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Pictures of the first part of our New Caledonia trip (Nouméa and the South of Grande Terre)
Part 2: North #1 of Grande Terre
Part 3: North #2 of Grande Terre
New Caledonia Map
          Map of
        the Pacific


latest picture: August 20, 2008
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01  The team of our shipping agent
“Logistique et Transit Martin” gathers
around our LandCruiser in the port of
Nouméa, after the customs released it
 02  From the hill of the “Auberge
de Jeunesse“ (Youth Hostel) we enjoy
a beautiful view over St. Joseph
Cathedral and the yachting marina
03  Anse Vata with its Mediterranean
flair is one of the two most popular
beaches in New Caledonia’s
capital Nouméa
04  Emil poses with an impressive
carved figure at “Tjibaou’s
Cultural Centre” in Nouméa
 05  The “Tijabaou Cultural Centre”
in Nouméa is a magnificent work of
architecture. It was built by Renzo Piano
and has a surface of 8’000 sq.yd.
06  This conical straw hut in
the “Tijabaou Cultural Centre”
in Nouméa represents the
traditional house in the South
06  The palm fringed seashore of
the Bay of Boulari near Nouméa
spreads the charm of the Pacific
 07  A mother is picnicking
with her child at Anse Vata Bay
08  A sailing boat passes in front of the
luxury hotel complex „Coral Palm Island
Resort“, situated on the tiny islet Maître
10  In Saint-Michel – about 10 miles
East of Nouméa – the lonely church
squeezed against the mountain of
Monts Koghis is an eye-catching sight
 11  We are heading towards the
“Blue River Park” in the South of the
mainland of Grand Terre. The vast
natural reserve was created in 1980
and stretches over 22’350 acres
12  Impressive forests of Araucaria
trees dominate the plains in the
“Blue River Park” with its two
river valleys, the “Blue River”
and the “White River”
13  Morning atmosphere in the
“White River” Valley, as we drive
along the Yate Lake
with our LandCruiser .....
 14  ..... after the Perignon Bridge we
have to take the compulsory shuttle bus.
Our first stop is the “Drowned Forest”,
whose bleached branches are
wonderfully reflecting in the calm
waters of the damned Yate Lake .....
15  .....a peaceful moment along the
Yate Lake in the “White River” Valley
Diversification and richness of the flora and fauna in the “Blue River Park” are unique:
16  The deep red “Amyema
Scandens“ – a kind of misteltoe –
grows directly from the trunk .....
 17  ..... and pear shaped buds,
whose name we do not know
(we have seen a similar looking
tree in Hong Kong: line 7 right)
18  One of the delicate
flowers that has grown
back in the mining areas
19  The carnivorous “Pitcher Plant“
is filled with liquid. This “pitcher” has
a lid to prevent rain diluting the liquid
within. Insects attracted to the plant
by the humidity fall into the liquid and
are digested to release nutrients to the
plant [we have seen similar plants in
Sarawak (Northeast = picture line 10 left;
South = picture line 8 middle) on
Borneo (= picture No. 44)]
 20  The golden „Oxera coronata“
is common at the Pacific coast
21  Between all the scrubs we
discover this tiny white orchid
22  The Cagou is an endemic bird from
New Caledonia and the National emblem.
It is a bird that cannot fly, lives in dense
rainforest and can reach in the wild an
age of more than 20 years. It lays only
one single egg once or twice a year. That
is why it belongs to the extremely
endangered species
 23  This giant Kaori tree is the
biggest in New Caledonia. The
diameter of its trunk reaches
2.70m. As to how old it is: .....
it was already here over 1’000
years ago! We have seen an even
older species on the North island
of New Zealand (picture No. 378)
24  A butterfly rests on a leaf
25  The “Dracophyllum ramosum“,
the dragon-leaf, is towering above
the scrub. When blooming, the
flower is white, it then changes
to brown and black
 26  Liliana poses for a picture in the
White River Valley of the
“Parc Provincial de la Rivière Bleue“
27  A touch of adventure: This
‘African-like’ red earth track
leads to the highest point of
the White River Valley –
by rain extremely slippery
Moods from our lonely hill bush camp towards the „Plaine des Lacs“:
28  Three red colored lakes at sunset
 29  The sun is rising behind the hills
30  Morning fog covers the plains
31  Alone with nature: A perfect
bush camp in the deserted
land of the South .....
 32  ..... one of the many red laterite
earth tracks that lead through the bush
of the South – who isn’t thinking more
of Africa than of the Pacific? .....
33  ..... for 4x4 freaks all kind
of challenges; here a rocky track
34  Due to road constructions, the road
to the seashore on the East coast ends
for as at the Goro Nickel Mine .....
 35  ..... a helpful worker draws
Emil a map of an alternative road .....
36  ..... what means that we are
challenged with more adventurous trails
37  The Madeleine Waterfall is
situated in a wonderfully untouched
natural environment and is one
of the highlights of the South
 38  The “Retrophyllum minor” is
native to New Caledonia and is
called here „Bois bouchon“. It is
found standing in the water at river-
banks, here in the “Special Botanical
Reserve of the Madeleine Waterfall”
39  The ”River of the Lakes”
meanders through intact natural
environment at the Netcha campsite
                                  40                                                                        41
The variety of plants that grow in the barren – but rich of minerals – earth of the South
is astonishing. We discover this amazing flower opposite of the Netcha campsite
42  White lichen grows widespread
in the red soil and often forms entire
carpets. Touching them gives a
feeling of a humid sponge
43  In the surroundings of the
Madeleine waterfall we see the
red bell „Bikkia campanulata“ .....
 44  ..... this unusual grass with
the brownish looking seeds .....
45  ..... and the endemic „Neocallitropsis
pancheri“ with its wood rich on oil.
It was used for perfume what resulted
in the nearly extinction of it. Since 1942,
this kind of coniferales is now protected
46  View over the damned Yate Lake.
It provides the hydro-electric power
for the whole region of Nouméa
 47  The stony, due to the Yate dam
nearly dry bed of the Yate River
48  Descent to the Pacific Coast
with the Yate River mouth and
the tribal village of Wao
49  A group of traditionally dressed
Kanak people walks praying through
the narrow and windy island road
towards the village of Touaourou .....
 50  ..... the white-blue church of
the mission of Touaourou lies in the
warm light of the afternoon sun –
together with the palm trees the
perfect South Pacific setting
51  The decorated interior
of the mission of Touaourou
52  All there is in Yate is a shop and
two petrol pumps, although the name is
printed in bold letters on the map. But
its setting in tropical surroundings
along the same named river is beautiful
 53  At our bush camp on the Pacific
Coast we enjoy an amazing sunrise
54  A blue sea and palm trees swaying
in the wind – what more do we want?
55  We camp at an idyllic spot at the
southernmost tip of New Caledonia
near the village of Goro
 56  A mangrove tree shows
its wide spread-out roots
57  On our camp in Goro we discover
this black and white rayed snake with
a yellow head. It’s a poisonous Yellow-
lipped Sea Krait that is preying at sea
and digesting on land
58  Remains of a former Japanese
Chrome mine near Goro, abandoned
at the begin of the 2nd World War
 59  We are driving towards
Prony Bay in the deserted South
60  The water of the “Lac en Huit”
on the “Plaine de Lacs” is so calm
that the whole sky is reflecting in it
61  Liliana poses for a picture in front
of the former penal colony at Prony. The
prison is more and more overrun by the
roots of fig trees. It was used as deportation
center of convicts, more or less like the
one on the islands of “Iles du Salut“ in
French Guiana (= picture line 10 middle)
 62  These blue cherries have fallen
from a tree growing near the former
penal colony at Prony. They grow
between India and the Central
Pacific and are edible too, a bit
farinaceous though
63  This fig tree in Prony shows how
immensely its roots can spread out
64  Mushrooms on a dead trunk
at the former penal colony at Prony
 65  The clear creek with its tiny waterfall
in Prony where we fill up our water
bottles. Luckily nearly in all of
New Caledonia the water is drinkable
66  The roots of the Pandanus
tree are nearly as tall as Liliana
67  View over the Bay of Prony.
The sailing ships are anchoring
in the “Baie de la Somme“
 68  Through the red land of the South,
which we liked so much, we drive over
the Prony Pass back to Nouméa
69  A local family is having fun at
low tide at Nouméa’s Magenta Bay
Local (Kanak) families are enjoying the weekend at Magenta Bay near Nouméa
Articles in newspapers about us in New Caledonia:
Article: "Un voyage sans fin", Les Nouvelles Calédoniennes - August 27, 2008