Though Koné remains one of the smallest of New Caledonia’s municipalities in terms of surface area (23rd out of 34…), it is a New Caledonia must-see, particularly in its role as administrative center of the Northern Province. Tourism is not yet very developed there, but Koné nonetheless boasts a number of attractive locations, including a major heritage site.
Located some 267 km from Nouméa, that is a little over 3 hours’ drive, it was in Foué, within the municipality’s territory, that the Lapita archeological site unveiled the so-called “Koné tradition” pottery to the world, more commonly known as “Lapita pottery.” Though this age-old culture flourished across a large portion of the South Pacific, it was the Caledonian site that lent it its name and opened it up to wider recognition.
Koné-Tiwaka: a spectacular tourist route
The Koné-Tiwaka road, connecting the eastern and western coasts, has also become a tourist destination in its own right thanks to the variety of landscapes it covers, its many viewpoints and pit stops as well as places to go swimming. Snaking through the middle of the mountain range, the road is flanked by beautiful rivers and crosses the country’s largest pine forest, covering over 3,000 hectares.
The Koniambo massif
Although Koné has a grassy seaside plain and savannah covering a third of the territory, featuring Foué’s beach and facilities, the municipality is dominated by the Central Mountain Range and, more specifically, the Koniambo or Gorobwau massif. It is there that the nickel used in the major northern metal factory set up in the neighbouring municipality of Voh is extracted.
- Koné Information Point
- Opening hours: from Monday to Thusday: 8:00 - 11:30 and 12:30 - 16:30 and Friday: 8:00 -11:30 and 12:30 - 15:00
- Telephone: + 687 47 31 11
Koné, or Koohnê in the Haeke language, belongs to the PAÎCI-CAMUKI common law area. Nine tribes are present on its territory. Though the majority of the population is of Melanesian origin, Koné is also home to a European population, primarily families having lived there for several generations. Many of these “bush people” or “Caldoches” are cattle-rearers. An opportunity for visitors to discover these stockmen’s traditions and warm welcome.
Discover the must-sees in KonéVoir plus
What to do in Koné?
With the exception of these two major tourist attractions, and as is the case in a great many other rural Caledonian municipalities, tourism here is above all green, countryside tourism with communal or “bush” property accommodation.
Sporting activities are key, be they hiking or horse riding, allowing you to go off in search of the foothills or ridges of the Central Mountain Range. The most hardened riders can even pitch a bivouac at the heart of the Range, close to the Atéou tribe, for example, which has the unique feature of being the highest in New Caledonia.