bike-it! TM   ...New Caledonia cycling adventures


 

Bike-it! New Caledonia
- photos, video and trip notes -
welcome to Bruce's New Caledonia tour photos and movies gallery. The pics and SWF Flash video give you a glimpse of the action from my bicycling tours in Nouvelle Caledonie since two thousand and two. Click on any photo to fill the screen, and hit the back button when done. For the movies, a right mouse click gives you control. Please contact me if you would like to use one of the photos as a digital image for non-commercial use.

Shortcut to tours >> 2002; 2005; 2007; 2008; 2010; 2012
 


Click on the map to see the bicycling routes that I used so far  
2012


2012 Notes:
This time there' a crowd: myself (aka Bike Bruce), Liz and Kerrie from NSW and Ed from NZ. We tried out a great scenic and traffic-free route from out first night stay at Farino, down to Nekweta surf camp that avoided much of the main highway, RT1. There was a goodly amount of last minute plans for accommodation and thus the day-to-day destinations, but most of the changes worked out better for us in the end. In late July / early August it was cooler than I had anticipated, as other trips were later in the year. But great for riding! We sorted out a great system of sharing the shopping and cash between us and besides it was fun to meet the locals and see their communities as they would. I was keen to try a new route over the main range from Hienghene. It required using bits of track not used for a long while, and a fair bit of hill climbing. The mountain crossing was a hoot - 23 river crossings, mostly no more than shin deep and views of rows of mountains stretching into the distance, The pickup from the airports, transits and rendezvous at Voh and looking after us in Noumea was very capably handled by Sebastien at Nautilus Tours, so will definitely use them again. All in all a great experience, we worked well as a team, and had a great riding adventure. You can also follow the daily diary on Crazy Guy on a Bike put up mainly by Ed.

NC2012-01 Arrival at Tontouta International Airport late July 2012 with the bike boxes NC2012-02   Bike Bruce and Kerrie wait for the others repairing a puncture NC2012-03  Preparing to leave the coast gite after two lovely days NC2012-04   The groups passes a coastal geological feature
       
NC2012-05  One of the many roadside stalls selling produce and curios en route NC2012-06 Time for a refresh and dangle the legs in a creek en route to the east coast. Also cooled feet in this creek in October 2002 NC2012-07  A found bouquet used to garnish the bike! NC2012-08   Striking box girder single lane bridge on east coast
       
NC2012-09   Campfire at beachside campground NC2012-10   Bruce awakes in the hammock - the night was cooler than expected hence the plastic underneath NC2012-14   Happy riders crossing the long bridge over one of the many east coast estuaries NC2012-11  Wood carving depicting a cagou at the entrance of an east coast Tribu
       
NC2012-12   We stayed in a gite that had a traditional style grass hut (case) NC2012-13   Carving on shop front pillar at small shop on the east coast NC2012-15   Woman collects her morning's catch NC2012-16   Crossing the estuary with limestone karst cliffs in the background
       
NC2012-17  Carrying bikes across a mountain tributrary of one of the coastal rivers NC2012-18   Unusual flora abounds in the mountain areas NC2012-19   View looking east over the ranges as en route to west coast NC2012-20   Arrival at west coast met by Sebastien and the Nautilus Tours van and trailer
       
            

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^Top VIDEO - To Bourail from Farino via a mountain pass    RIGHT CLICK TO PLAY
       
2010


2010 Notes: This year a chance to explore giant ferns at Parc les Grande Fourgeres and the Farino locale. The lure of the nth sees me and the trusty alloy steed (an Iron Horse) on a bus from Bourail to Koumac. But firstly a stop at the New Zealand war cemetery as my uncle, a Vietnam vet and a Kiwi, had passed away that week. Then bonefishing, relaxing and kayaking at Boat Pass and meeting new Kanak friends, On return to Noumea blown away by the colour, culture and spectacle of the Melanesian festival at the Centre Culturel Jean-Marie Tjibaou

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NC2010-01 Detail, fabric display at Centre Culturel J-M Tjibaou (artist not known) NC2010-02   fellow rider in Noumea centre NC2010-03   Iron Horse in bus safely in the baggage bay for trip to Koumac NC2010-04   Tree fern fronds
       
NC2010-05  Fern fronds, Farino NC2010-06  Giant tree ferns, Farino NC2010-07  New Zealand War Cemetery, on the west coast NC2010-08  On the sail for a day's trip in the nth
       
NC2010-09   Bruce's bonefish in the north NC2010-10   a murex shell gathered near by locals NC2010-11   My Kanak friends an I go for a picnic NC2010-12   Evening fly-fishing
       
 

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^Top VIDEO - Melanesian dance festival at the Centre Culturel  Jean Marie Tjibaou     RIGHT CLICK TO PLAY VIDEO - Bird song on quiet road, West Coast      RIGHT CLICK TO PLAY
       
2008


2008 Notes:
A different route up the east coast this time round -after an abortive attempt to ride nth from Tontouta into an approaching rain, next day headed over the mountains to camp just north of Thio, then to Ponerihouen via Houailou using an interesting flat coastal and river-hugging route. Then it was up and over the high point of Mt Auopinie Reserve before descending to the West coast, a brief stay with Pierre in Kone, then bus to Koumac, and a further testing 75km hilly ride to the ultimate Nth at Gite Poingam at Boat Pass and bonefishing!

 

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NC2008-01   Puddles on the east coast after heavy rain NC2008-02   Gite at east coast NC2008-03   East coast freshwater reed swamp NC20008-04 Local tribu on east coast
       
NC2008-05   Typical bus shleter with painted images of independence figure NC2008-06   Coastal cascades on the east coast NC2008-07   Bamboo rootstcok as driftwood NC2008-08   Fare under construction
       
^Top NC2008-09   View from high peak NC2008-10  Ferns at mountian top NC2008-11   Gite staff collect shellfish in the north NC2008-12   Leaves of Niaouli / paperbark (Melaleuca quinqeunervia)
2007


2007 Notes:
This year I was kindly invited by New Caledonia Tourism South to attend their annual tourism "famil" -so why not stay a little longer? December cycle touring in tropical New Caledonia is a sweaty task and with all the gear avoiding a heat stroke is a real challenge! Hiring, and reequipping a low-end VTC (velo toute terrain) bike I went on a difficult but very rewarding 5-day 285km tour to the south east and Parc Riviere Bleue (and cagou spotting), the coast at Yate, then back via Prony and past the massive Goro Nickel mine. There was also the traditional bone fishing tour to the very north, and festival and Christmas lead-up in back in Noumea, before the return flight to Sydney Christmas Day

NC2007-01   Cagou at Parc Riviere Bleu NC2007-02   On the way to Prony NC2007-03  Bike Bruce at Yate Dam NC2007-04   Fig devours a colonial "communard" relic
       
NC2007-05  Bridge @ Parc Riviere Bleue NC2007-06   Kayak fly fishing at Poingam NC2007-07   Weaving at palm screen at Gite de Poingam NC2007-08   Niaouli (Melaleuca quinquenervia) in the landscape
       
NC2007-09   Produce display at Kone Xmas Fete NC2007-10  Kanak performers at Fete at Kone NC2007-11  Aquarium at Noumea NC2007-12  Xmas celebrations in Noumea
       
 

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^Top VIDEO - Cagou on the track - Parc Riviere Bleu       RIGHT CLICK TO PLAY VIDEO - Riding Yate valley access track     RIGHT CLICK TO PLAY
2005


2005 Notes:
The year of island hopping! Bought a four ticket air pass so flew to two of the four Loyalty Islands: Lifou and Ouvea. On Lifou rode from the airport straight up to the north of the island - staying at home stay and snorkelling in the clearest and most vibrant and colourful waters. Then down to the main village of We to stay with a French couple who were working at the hospital. Did a fab days ride to the south for lunch (see the AC article). On Ouvea had the luxury of staying with a lovely Kanak family, plenty of fishing at Baie de Requin (Bay of Sharks), so dodged plenty of sharks, and managed to see some exceptionally rare green parrots (Parrouche vert) in their natural habit. Back on Grande Terre had enough energy (just) to do a 120km two day mountain range hop from Kala Gomen to Hienghene and down to Thio for a return flight back to Noumea. See the route map and profile. Boy, back to Sydney to relax!

NC2005-01   Clear waters for a dive at Doking, Lifou NC2005-02    Lifou palms, near We NC2005-03  Luengoni Bay, Lifou NC2005-04 Coconut crab lunch at Beau de Monde, Xode, Lifou
       
NC2005-05  Local Kanak open a green coconut, at Hunete, Lifou NC2005-06  BBQ with friends at We NC2005-07   Return boat trip to Baie de Requin, St Joseph, Ouvea NC2005-08   Cargo ship Laura II offloads at Ouvea
       
NC2005-09   Case building, Teouta, Ouvea NC2005-10  Local rider, Teouta, Ouvea NC2005-11   Boulle at St Joseph, Ouvea NC2005-12   Mountain views on the trip Kala Gomen to Hienghene

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^Top VIDEO - Flyover Karla Gomne to Heinghene    RIGHT CLICK TO PLAY VIDEO - crossing Kalla Gomen to Hienghene   RIGHT CLICK TO PLAY
 
2002


2002 Notes:
Why did I start going to New Caledonia? Bonefish. Being a keen slat water flyfisher and this being one of the three big ones (permit and tarpon the other two) for flats flyfishing I decided to have my own adventure. So of course my Iron Horse goes as well and I board Aircalin bound for New Caledonia and after a brief sortie in Nuomea, embarked on a 3 week quest to a bone. My 5 piece rod safely tucked into its own custom-built holder I toured around, caught buses, tripped to the Isles de Pins, kayaked and yaketty yacked, and overall had a fab time. After creating the right Karma, I finally caught my fish on the last day up north. I made some great friends, pedalled a diverse and sometimes challenging landscape and vowed to return.

NC2002-01   Phare under construction @ Ponerihoeun NC2002-02   Bus shelter painting, east coast NC2002-03   Kayaking and flyfishing, Bay de Goro, Isle de Pins NC2002-04   Relaxing on a pirogue trip Bay D'oro @ Isle de Pins
       
NC2002-05   Church at Kuto, Isle de Pins NC2002-06  Kunnamera Bay, Isle de Pins? NC2002-07  Wharf @ Isle de Pins NC2002-08   Centre Culturel de Jean Marie Tjibao, Magenta
       
NC2002-05  Guide at Centre Culturel de Jean Marie Tjibao NC2002-05  Cycling mate and sometimes interpreter Pierre from Belgium on the East coast just south of Poindimie NC2002-011  At last my first Boat Pass Albula glossodonta. Fabulous! (the fish that is not the weird dude in the scarf!) NC2002-05  Gear taken for the trip arranged on the floor of Auberge de Jeunesse in Noumea
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