For a long time, Houaïlou was the only route between the west and east coasts from Nouméa and Bourail. Back then, the col des Roussettes, a winding yet wonderful road, was the primary access route to cross the central mountain range. Those days may be over, but Houaïlou has maintained its fame, particularly through its lychee growing.

The creation of the Koné-Tiwaka stretch of road further to the north has considerably reduced the strategic role long held by the col des Roussettes route. By consequence, traffic through Houïalou has reduced. Nonetheless, this mining municipality continues to play a major role, particularly in terms of training. Indeed, it is home to the only mining techniques training center in New Caledonia, in Poro.

In Houaïlou, the lychee is the king of fruit!

As for all Caledonians, the lychee is close to the Houïalou municipality’s heart. The village has become the Caledonian capital of this very popular summer fruit, which it produces in large quantities. With its unique shape, color and taste, the Houaïlou lychee’s reputation extends well beyond the east coast. In December, Houaïlou organizes a lychee festival where producers do everything they can to raise the profile of this product, which is the pride of the region.

Another unique feature of the municipality: rodeo training. The riders show off their talents at the many fairs and festivals dotted across the Grande Terre’s festivities calendar.

The Bâ waterfall: for dynamic and refreshing bathing!

Houaïlou also boasts some very beautiful natural sites, including the amazing Bâ waterfall, towards Ponerihouen, with its refreshing and energizing water!

  • Nouméa Tourism Office
  • Opening hours: Quai Ferry from Monday to Friday : 8:00-10:30, Saturday : 9:00-15:30. Anse Vata every day : 9:00-12:30 & 13:00-17:00.
  • Telephone: +687 28 75 80
  • Email:
Houailou in the East coast of New Caledonia
Practical information

When Maurice Leenhardt (1878 - 1954) was named pastor of New Caledonia in 1902, nobody could have guessed the fundamental role the man would play in the ethnological study of the Kanak people. After founding a mission to Houaïlou valley, Maurice Leenhardt’s role went well beyond that of a pastor and he engaged himself in understanding the mores of the Kanak. His considerable works still resonate strongly today.

Discover the must-sees in Houaïlou

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What to do in Houaïlou

Towards Canala, visitors can also observe petroglyphs whose origins, both here and on Grande Terre, remain particularly mysterious.

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