Region to discover: The East Coast

The East and West Coasts of New Caledonia is separated by the Grande Terre central mountain range. Exposure of the east coast to strong winds means it is more humid and is thus blessed with a lush and sumptuous flora.

It is a beautiful region, and an expedition through the east coast will reward you with several incredible scenic views. The landscape is plush and mountainous. The foothills bordering the coastlines are covered in an attractive vegetation cover.

There are plenty of hiking trails and a host of other activities to not only keep you busy through your stay in the east coast but also keep your body fit and your mind satisfied with abundant natural wonders.

The area is home to the Kanak people, who are the actual original inhabitants of New Caledonia.  Today they live in traditional huts in units broken up into several small communities the line the length of the coast. The Kanak people of the east coast have a rich culture with beautiful music, dance, and sculpture.

The region is also a wonderland of some sort with hidden waterfalls, tree ferns on the hillside, and lush valleys.

The Coast also has beautiful diving spots, a barrier reef with a wide variety of exotic and colorful corals and sea anemones, seamounts, canyons, drops and arches The reef is also home to several tropical fishes, pygmy seahorses, sea- turtles, manta rays, humpback and reef sharks and is, in fact, one of New Caledonia’s most vibrant and most beautiful reefs that will, without doubt, keep you fascinated on a snorkeling trip.

Take a hike and visit the magnificent Tao Falls, then climb to the top of New Caledonia’s highest point at Mount Panie. Pause for an amazing view from one of the island’s most beautiful spots at Hienghène Bay, where two isolated rock formations named ‘brooding hen’ and ‘sphinx’ are found.

If you are out to admire not just the beauty of nature but the culture and history of the people, then a visit to the Cultural Centre at Goa Ma Bwarhat will do you some good. Here you will find authentic and beautiful handicrafts.

Thio Village situated beside the Thio River; a colonial-style town is a place to visit to get a feel of the history of the people.  It was In Thio, that the Caledonian nickel mining adventure began, pay a visit to the world’s the oldest working open-pit mine which has been in operation since the year 1880. There is a newly renovated museum at the heart of Thio that tells the story of the activities of men who worked in the ancient mine.

Another town which preserves the mining heritage of the east coast is the town of Ouegoa located at the north-eastern edge of the Grande Terre. The town once ravaged by the leather and gold fever is now a laid back peaceful community.