Bourail, which is located 160kms from Noumea, is a must for visitors. Nestled between dry bush forest and the beautiful lagoon, it is nicknamed the ‘New Caledonian Far West’, due to its grassy plains devoted to cattle farming. Every year a big fair is organized around this rural theme. Welcome to the NC bush!
This island is ideal for snorkeling to marvel at the beautiful marine life in the lagoon. It is a protected area – fishing is forbidden and you are requested not to collect shells or disturb the bird life.
La Roche Percee
The ocean has created this ‘hole in the rock’. The rock is shaped like the head of a man and it is nicknamed ‘the Bourail fellow’ – local legends say that he guards the bay. Natural erosion has created unique spectacular landscapes overlooking the ocean – great walks await you! The beach is a top surfing spot and attracts surfers from all over the country and surfing competitions are regularly held here.
Turtle bay is famous for the sea turtles that come to lay their eggs on the beach. An association is in charge of protecting and counting them during the egg-laying season. This bay is surrounded by colonial pine trees and other endemic trees which make for an unforgettable picnic. Swimming is not allowed because of the dangerous currents. The 3 bay walk is a 4km track that will take you along the coast to admire Turtle Bay, Lovers’ Bay and the Roche Percee.
Poe is not only a great spot for kite surfing but also has a long white sandy beach stretching for over 17 kilometres – New Caledonians love to come here for the weekend. All types of accommodation are possible – whether you prefer camping, a ‘gite’ or a 5 star hotel. You will also have a wide choice of water sports and other activities – kite surfing, sea excursions, kayaking, stand up paddle, hiking…
The Bourail fair is the big bush event of the year and takes place during the weekend of 15th August. Over 20,000 people come to this traditional fair which is very popular. You can see rodeo and sheep shearing demonstrations, election of Miss Bourail Fair and other events. You can also taste local delicacies – venison, prawns, yams, sausages…
(Open every day except Sundays: 9am-12 midday / 1-5pm. Entrance fee: 250 CFP)
The Bourail museum traces the history of the town and exhibits various objects that belonged to the different populations that have lived in the area, including a French guillotine! On the ground floor there is typical New Caledonian home. Outside there is a Kanak hut, an ancient oven and a historical bakery that you can visit. The museum is housed in the old central shop of the town, built in 1870 by prisoners.
Gouaro Deva Domain
This unspoilt natural area has been tastefully developed for local and international visitors alike and offers various outdoor activities – walking, hiking, horse riding, mountain biking, golf…The paths of Oua Koue (5.5km), Boe Areredi (4.5km), Giants’ path (6.5km) and the path of the original forest to the lagoon are a wonderful way to discover the local countryside. For cycling enthusiasts – whatever your level – you can cycle the ‘Boucles de Deva’ path. Horse riders also have their own tracks to visit the domain on horseback.
New Zealanders’ Military Cemetery
Here lie 161 soldiers, 78 airmen and 7 sailors from New Zealand who died in military action during the Second World War in New Caledonia.