On the east coast of Grande Terre, opposite from La Foa, Canala is a jewel to be discovered, nestled at the end of an enormous bay. The town still remains largely unvisited by tourists, but still has many charms. From the Pic des Morts to the waterfalls of Ciu and Kwewa and the Nanny islets, nature has remained intact and protected. Its cascades are perfect for canoeing and lots of hiking trails pass through breathtaking landscapes.
Canala is still a town whose existence is profoundly linked with nickel mining. Several companies continue to operate in the sites of Nakéty and Boakaine.
Well before the success of “green gold,” as nickel is nicknamed locally, Canala was known for its hot springs in La Crouen. The properties of these waters, which reach 40°C, were then unanimously reputed to fight against various afflictions. The restoration of these springs may soon create yet another tourist attraction in the region.
Canala may be the next green tourism capital
Above all, Canala is perfect for green tourism. Boasting natural sites that are still very much protected and virtually untouched, it offers superb rock-climbing spots. Its rivers, mangroves, white sandbars, pebble and black sand beaches all contribute to a very green menu that passing tourists can choose from.
From the cascades at Ciu and Kwewa to the valleys of Dothio and La Pehanno, from the Pic des Morts to the Plateau de Mia, the Nanny islets and Gou and the beach at Saint-Pol, there’s no shortage of sites that offer impressive panoramic views.
Timed roads that are worth the trip
As a panorama in itself, the roads leading to Canala are also worth the trip. Coming from La Foa, the road passing through the Amieu pass gives a preview of the diversity of Caledonian environment, blending red earth, waterfalls and luxuriant forests.
The most impressive road is still the one linking Thio and Canala through the Petchécara pass. Winding and steep, it continues to operate as an alternating single-lane road from 7am to 5pm. This “timed road” is obviously something very exotic, but you should still be careful when you take it!
- Information point in Canala
- Opening hours: Monday to Thurday : 7h45 - 11h30 and 12h30 - 15h45, Friday : 7h45 - 11h30 and 12h30 - 14h45
- Telephone: + 687 42 60 61
When it was founded in 1852, the city was named “Napoléonville” in honor of Napoléon III who was then leading France, but it still narrowly missed out on becoming the capital city of New Caledonia. Admiral Tardy de Montravel indeed fell under the charm of the location, considering that it had great potential for development. Only after the fall of the Second Empire in 1871 was the city was rechristened “Canala.”