Kouaoua is found in the southern part of the northern province, 175 km from Nouméa. Having long been under the same administration as Canala, Kouaoua mining village became a municipality in its own right from 1995. It was not until 1998 that the town hall buildings were officially opened. The village’s activities remain strongly oriented towards mining.

Accessible via the col d'Amieu, famed for its 500 bends (you can count the exact number should you so wish!), Kouaoua village’s economy remains essentially mining-based.

The world’st longest curved mineral conveyor!

Three companies still mine for nickel in the village and account for virtually all of the its inhabitants’ wages. Built in 1980 to carry the minerals from the excavation sites to the mineral port, the Serpentine is one of the village’s most remarkable local curiosities. Almost 12 km in length, this curved conveyor is the world’s longest in its category!

Nonetheless, the town has more of a pastoral appearance than its mining history might lead you to believe. For example, its pleasant botanical path leads to a pretty little waterfall at Koh. Not far from there, another path offers access to two other waterfalls, those of Toéré and Bamecaria.

Today
  • Nouméa Tourism Office
  • Opening hours: from Monday to Friday : 8:00-17:30, Saturday : 9:00-15:30, and Sunday 10:00-13:00
  • Telephone: +687 28 75 80
  • Email: centre.ville@office-tourisme.nc
Kouaoua in the East coast of New Caledonia
Practical information

The Kouaoua region was originally called Mèa country (the name of the vernacular language spoken there) or Kaawipaa (from the name of the eldest son of the legendary founding ancestor, Pè Arshii). It is the French adaptation of this name that has given rise to its current name, Kouaoua. This term refers to the central valley, its river, the village and the common law district.

Discover the must-sees in Kouaoua

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What to do in Kouaoua

Top hiking and canyoning locations

In addition to the traditional market held on Tuesday and Thursday mornings, the village also organizes yam and pineapple festivals. Indeed, in tandem with its primary activity, the municipality is looking to develop both its agricultural sector (several orchards have been planted in the 2010s) and tourism. And the many natural sites for hiking, horse riding or canyoning are among the municipality’s attractions for visitors in search of virgin horizons…

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