Nestling at the back of a bay, Canala, christened Napoléonville in the 19th century, almost became the capital of New Caledonia, as Admiral Tardy de Montravel fell for the charm of this site which he considered to have major development potential. A century later, during the 1980s, Canala became famous in a different way during the Événements, the events or troubles, as the district was then a formidable pro-independence fief. A tendency that has not changed but which is asserted more peacefully.
Today, Canala is also a district closely associated with nickel mining.
But it had its hour of glory in a different way, with the La Crouen thermal springs, which were known to be beneficial for high blood pressure, asthma, rheumatism and respiratory disorders. Moreover, many inhabitants would like to rehabilitate this exceptional site to create an additional tourist attraction for their village. Also worth seeing are Ciu waterfall, the Dothio and Pehanno valleys and the Pic des Morts which has a magnificent lookout. There are two ways of getting to Canala: either via Thia or La Foa. If you come from Thio, you have to take the steep and winding route à horaires, a single-lane road where the direction of the traffic changes at scheduled times, through the Col de Petchécara. It is not recommended. So choose the second option, frankly much less risky.
For information, the times for the road with schedules :
- From Canala to Thio : even round hours
- From Thio to Canala : odd round hours
Location and access: Located 170 kilometres from Noumea on the East Coast, between Thio (35 km) and Kouaoua (45 km).
Tourist information: Syndicat d’Initiative de Canala (Canala Tourist Bureau) – tel: 42 60 61.
District festivals: Canala Floraly Gélima in May; taro festival at Mia in June; mandarin and fruit festival in July; sea produce market in August; heritage festival at Haouli in September; Amaryllis festival at Emma tribal village in October; Héliconias festival in November; sea produce market in Ghio in December.
Gendarmerie: Tel: 44 87 75
Dispensary: 42 75 60
Pharmacy: Village, tel. 42 30 50.
Multimedia library: 42 43 48
Banks: CCP agency at the village post office, tel. 42 31 00; BCI, village, tel. 42 30 43.
Post Office: Post office agency, village, tel. 42 31 00.
Service stations: Mobil, tel. 42 55 39.