The energy is in the North
Beyond its magnificient scenery and the warm welcome of its inhabitants, the North is also a land to be explored with passion. A land rich in activities and intense sensations. Your heart will beat at a frenetic rate.
Jump into the water and plunge into the heart of the North. On horseback, on foot, by 4WD or by boat, any means is good for exploring the attractions of this unique land. To plunge right in, nothing is better than canyoning. Canala village, which almost became the capital of New Caledonia, will give you all the thrills you desire. KnalCanyon offers a 70 metre descent over the sheer drop of the unavoidable and breathtaking Ciù waterfall. Enjoy the view over this magnificient bay protected from the elements before you push off. Via waterholes and slodes, you will reach Gélima tribal village. After so much effort, drop by the old La Crouen hot baths so you can dive into the history and legends of these thermal springs with their health-giving properties.
A bit of hunting...
To really understand life in the bush, you have to "péter un gadin", a colourful local expression meaning to shoot a deer. Hunting is an integral part of New Caledonian culture, regardless of ethnic origin. In each home in the bush, you will find a deer skull hung on the wall. The Caillou, or "Pebble" as the locals call New Caledonia, has long been considered the main country organasing trophies for hunting Rusa deer. Hunting parties are unique occasions for touching the heart of the country and those who live there : authentic meetings with the inhabitants and unforgettable walks across the plains or along the ridge lines.
Pouembout, the agricultural breadbasket of the North Province, is the ideal starting point. The rural gîte, the Paddock de la Boutana offers deer hunting. Perhaps you will manage to bring back a catch of tasty meat? And with a bit of luck, your guide will give you the secret of his marinade...
...or a bit of fishing
Another favourite New Caledonian pastime : Fishing! The North is a special area for lovers of fishing rods and reels. Professional fishers, custom authorities and the Province are working together to preserve their fisheries heritage.
When you go fishing, you will have the opportunity to get close to the incredibly diverse underwater fauna. And specially to understand the real meaning of sport fishing. You will discover it with charter companies like Voh Fishing which will take dolphinfish, whaoo or swordfish will tie you in knots : a real fight betwen your future catch and you. Discussion with the fishers will be full of guidance and good advice. And even if you come back empty-handed, a rather rare situation, the trip on the lagoon will remain unforgettable.
The world of silence
The beauty of the ocean can also be admired underwater. The New Caledonian lagoon is full of incredible treasures. It is a place highly prized by divers, as few locations in the world contain so many species. The extremely diverse fauna (parrots, blue groupers, rays, reef sharks, turtles etc.) move amidst lush flora. Dive near these unique reefs, selected for registration on the UNESCO World Heritage List, accompanied by experienced and accredited instructors.
The north will reveal its pristine seabed in crystal-clear water. Whether at Hienghène, with Babou Côté Océan, at Poindimié, with Tiéti Diving, Aqualagoon and Loupiot Sea Diving, the underwater world will take your breath away - even with a scuba tank ! Imagine yourself suspended in a silent universe, a veritable symphony of colours. The peaks and canyons are carpeted with giant gorgonian and other types of coral. The many caves in the coral reef offer an ideal refuge for the thousands of tropical fish : a true feast for your eyes.
Walking towards Eden
The North has a great number of activities for sport fans. New fields of discovery await them. Mont Panié, the highest point on New Caledonia (more than 1,600 metres) constitues a botanical reserve that is exceptionally rich in endemic plants (mountain araucarias, giant kaoris, etc.). Stay alert and you may see some of the 90 listed species of butterfly on the mountain. The Dayu Biik association preserves this Eden. If you come from Hienghène, you will pass the La Ouaième river and cross over on the last ferry still in 24-hour operation. If you need to cool down, take a detour by the Tao waterfall.
But the paths in the central mountain chain or its fouthills will take you to may other exceptional sites, deep in the still unspoilt New Caledonian natural environment : majestic tropical forests, ridge lines with breathtaking lookouts (and vertical drops), endemic plant species and mysterious legends will punctuate your journey.
The bushdweller's best friend
The horse is certainly the stockman's best friend, along, of course, with the blue heeler. A horse ride is an excellent way to admire the niaouli savannah on the great plains or cross the mountain chain and its virgin forest.
To have a go at the "tropical western" with New Caledonian cowboys, you just have to meet keen riders. In Koné, capital of North Province, the stockbreeders will put you into the saddle with no problem. Try, for example, the three-day trek that will take you to Atéou, the highest tribal village in New Caledonia. In the early morning, the view over valleys filled with mist is stunning. To the clip-clop of horses' hooves, the mountain chain will surrender its secrets, and in the right season you can fish for prawns while camping by the edge of the creek. Under water, on foot or on horseback, your heart wille beat to all the rhythms in the North.