Yate occupies the whole of the south east point of New Caledonia and is inhabited by 4 tribes. The village of Yate is very small and is located at the end of the river Yate estuary, which has the largest reservoir in New Caledonia. Yate is renowned for the passage of whales which coincides with the preparation of the yam season and the yam harvesting time is announced by the singing of the first cicadas.
Blue River Park
(Open every day except Mondays: 7am – 5pm)
The Blue River Regional Park was set up in 1980 and developed to enable visitors to discover its specific vegetation – moss forest, scrub land left by the mining industry, kaoris, carnivorous plants as well as endemic species of animals such as the Cagou and Noutou birds. You can visit the park on foot or by bike. Picnic and camping areas have been developed alongside the river, together with a cycling path. The entrance to the park is via a small house where you will find all the necessary information to visit the park in safety. A shuttlebus drives around the park all day. You can hire mountain bikes and canoes.
(1 1/2 hours from Noumea) (open 7.30am – 5pm, entrance fee).
The Madeleine waterfalls are located about 20kms from the Blue River Park on the way to the Plaine des Lacs. 95% of the vegetation of the site is endemic to the south of New Caledonia – 168 species of plant have been identified. This 400 hectare reserve has been developed for walkers with a 2 km nature trail leading into the heart of the Caledonian scrubland.
Prony hot water springs
In 1854 Captain Jean-Joseph de Brun noticed some hot water springs, two of which were subsequently tapped by the prison staff. 3 sites are visible :
- Kaori spring (today it is laid out with a wooden deck and a picnic table)
- Carenage spring (located in the sea and covered by the sea at high tide)
- ‘Needle’ underwater spring at Prony Bay.
The dam was started in 1912 but was only finished in 1925 because of various world wars. It soon proved to be too small and in 1956 building resumed to increase its height to 60m and its length to 641m. Today the Yate dam provides enough water for its electricity plant to produce 20% of New Caledonia electricity requirements, including nearby the nickel mine. Take the path from the village to the dam if you wish to visit this site.
GR NC1 Hiking Trail
The local authorities have developed hiking trails so that visitors can discover the countryside and its biodiversity. There are 11 sections which you can walk along with hut accommodation possible.
The ‘Forgotten Coast’
The ‘Forgotten Coast’ is located between Yate and Thio. Its name comes from the fact that you can only get to it by sea and is therefore forgotten on land. It will take you 4-5 days in a canoe to visit it. Your programe will include: paddling, camping, visiting islands, admiring magical landscapes and filling yourself with thrilling memories!
Whale watching (July-September)
Go to the Somme bay to organise your humpback whale watching day trip.