The smallest town in New Caledonia is also paradoxically known for its festival celebrating the giant Bancoule worm! This is also the land serving as a gateway to one of the territory’s most beautiful parks, Grandes Fougères.
Even though it’s still uncertain, the name Farino possibly comes from Farinole, a town in Haute-Corse (Corsica). It’s certain, however, that the first pioneers to settle here were mainly Corse. In particular, they introduced coffee farming, and Jean Mariotti, a Caledonian writer of Corse origin, was born here in 1901.
With 48km², Farino is the smallest town in New Caledonia. It has also been the least inhabited, but the 2014 census let it gain a few notches with its 612 surveyed inhabitants.
The rural ecotourism!
Another quirk of the town, which it shares again with its neighbor, Farino completely enclaved and has no access to the sea.
Yet although Farino has no islands, it still has no shortage of ideas to develop rural ecotourism including the famous Festival of the Bancoule Worm.
As part of this development, she could, of course, rely on the growing fame of the Parc des Grandes Fougères. It stretches over three towns (Farino, Moindou and Sarraméa), covering a surface area of more than 4,500 hectares and sheltering exceptional endemic vegetation. Out of the 500 plant species of the park (including the namesake tree ferns and several species of palm), 70% are endemic to the territory!
70% endemic species in Parc des Grandes Fougères
As a study location for researchers from all over the world, the park is also a haven of peace where thousands of visitors come to recharge. Of course, it’s possible to take foot-hikes (with 40km of marked trails) but also footbiking, for instance. Also within the park, you can find the unique Coeur de Farino, a waterhole whose unusual shape attracts the curious in droves!
- Information Point of Farino - La Foa Tourism
- Opening hours: from Wednesday to Friday and Sunday market
- Telephone: +687 94 06 94
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The curious will try, the queasy will pass, but no one will have no opinion about the Bancoule worm! Organized on the second Sunday of September, the festival of the Bancoule worm is an occasion to try out very local gastronomy! The worms are actually larvae that feed exclusively on the soft, damp wood of the bancoule tree. They can reach 8 cm in length and 2 cm in diameter. Besides the head, it’s entirely edible (raw or grilled). During the festival in Farino, a contest is held for whoever can eat the most within a given time. Yum!
Discover the must-sees in FarinoVoir plus
What to do in Farino?
Farino market, which takes place on the second Sunday of the month, has also become a popular meeting place for those who love local products such as the coffee Grand Cru Bourbon Pointu!