For years, Houaïlou was an essential district for those going to the East Coast from Noumea via Bourail and the Col des Roussettes, a winding but magnificent road. Today, with the Koné-Tiwaka, things have changed and it is visited much less frequently. A mining district, it is home to the only mining techniques training centre in New Caledonia (at Poro). Houaïlou’s name is also associated with the lychee; the village has become the Caledonian lychee capital and its fruit is inimitable in form, colour and taste. Each year, in December, the district organises the lychee festival and the producers work twice as hard to extend the outlets for this fruit which is so greatly appreciated by everyone in the country. Another local sport is the training of rodeomen, impressive to observe on horseback at the numerous fairs and festivals in the country.
In terms of walks, Houaïlou offers very beautiful sites to explore in the valleys and mountains where there are numerous waterfalls. North of the village, towards Ponérihouen, the Bâ waterfall offers a cooling and energising place to stop.
Location and access: Located at the exit of the Col des Roussettes cross-country road on the East Coast, 234 kilometres from Noumea.
District festivals: Music festival in June, lychee festival in December.
Banks: CCP agency at the village post office, tel. 42 51 00; BCI, village, tel. 42 46 42.
Gendarmerie: Tel: 44 87 90
Dispensary: Tel: 47 75 40
Pharmacy: Village, tel. 42 50 50.
Post Office: Post office agency at the village, tel. 42 51 00; Poro annex, tel. 42 57 00.
Service station: Shell, tel. 42 54 39.