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The FOL building, Mont-Coffyn, the cannons at Ouémo and Ouen-Toro Park all offer an exceptionally good view of Noumea and the surrounding region, its bays, islets in the lagoon and mountains in the background. Here are a few ideas for taking advantage of the early morning light or clearing your head as you watch the setting sun, hoping to see the green flash, or just simply sharing a magical moment in front of stunning scenery.
Our favourite spot: the sweeping view down over Baie de l’Orphelinat from Rue René-Coty (which can be accessed from, amongst other places, Chemin Jean-Perrier which you pick up on the Anse Vata road at Trianon), early in the morning, when the light is still so soft. And, at sunset, the same Baie de l’Orphelinat with its sailboats moored, sitting on a bench on the promenade of the same name and gazing over the lagoon.
Unfortunately the surroundings at these lookout points are often strewn with various rubbish (litter, cans and bottles, empty wrappers, etc). So please spare a thought for those coming to look at the view after you, and don't throw anything on the ground. These marvellous sites must be preserved first by you!
Magnin Point marks the end of the Anse Vata neighbourhood. Ouen-Toro hill rises up opposite this rocky point. A road runs the length of the municipal park and leads to the 128 metre-high summit overlooking the lagoon. It is topped with two superb cannons, installed by the Australian army in 1940. From up there you can take in an unparalleled view of Noumea and its surrounding region.
Coming back down, the road around the hill frequently offers many very interesting views over the various sides of the city. To the South, you will see just below you the Méridien and Château Royal hotels, bordered by Château Royal beach, as well as Anse Vata beach and, further in the distance, the islands, Île aux Canards and Îlot Maître. Continuing westwards, the two bays, Baie des Citrons and Baie de l’Orphelinat stretch out. To the North can be seen the residential districts, such as Val Plaisance, Motor Pool, Receiving and N’Géa. Lastly, to the East lie Sainte-Marie bay and its little islands. The mountains of Mont-Dore and the hills of New Caledonia's Great South, the Grand Sud, can be seen rising in the distance.
The best time to assail Ouen-Toro is at the end of day.Return to contents
Access to Nouville's hill (127 m) is via a track suitable for motor vehicles, which runs from the Kuendu Beach road. Below the summit there is a battery dating back to 1896 and equipped with four 14 cm revolving cannons on tracks. Built in 1877 and classed as an historic monument in 1978, Fort Téréka originally included platforms connected to each other by underground tunnels made of brick, a water tank, powder magazine, various small engineering structures etc. and an underground passage, about a hundred metres long, coming out near the guard's quarters, now gone. Many of these remains still exist and can be visited, in particular the cannon battery and underground passage.
On the top of the hill is an observation tower and map under shelter, for you to get your bearings and pinpoint landmarks in a panorama that takes in Noumea's great natural harbour as well as the channels through the reef on the horizon. A lovely lookout point that is still not very well known.
Mont-Coffyn is a lovely lookout point, with a view of Noumea's various neighbourhoods. It is located right at the top of Rue du Maréchal-Leclerc, just next to the TDF antenna. There are two possible routes up there: from Mont-Vénus or via the Nouvelle-Calédonie 1ère broadcasting centre. It's hard to miss: Mont-Coffyn is home to the famous Croix de Lorraine, the huge chocolate-coloured cross that can be seen from anywhere in town, which tops the monument that was officially opened on 18 June 1973 in honour of the New Caledonian soldiers who died in the Second World War.
The site includes a car park as well as several public benches where people who work nearby come to enjoy a short lunch break. The shade offered by Columnar Pines, on the other hand, invites you to take a restorative siesta.
As for the 180° panorama, it encompasses in turn the FOL hill, the Koghi mountain range, the Faubourg Blanchot district (which it overlooks) and Vallée des Colons, Mont-Dore, the mountains of the Grand Sud and, lastly, Ouen-Toro and Sainte-Marie Island. A good spot to (re)discover!Return to contents
Montagne Coupée [meaning the Carved Out Mountain] takes its name from the mountain on which the neighbourhood is built. This was Montravel Hill, a section of which was cut in the early 20th century to allow the first cars and railway line to pass through. The 167 metre-high summit of this hill is Noumea's highest point. The view, needless to say, is marvellous. Especially early in the morning, when the sun is still low in the sky and lights up the lagoon (and the Doniambo plant!) in a warm glow.
At the top of the mound stands what is generally known as the OPT tower, which can be seen from virtually anywhere in town. To get there, head towards the Parc Forestier (Forest Park) and at Rue Melvin Jones take the short path on the left that leads up to the platform where the tower stands. Further down, the statue of Our Lady of the Pacific also offers a splendid view of Noumea's South side and its lagoon.
A municipal pedestrian footpath, marked out by the Cagoutrek company and starting from the Vierge du Pacifique (Our Lady of the Pacific) statue allows people to take a pretty 1.2 km-long walk from one of Noumea's most beautiful lookout points.Return to contents
Anse du fort
In around 1860, fortifications were erected on a small headland projecting from Pointe aux Longs Cous that was turned into army ground. Ouémo Fort was equipped with a battery of cannons as part of Noumea's coastal defence system. After being abandoned, dismantled then reassembled, the two cannons were finally restored to the site in 1991. A very pretty garden was laid out there in 2007 and the battery became accessible to the public once more. Today there is a short walk around the two pieces of artillery out to the point, from where there is a magnificent view directly over the depths of the lagoon down below, in the direction of Magenta, Tina and, right opposite, Mont-Dore and the southern landscapes. A really lovely spot for a picnic, romantic getaway or short history lesson.Return to contents