Heaven on horseback!
Part and parcel of the New Caledonian landscape, horses are a way of life for local bush cowboys (“stockmen”). It’s no surprise that there are a host of horseback activities for visitors, particularly on the Main Island.
New Caledonia boasts a wealth of equestrian facilities, with fifteen or so in the North and South Provinces. In recent years, a quality rating scale similar to the French system has been established by the Regional Committee for Equestrian Tourism and the South Province.
Equestrian facilities are inspected and awarded a quality label: one, two or three horseshoes. The label provides trail riders with a guarantee of quality, safety and professional expertise.
Centres are rated according to twenty strict criteria (condition of their horses, tack, facilities, standards of cleanliness, signage and information provided, etc.). Of course, instructors’ qualifications, insurance cover, recognised standards of competence and professional registration (RIDET in NC) are also essential requirements.
By mid 2017, seven centres had been approved as “2 horseshoe” facilities, two in the North Province - La Crinière and Station des Trois Creeks, both in Koumac, and five in the South Province - Ranch de la Courie in Bourail, Lucky Club in Boulouparis, Pocquereux Randonnées in La Foa, Ranch des 3 Boucles in Thio et Yala Ranch in Dumbéa.
All these centres run horseback trails to suit all levels, even if it’s your first time in the saddle! Some centres have ponies for younger kids to ride and others offer trail rides lasting several days, along mountain trails commanding breathtaking views over the lagoon.
Glorious scenery and hidden beauties galore... New Caledonia is pure paradise for horseback trails. River bathing with the horses, gallops along deserted beaches, sweeping valleys, sublime views: your mount awaits!