoes!Add to your Trip Planner
The northernmost real township on the east coast, Pouébo has an old church and a windswept beach with free camping.
However it is mostly worth visiting for its yearly Mwata Festival, held in honour of a traditional banana cake. It features Kanak and Polynesian dances and a fair of local produce.Add to your Trip Planner
Noumea: Eglise du Cœur Immaculé de Marie
Eglise du Cœur Immaculé de Marie was built on a hill outside of Noumea after WW II. Monsignore Paul Bresson, one of the main theologians of New Caledonia had promised to build this church, when New Caledonia would not be damaged in WW II. The church was opened in May 14th, 1953.
Next to the church there is a small park, where a branch of the Banyan tree (Ficus benghalensis ) was planted, under which in 1843 the first catholic churchservice was held in December 25th, 1843. You Need a car to get there or you take one of the many tours through the Island and this church is always on the program !Related to:
- Historical Travel
Noumea: The University of New Caledonia
What a surprise to find a University in New Caledonia ! This is the University of New Caledonia and you will find it a bit outside of the citycentre of Noumea, close to the beach. We just passed by in our tourbus and saw the interesting architecture of the buildings. The University was founded in 1987 and it has 3 departments:
Law & Economy
Literature, Languages & Human science
Technical science & Natural ScienceRelated to:
- Historical Travel
Noumea: the theatre and the prison
And this is the theatre of Noumea, quite an impressive building made of white and red bricks, but I am not sure if that is still used as a theatre nowadays. You will find it close to the University, in the Suburbs of Noumea and we just passed by in in our tourbus without taking a closer look .
In my last 2 photos you can see a former prison of Noumea, not far from that theatre !Related to:
Noumea: the townhall & Olry Square
Another sight that I found while taking a walk through Noumea: Square Olry is a sidepart of Place des Cocotiers and it is named after Viceadmiral Olry, who was governor in 1878 and you will see him standing there on top of the Monument in my first 3 pictures here. There are a lot of scenic Tropical trees there as well, so dont miss it !
In my last 2 Pictures you will see the "Hotel de Ville" of Noumea ! That is no Hotel at all, but the french expression for townhall ! A modern building dating back to 1975.Related to:
- Family Travel
Noumea: Mont Ouen Toro & 2 Cannons
This is a bit outside of Noumea: On Mont Ouen Toro you will find 2 cannons of WW II that had been installed there by the australian army in order to prevent the japanese army to attack New Caledonia. Nowadays Mont Ouen Toro is a great receation-area with hiking-paths and lots of people go there jogging and even paragliding from the top of these hills, that are just about 128 meters high above the sea level.
We got there as a stop on our island-tour by bus and we also had a great panoramaview from up there.Related to:
- Historical Travel
New Caledonia Hotels
143 Route de l'Anse Vata, Noumea, Grand Terre, 98845, New Caledonia
Good for: Couples
Lovely bar lounge where you can relax and unwind........with a $10 cocktail !!more
( part 2 ) My room is in the old ‘wild west’ style building behind the front building ,at first I...more
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