7 Extraordinary Wild places to explore for free in New Caledonia
The main island of New Caledonia has a bunch of extraordinary wild places that are practically uninhabited. No need to travel to the other islands around to find extravagant coconut forests, endless mountain ranges or amazing white sand beaches surrounded by magnificent cliffs. Below are our selection of 7 extraordinary wild places to explore for free in New Caledonia.
Off Road. Bac de la Ouaième
The East side of New Caledonia is known for its cliffs, cascades, wild beaches and vegetation. In Ouaiéme, there is no bridge to cross the river. Instead, a boat transports cars from one side to the other. If there is bad weather conditions, you might not get to cross!
Hidden beach, Hienghène
Hienghène is a small village next to the ocean and a river, at the East coast of New Caledonia. It is surrounded by great rocks like in the King Kong movie. The place is filled with tropical vegetation, mango and papaya trees and a coconut tree overdose. Amazing site for adventurers wanting to explore unknown spots like this one which is under an abandoned snack bar (at least it gave us this impression).
Pwameju River, off road trail
The road that crosses the mountain range from Touho to Koné (and viceversa) offers astonishing views and off road trails that are accessible by car. We landed at Pwameju River and could not resist to jump in the water and enjoy the view.
Road from Koumac to Poum
A much different dried landscape can be found at the north of the island. Colorful contrasts with orange, yellow, green or red, pointed and rounded hill tops and a long deserted road to do plenty of pictures. Some of the areas we visited had suffered bush burnings, as we can see in one of the pictures below.
Turtle Bay, Bourail
Known for its beauty and mysterious autochthonous Columnar Araucaria (Cook Pines), the Turtle Bay is one of our favorite places of the South Province of New Caledonia. You can access the beach by foot after some hiking down the mountain to the beach, by car or by trespassing the rocky tunnel that connects the bay with the Roche Percée Beach. It is a turtle nesting area, thus you could see the little ones coming out of the sand on February.
We Paalo (Waalo) Cascade, Pouébo
Once more, on the East side of the island there is a beautiful spot with a cascade and the mouth of the river that needs to be crossed in order to continue. Be informed of weather conditions as in case of heavy rain, the water takes over the road and makes it impossible to continue driving.
The Mouth of La Nera River, Bourail
Bourail counts with spectacular views and activities to do. The mouth of La Nera River is a one stop point for the aquatic sports lovers, boat, paddle surf, jet sky, Va'a, among many others. When getting out of the river, on the right hand side there is a surf spot with regular waves that can be pretty big and strong. It is the only surf spot in the island right on the beach and accessible at no cost. There are other reef spots but you will need a boat to get there. Bullsharks get in the river to give birth from December to May approximatively.
It is between these months that sharks the close to the shores and attacks can happen all around the island.
Houaïlou River, off road trail
On the Road of Col des Roussettes, driving from Houaïlou to Bourail, we turned right and ended on a trail that took us on a wide view shore of the Houaïlou River. Deserted beautiful place with a filled carpet of colorful stones and a stunning view of the mountains. Perfect for relaxing or hiking if wanted.