After a few days in Noumea we rented a car and headed up north. The plan is to drive along west coast to the northernmost point and then down the east coast back to Noumea.
Renting a car in New Caledonia is easy and the price is around $60 a day. Remember, they drive on the right side of the road.
The difference between renting a car in New Zealand and here is in insurance. You can’t get full insurance in New Caledonia, there is always an excess fee you have to pay in case of accident. Another thing to note are kilometres which are limited for every vehicle. For unlimited km you’ll have to pay more.
What also surprised me is internet data. There is internet coverage almost everywhere on the island but there’s no pre-paid sim cards with available data. You can buy a sim card but you can use it only for calling and sending texts. If you want to use data you have to take a monthly plan.
Being without internet made this trip different. We are all used to using GPS, booking accommodation while on the road and checking out some of the spots to visit while we are driving around. This time we had the map and that’s it. I loved it! Let’s turn right here, let’s go left there without knowing what to expect, awesome! Camping sites are well signed so it wasn’t hard to find a place for a tent.
Our first stop was Bourail, about two hours north from Noumea.
Here are some tips on what to do while you are here:
If you like long white sand beaches (Poe is 17km long sand beach), hiking, horse riding and wandering through nature reserve you will enjoy this place. Some parts here look like deserts and we did feel some of the highest temperatures here, it was around 40 degrees.
One of the most popular sights is Deva Domain, which is among the most ancient archaeological sites in New Caledonia.
For those who like to indulge in some of the great activities this domain has 80km of mountain biking tracks, 25km of walking paths and 12km of horse riding trails.
We climbed a hill to check out the view of so called ‘Sharks Fault’. As you can see a deep blue line makes a notch in the lagoon. This former river bed forms into canyon, a place for strong currents and many different species.
One more site worth a visit is Turtles Bay – protected site and second best place in the Pacific for turtles to lay their eggs.