New Caledonia hiking and trekking simply can't be beaten. From easy walks perfect for all levels of fitness to hiking routes that are best suited to the more adventurous, the archipelago’s breathtaking natural beauty and diverse landscapes provide the perfect setting for those looking to explore on foot. Challenging, yet incredibly rewarding, the Grande Randonnée, known as the GR, sits amongst New Caledonia hiking trail royalty. Get your backpack ready, the GR is waiting for you!
Walk through unspoiled nature
Traversing New Caledonia’s mainland from north to south, each stage of the GR hike involves around six to seven hours of walking. Sure to test your strength and stamina, the challenge of every stage is rewarded by the incredible landscapes you’ll make your way through. From the Tchamba Valley and the Letocard Trail to the Wâo Uni pass, hikers cross from the dense vegetation typical of this region, to drier, wooded areas and primal forest, home to flora and fauna found nowhere else on earth.
Walk the GR®1 in the North
Hikers make their way through each stage unaccompanied. As with most of the world’s great hikes, everyone who sets out on the GR must carry whatever they need in terms of water, food, clothes and shelter, including a tent. However, each stage and each tribe along the way serves as a reference point for the Grande Randonnée path. Make sure you note down their coordinates to make sleeping arrangements. They will also be an invaluable aid to help you get into the day-to-day life of the tribes.
Through creeks and waterfalls
Throughout all of the GR’s stages, rivers and creeks border the course. These sometimes produce cascades and create little touches of paradise that can be observed along the way. You will sometimes have to cross rivers and creeks to remain on course. Be careful, especially during the heavy rain season, and definitely don’t try to be the risk-taking Indiana Jones type. The current can become very strong, very quickly, so it is best, for safety reasons, to stop, find shelter and wait for both the end of the downpour and for the waters to subside.
Walk and respect while hiking in New Caledonia
There is a shared attitude among nature lovers - admire plant-life without removing it, admire animals without touching or scaring them, do not make a fire outside of designated areas and do not leave rubbish behind. Making these small gestures while hiking in New Caledonia will help to preserve the beauty of the trail and the areas that surround it.
Walk the GR®1 in the South
Divided into seven stages, the southern GR leads you from the ancient village of Prony to the peaks of the central mountain range in Dumbéa. Before setting out, stroll through this former mining village which nature has reclaimed. The trail leads deep into the heart of the Blue River Provincial Park after crossing the red soil of Grand Sud. More than a hike, the GR® NC1 is real exploration.
Walk from stage to stage GR®1 in the South
- Stage 1: Prony to the Néocallitropsis refuge (4h/14 km)
- Stage 2: Néocallitropsis refuge to Netcha (3h 30m/10.8 km)
- Stage 3: Netcha to Ouénarou (Blue River Provincial Park) (5h/19.5 km)
- Stage 4: Ouénarou refuge to the Muletiers refuge (5h 30m/14.6 km)
- Stage 4B: Ouénarou refuge to the Tristaniopsis refuge (6h/21.7 km)
- Stage 5: Muletiers refuge to the Tristaniopsis refuge (5h 30m/17.8 km)
- Stage 6: Tristaniopsis refuge to the Soleil Mine refuge (7h 30m/15.3 km)
- Stage 7: Soleil Mine refuge to the Dumbéa village (5h 15m/13 km)
In the town of Sarraméa, situated around 15 minutes’ drive from La Foa in Grande Terre’s central mountain range, trails with various levels of difficulty allow everyone to discover the superb landscapes of the region. The scenic area is home to the Dogny Plateau, which sits at the end of a route popular with experienced hikers. Between six and eight hours are required to complete the 16 km walk, but the reward of unforgettable views across the Valley of Sarraméa, the Bay of Bourail, and the Bay of Canala are certainly worth the effort involved. For more unforgettable mountain adventures, Blue River Park, Mont-Dore, Giant Fern Park and Roches de la Ouaïème are all well worth discovering.