Pouembout takes shape at the end of a long straight line that crosses the Plaine des Gaïacs. This vast area, uninhabited today, represented a strategic area in the time of the Americans during World War II. And there is no denying that the GIs left an indelible mark on this region, which strongly resembles the Far West with its large spaces stretching away as far as the eye can see. Elsewhere, the French penal administration, which established Pouembout in 1883, still haunts the Château de Grimigni and the Pigeonnier, two iconic district buildings.
But what is Pouembout’s asset today is the veritable agricultural storehouse to which it is home, thanks to its vast plains of black, fertile earth and the large farms which extend from the mountain chain foothills to the lagoon.
In Pouembout, fruit and vegetables are produced, particularly superb melons, and excellent local specialities are on offer, such as deer, roussette and sea produce including well-savoured oysters and crabs.
Visitors have a choice between the seaside, with Franco and Pindaï Beaches, and the interior, including the famous Forêt Plate site, unique and protected, and also the departure point for going to Ouende waterfall, which is over 100 metres high. The Kopeto massif is the highest point in the district at 1 134 metres.
Location and access: Continuing north on the RT1, Pouembout is about 266 kilometres from Noumea.
Air connections: Flights twice a week to Koné (Monday and Wednesday) from the Magenta domestic airport, tel. 25 14 00; Aircal, tel. 25 21 77.
Tourist information: Mairie de Pouembout (Town Hall), tel. 47 00 00.
District festival: Horticulture show at the end of October or beginning of November.
Markets, craftwork: Market in the village centre every Saturday morning.
Banks: BNC Pouembout village, tel. 47 26 56; CCP Pouembout village, tel. 47 21 02.
Bookshops: SC Nordist Pouembout, tel. 42 35 35.
Post Office: Post office agency, Pouembout village, tel. 47 21 02.
Service stations: Shell Pouembout, tel. 47 21 55.