The last large district on the West Coast, Koumac is located at the junction of the Far North (Poum road) and the East Coast (Col d’Amos cross-country road, from Ouégoa). An agricultural and mining district, it has also moved into industrial fishing and is developing its tourist sector. The village is very well equipped today, particularly with the Pandop marina where all types of small craft are found for sailing, fishing, diving and visiting the very pretty islets in the region.
The Koumac caves are among the district sites not to be missed. Near the village, they offer those who venture into their galleries magnificent sites to explore. However, take care, as they are big and visitors get lost regularly, always saved by the gendarmes. Not far away, in a cliff side, a virgin nestling in the rock near grassland also seems to welcome walkers. As for abseiling fans, they can take the Ouégoa road and explore the Notre-Dame rocks. Less effort is required to visit the Church of Saint Joan of Arc.
You should also visit the old mining village of Tiébaghi, right near the nickel mine operating today. Until the start of the 1990s, chrome was mined there and everything has been left as it stands. Each year, in September, the Koumac and the North Fair attracts many visitors, as it is an authentic bush event that horse-lovers will not want to miss. The district also has a racecourse. Each year, around the end of April and beginning of May, the spit-roasted heifer festival brings together stockbreeding professionals and inquisitive onlookers for festive events, horse races, breeding bull sales etc. A 100% bush festival!
Location and access: 370 kilometres north of Noumea by the RT1.
Air connections: Flights twice a week to Koumac (Tuesday and Thursday) from the Magenta domestic airport, tel. 25 14 00; Aircal, tel. 25 21 77.
District festivals: Carnaval in April; open days at Tiébaghi in May; music festival in June; Koumac and the North fair at the end of September; heritage days in October.
Markets, craftwork: Market every Saturday morning in Koumac.
Gendarmerie: Koumac, tel. 47 89 50.
Pharmacy and hospital: Hibiscus pharmacy, Koumac village, tel. 47 59 60; Koumac Hospital, tel. 47 62 16 or 42 65 00.
Multimedia library: Tel: 47 12 22.
Banks: BCI Koumac village, tel. 47 51 70; BNP Paribas Koumac village, tel. 47 62 67; CCP Koumac village, tel. 47 62 30; Société Générale Koumac village, tel. 47 61 39.
Post Office: Post office agency, Koumac village, tel. 47 62 30.
Car rental: Decoux Location, tel. 47 65 81; Koumac Auto Réparation, tel. 47 62 28 or 77 61 28.
Service stations: Mobil Koumac, tel. 47 65 07; Shell Koumac, tel. 42 82 82; Total Koumac, tel. 47 61 75.
Bookshop: Papyrus in Koumac, tel. 47 62 64.