The West Coast of the mainland (Grande Terre) shows off a great variety of scenery from its northern tip down to the area surrounding Nouméa. Characterised by both large spaces favouring cattle farming and a lagoon of stunning beauty, the West Coast is also host to a rich cultural heritage.
Thanks to its geographical and climatic conditions, the West Coast is perfectly suited to extensive cattle farming. From Kaala-Gomen to Païta, the coast is punctuated by raising stations. Borrowed from Australian vernacular, the terms ‘stockyard’ or ‘stockman’ are now part of the Caledonian linguistic heritage. It was, incidentally, sandalwood trader James Paddon who imported the first herds from Australia in 1854. Today, several tens of thousands of cattle continue to graze the vast stretches of the stations, watched over by stockmen on horseback. Agricultural fairs at Koumac, Bourail, Boulouparis and Païta each year reflect the importance this has in Caledonian culture.
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The Greater Nouméa
As for Païta and Dumbéa, the two communes of the Greater Nouméa have not abandoned their bushman identity, despite significant urban development in recent years. They are a true paradise for hikers in particular. Mont Humboldt for the seasoned hiker, but also the more accessible walking trails: Monts Koghis, Pic Malaoui or Mont Mou to name but three...