The administrative capital of the North Province, Koné is also the starting point for the Koné-Tiwaka cross-country road that connects the West and East Coasts. A route of exceptional beauty, it winds through the mountain chain along rivers, offering rest and swimming areas, magnificent lookout points and pleasant meetings at the few tribal villages along the road.
Like Pouembout, Koné is an agricultural district with produce coming mainly from the numerous neighbouring tribes. But it also has aquaculture farms, various administrative departments and especially nickel, which employs a good part of the labour force. At the northern exit from the village lies the majestic Koniambo massif, which contains the precious ore that will supply the famous Koniambo Nickel Plant, so long awaited by the population.
From Koné, you can arrange a good number of walks and treks, on foot, on horseback or by car. These activities allow you to explore the interior and the tribal villages established there; some tours even provide an opportunity to bivouac in the mountain chain. Atéou tribal village, the highest in New Caledonia, is in this respect quite unique. As for the sea, you can picnic at Foué Beach, equipped to receive visitors.
Even if very much in a minority, there exists a solid population of European origin in Koné. Mostly they are bushmen from families settled there for several generations, going back as far as the colonisation for which Koné was one of the oldest sites. These “Caldoches”, descendants of the first settlers, are mostly stockbreeders. Among them are also descendants of the Indonesian labour force which came to work in the mines or coffee plantations at the start of the 20th century.
Location and access: Still going north on the RT1, Koné is about 274 kilometres from Noumea. It is where the most recent cross-country road departs to join the East Coast (Koné-Tiwaka) and where the North Province Assembly and offices are located.
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 Koné (Town Hall), tel: 47 22 06.
District festivals: Environment and music day in June; Pacific culture festival in July; heritage festival in September; Femmes Funk festival in October.
Markets, craftwork: Market in the village centre every Saturday morning and at Baco tribal village every Wednesday.
Banks: BCI Koné village, tel. 47 22 43; BNP Paribas Koné village, tel. 47 38 00; CCP Koné village, tel. 47 21 01; Société Générale Koné village, tel. 47 21 58.
Gendarmerie: Koné village, tel. 47 89 15.
Dispensary: Tel. 47 72 50.
Pharmacy: Koné village, tel. 47 21 62.
Post Office: Post office agency, Koné village, tel. 47 21 01.
Service stations: Mobil Koné, tel. 47 25 61; Shell Koné, tel. 47 33 85 ; Total Koné, tel. 41 29 79
Car rental: Auto Point Koné, tel. 47 23 23; Pony Express, Koné, tel. 42 59 25; Nord Auto, tel. 47 12 02.