A municipality on the western coast, Koumac is found at the crossroads of the Poum road leading towards the “Great North” and the east-west road passing round the col d’Amos mountain towards Ouégoa. Traditionally a farming and mining village, in recent years, it has shifted its development towards tourism.
Don’t be fooled by the etymology of the municipality’s name! While in the “Pwaxumak” language Koumac means “hard-headed or stubborn,” the region’s inhabitants are particularly welcoming towards tourists having come to visit the region… And Koumac has plenty of quality assets and facilities!
The Pandop marina offers visitors the chance to board boats and choose from simple excursions to islets, open sea fishing or diving at one of the many identified sites in the Kendec strait. And divers are well aware that in Koumac it is not unusually to see “big fish” – and plenty of them!
From the Koumac cave to the Notre-Dame rocks
On the mainland, the Koumac cave is one of the municipality’s must-visit sites, Close to the village, they offer adventurers the chance to see impressive stalactites and stalagmites. But take care – only the first 350 meters or so of the cave can be visited. All areas beyond that are prohibited.
Close to the cave, don’t miss the Virgin nestled on the rocks, seeming to welcome walkers passing by from the edge of the cliffs. Climbing lovers can try their luck on the Notre-Dame rocks found on the Ouégoa road, where 13 climbing routes have been set up.
Tiébaghi: an ex-mining village that now belongs to the region’s historic heritage
Lastly, anyone staying in or passing through Koumac simply must visit the ex-mining village of Tiébaghi, close to the still-active nickel mine. In Tiébaghi, chrome was exploited from 1900 to the late 1970s. At the very beginning of last century, Tiébaghi was even very briefly the world leader in chrome production! Though the chrome mine is no longer active, this ex-mining village which now forms part of the region’s historic heritage is a delight for tourists thanks to the outstanding restoration and reconstruction work carried out by a local association!
- Koumac Tourism Office
- Opening hours: from Monday to Thursay: 8:00 - 16:00, Friday: 8:00 - 15:00 (closed on weekends)
- Telephone: + 687 42 78 42
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Avec la foire de Bourail, en août, la « Foire de Koumac et du Nord », organisée fin septembre, est la plus grande manifestation agricole et artisanale de Nouvelle-Calédonie. Outre les traditionnels stands de producteurs, elle est l'occasion d'un rodéo très réputé, sans compter les autres activités équines à l'honneur : horse-ball, courses de stockmen, barrel race, etc. Moins fréquentée, mais tout aussi représentative de la culture bovine locale, la « Fête de la génisse » qui se tient en mai. Entre génisses cuites à la broche et vente de taureaux reproducteurs, la fête est garantie 100% broussarde !