A little over two hours by road from Noumea, Poya is a village of exceptions. Indeed, it is the only village in the country to be administratively divided between the North and South Provinces.
This district lives on nickel and agriculture, in particular deer raising, various crops and aquaculture farms. It represents a typical image of the bush, rural and authentic.
Here, those who love hunting will be in their element, tracking down a trophy in the middle of the bush and bringing back gadin (deer in the local language) or wild pig.
Those who prefer the sea will cross the iron bridge over the Moindah (dating from the American presence from 1942 to 1945) and continue down the Beaupré road lined with animal raising and aquaculture areas, which takes the walker to the seaside. Contrarieté Islet, located a quarter of an hour from the village wharf, is also worth the trip. Equally interesting to visit are the Catholic church of Saint Joan of Arc (in the village) and its 14 stations of the cross (liturgical paintings) and an immense picture of Christ, all painted by an artist from the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris. This large district is made up of various ethnic groups and the places where they live are very scattered. Its six tribal villages, Gohapin, Montfaoué, Nékliai, Netéa, Ouendji and Népou, are quite a way from the centre.
Consider stopping at Reine Pourudeu’s table, near Nétéa tribal village, where she has transformed a hunter’s camp into a pleasant reception and sharing site.
Going north from the village on the magnificent Gohapin road lined with large black rocks, there is a road off to the right to the Adio caves, where access is getting scarce for safety reasons.
At Gohapin tribal village, you can go on hikes with trained guides. The region is superb and contains petroglyphs, the meaning and origin of which remain a mystery, in particular near Montfaoué.
Back heading north again, the main road passes from one valley into the next until the fork for the road to Népoui, which is also part of Poya district. From the Col de Nékoro, the Château Escande de Muéo can be seen, which is private property.
Finally, you reach Népoui village, which owes its existence to the proximity of the Népoui-Kopéto SLN mine, which peaks at over 1 000 m in altitude (the highest mine operating in the country). From the road, the massif can be seen on the right in the background, and a red dirt road connects the mining site to the seaside.
Location and access: A West Coast district located 210 kilometres from Noumea, Poya is divided in two, Basse (Lower) Poya and Haute (Upper) Poya, astride the frontier between the North Province and the South Province.
Tourist information: Mairie de Poya (Town Hall), tel. 47 12 50 (from 7-11 am and 12-4 pm); Népoui Town Hall Annex, tel. 47 10 62; Gohapin Town Hall Annex, tel. 47 13 78 (same hours).
District festival: Terroir festival (mid-July).
Markets, craftwork: Municipal market every second Friday: sale of local products by district women.
Gendarmerie: 45 53 05
Népoui dispensary: 47 74 40
Poya dispensary: 47 74 30
Pharmacy: Népoui village, tel. 47 10 81.
Banks: CCP agency at the village post office, tel. 47 17 15; BCI Népoui, tel. 47 10 46.
Post Office: Post office agency, tel. 47 17 15, Népoui annex, tel. 47 11 01.
Service stations: Total, tel. 47 10 10; Mobil, tel. 47 17 26.