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Walks, runs and rides
- Promenade Pierre-Vernier
- Sainte-Marie Bay
- Côte Blanche - the White Coast
- Ouen-Toro Hill
- Anse Vata Bay
- Baie des Citrons - Lemon Bay
Named after a former Mayor of Noumea, Promenade Pierre-Vernier starts at the foot of the road that climbs up to the top of Ouen-Toro, and runs along the Côte Blanche right to Sainte-Marie bay, near the Eau Vive roundabout. These four kilometres provide a well-laid out route along the seafront for a pleasant and safe walk or exercise route, especially at the fitness trail just after the sailing school, heading towards Sainte-Marie. Lined with coconut palms, Promenade Pierre-Vernier is a much-loved meeting point, as much for family outings on Sundays as for fitness enthusiasts. Its natural surface makes it a favourite spot for joggers, walkers or people just out for a stroll. A second, 3 km-long track has been made for cyclists and rollerbladers. It's up to everyone to stick to the correct lanes!
Open access. Dogs are permitted provided they are kept on a leash.Return to contents
Studies have begun as part of the town planning and sustainable development project (PADD) with a view to extending Promenade Pierre-Vernier towards Sainte-Marie bay, from the Eau Vive roundabout. It is a fine way of continuing the landscaping of Noumea and of developing "soft", more environmentally-friendly transport modes along the seafront..
Open accessReturn to contents
Côte Blanche - the White Coast
A stretch of the Promenade Pierre-Vernier, located at the foot of Ouen-Toro. It is a mecca for sailing enthusiasts, especially for light catamarans and windsurfing. Walking along the Côte Blanche is a delight at any time. Paragliders, borne on air currents, hover overhead. Kite-surfers' sails can be seen leaping from the crest of one wave to another, above a white-capped turquoise lagoon. A little further away and depending very much on the tide, seafood lovers plunge their hands into crevices and chinks on the foreshore as it is left exposed.Return to contents
Ouen-Toro, which covers an area of 60 hectares, is a haven for walkers and joggers who can take advantage of its numerous well-marked paths, whether easy, steep, family-friendly or more athletic… The numerous paths and trails are dotted with rare and endemic dry-forest plant species. This hill in the heart of town is ideal for walks for families, couples and dog walkers (provided that dogs are kept on the leash), but also for fitness training or for honing yourself in preparation for the next Transcal long-distance cross-country race. A much-welcome breathing space and haven of peace, high above the cars and noise. And with an element of mystery too, with landscapes at times having a look of Colorado or Cappadocia about them.
Classed as a protected area, Ouen-Toro Park is the subject of a management and development plan that makes provision to restore and preserve the biodiversity within its natural habitats, combat threats and inform people and raise their awareness of the environmental stakes and challenges.
It should be noted that two washroom facilities were installed by the Town Hall in 2011. These toilet facilities are environmentally friendly and totally self-sufficient through the use of solar panels and a system for recovering rainwater.
Open 24 hours a day all year round. Open access.Return to contents
Anse Vata Bay
Anse Vata Bay, demarcated by two large rocks – Rocher César, at the Magnin point end, and Rocher à la Voile, at the Baie des Citrons end –, is regarded as one of the city's major tourist spots. On the eastern side, its long beach is bordered by a pedestrian walkway, the Promenade Roger-Laroque, where you will find a great many hotels, restaurants, bars, nightclubs and shops, especially since the opening of La Promenade property complex. On the opposite side of the road and right on the beach there are a number of thatched farés offering welcome shade for summer visitors and families, as they gather around a good picnic. Fairs, exhibitions and markets can also be held there.
Further west, the promenade runs alongside the buildings housing the general Secretariat of the Pacific Community (also known as the CPS in French) and the Research Institute for Development (IRD), previously known as ORSTOM, a temple of scientific research. It passes in front of the Tourism Office faré and the water taxi company that runs the service across to Île aux Canards (just opposite) and Îlot Maître. This is the time to stop and admire all those windsurf boards slicing through the waves, propelled along by the trade wind. A marvellous spectacle and an unmissable part of the week-end!
Although the bay may be exposed to the prevailing winds, there is of course nothing to stop you from having a swim in the lagoon or basking on the fine sand or on the grass under the shade of a coconut tree...
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To know more
L’Aquarium des lagons - Lagoon Aquarium
The Aquarium des Lagons is to be found right at the end of Anse Vata, just before the Rocher à la Voile bend. It too is a must-see. It was built in 1956 by the Catalas and was renovated and enlarged in 2007. A visit to the aquarium is themed around a journey through the beauty and diversity of New Caledonia's ecosystems. After entering this water world by crossing the waterfall shimmering over the building's glass front, you'll discover the spectacle of lakes and rivers before continuing on down towards the coast to reach the mangroves and lagoon and, finally, to observe the reefs and dive into the depths of the sea.
Baie des Citrons - Lemon Bay
This bay which was once known as Anse du Styx, after the steam sloop, was renamed Baie des Citrons, or Lemon Bay, no doubt due to the lemon trees that were planted at the back of the beach some time before 1900. According to other, less probable versions, it owes its name to a boat laden with lemons that was said to have run aground in the bay, or to the six big trees that used to be found there long ago, the "Six trunks" [which when said in French sounds like "Citrons" ].
Today the lemon trees are gone but the beach that stretches for over a kilometre has become much loved by Noumea's residents. Not just the regular swimmers, completing length after length every morning at dawn, and the families making themselves at home on the sand at weekends, but tourists too, who, over on the other side of the road, can find all the shops, restaurants, bars and boutiques for all their holiday requirements.
In the evenings, "BD" has become the "in" spot for Noumea's young people. During the day, this bay, which is generally sheltered from the prevailing winds and bordered by large trees, lends itself well to sea swimming in particular and to resting and relaxation. It is also a spot that is very popular with everyone for strolling from the bend at the far end of the bay along to the Rocher à la Voile rocks, where Baie des Citrons officially ends.
Baie de l’Orphelinat - Orphanage Bay
Baie de l’Orphelinat or Orphanage Bay owes its name to the establishment that was founded there in 1880 by Brother Louis Antonio. The orphanage's premises were subsequently turned into a leper colony and then, in the early 20th century, into a reception centre for Javanese immigrants coming to work in the mines.
From Port-Plaisance to Port du Sud (South Port), Baie de l’Orphelinat offers safe mooring for recreational sailors as well as a very pleasant walk or run out for Noumea's residents. The bay's transformation began with the creation of a roundabout in place of the Ancre de Marine crossroads and continued with the development of a pedestrian promenade, adjacent cycle path, and lawned area alongside and embellished with decking, plants and benches. Noumea's newest promenade now makes it possible to walk, run, cycle, rollerblade or push a stroller along 300 metres of seafront, all in a lovely landscaped setting.Return to contents
Baie de la Moselle
This bay was originally called Aventure Bay, after the ship that brought Rear-Admiral Bouzet, New Caledonia's first governor, to the country. It then took on the name of another ship, the Moselle. Overlooked by the Latin Quarter and the towers of Saint Joseph's cathedral, it now forms the link between the lagoon and the city centre. Closed off at the south-eastern end by Artillery Point, separating it from Baie de l’Orphelinat, it is home to a good number of "local famous names" providing plenty of spots to pause on your walk: the Hôtel de la Province Sud - HQ for the South Province administration, the seat of New Caledonia's Government, the Port Moselle port authority, the municipal market, (mustn't be missed!), the New Caledonia Museum, the American Memorial (erected in 1992 to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the arrival of GIs on New Caledonian soil), Place du Mwâ Kâ and the central Post 0ffice.
Baie de la Moselle is also the starting point for boat trips out to the little islands. It is used as a base for a great many charter companies.Return to contents
Kuendu Beach Bay
Kuendu Beach Bay, in Nouville, is a very popular spot for relaxing, swimming and going for a stroll. The road that overlooks it offers a wonderful panorama, just before you get there, of the bay, its beach, the plain that borders it and the hotel establishment, with its typically Oceanic bungalows, some raised on stilts running parallel to the beach.
Numerous paths wind up the surrounding hillsides, leading to wonderful viewing points. Two of these, down below Fort Téréka (built in 1877 and classed as an historic monument in 1978), have been developed by the Mocamana association, using wooden logs and with entertaining signs about the flora and fauna. The first, a1.5 km-long educational trail, allows you to see and learn about the wealth of dry forest flora and fauna. The second one, the Legends trail, was opened in 2011. This 1.2 km-long path gives free rein to your imagination as it follows ten legends about New Caledonia's forests, devised by the general public after a competition, and exhibited on panels.
Below Fort Téréka there is a battery dating back to 1896, equipped with four 14 cm revolving cannons on tracks. A large proportion of the fortifications still exists and can be visited, in particular the cannons and an underground passage, some hundred metres long.Return to contents
There is an educational trail that starts in Ouémo, at the carpark opposite the Marie-Havet school. It then delves deep into the mangroves. Visitors stroll along 450 metres of teak decking. Information panels mark the way to help everyone put a name to the plant and animal species observed. Wooden benches have been dotted along the route so you can take your time and track down fiddler crabs and mudskippers, observe more closely the fantastic mangrove roots, or listen to the call of the many birds hidden in the vegetation.
Like Rivière-Salée and Kaméré, Ouémo is one of the last bastions of mangroves in Noumea. It has lost a quarter of its surface area in forty years. What remains must now be protected. That involves raising everyone's awareness. The mangroves are a buffer zone between land and sea, protecting the coast from erosion by the sea, filtering river water, preventing sediment from smothering corals and acting as a nursery and larder for many species of birds and marine organisms. An entire ecosystem is endangered and the South Province's Environmental Department, which manages the site, wanted to enhance appreciation of it and preserve it. Through a walk that is instructive, original, environmentally friendly and civic-minded.
Opening times :
Open access and free of charge, every day from 07:00 to 19:00. There is disabled access to the trail.Return to contents
Tina cycle track
The Tina cycle track at Pointe Lasalle winds its way over 7.5 km in a magnificent setting between the golf course and mangroves. Owned by the Province, this property is reserved exclusively for cyclists and therefore no pedestrians, skaters, rollerbladers or motorised vehicles of any sort are allowed. There are traditional farés spaced along the route for taking a break. There is a play area for children at the entrance. It is the perfect spot to do some recreational cycling in total safety and only 10 minutes from town. The South Province opted to turn it into an urban cycling centre in a natural setting, creating three mountain bike tracks in the forest.
Opening times :
Track open from 06:00 to 18:00. Open access. Tel.: 24 38 60Return to contents