Lake of Yaté in the Great SouthLake of Yaté in the Great South
©Lake of Yaté in the Great South|Terres de Lumière / NCT

Explore Natural Parks

in New Caledonia

New Caledonia’s commitment to preserving its ecosystems and remarkable biodiversity is exemplified through its nature parks. These protected areas offer a glimpse into the archipelago’s exceptional natural world, minimally impacted by human interference.

Preserved natural spaces

The Deva Domain: A nature reserve in the heart of the cowboy country
The Deva Domain: A nature reserve in the heart of the cowboy country
The Deva Domain: A nature reserve in the heart of the cowboy country

Nowhere else can you witness New Caledonia’s extraordinary biodiversity as you can in its nature parks. These expansive protected regions teem with diverse wildlife and flora, boasting an exceptionally high rate of endemism. Embark on journeys lasting a day or more to encounter the stars of this territory: the crested cagou, visible at the Great Ferns Park and Blue River Park, alongside the notou, kaori, or giant houp trees. Three nature reserves unveil the hidden landscapes of the territory, encompassing red earth, arid and lush forests, and the azure coastline. Explore their unique characteristics!

Blue River Provincial Park

Covering nearly 9,000 hectares, the ‘Parc Provincial de la Rivière Bleue’ (Blue River Provincial Park) beckons! This vast wildlife sanctuary, just an hour from Nouméa in the Great South, boasts landscapes featuring lakes, arid and rainforests, mining scrub, and rustic trails. It’s the sanctuary for endemic bird species that symbolise the territory, such as the renowned cagou, the notou, and the green pigeon. The park provides a safe haven for numerous vulnerable species. Towering arboreal giant trees, like the great kaori or the giant houp, grace the landscape. Vehicle access within the Blue River Park is restricted (except for authorised service providers), and a collective shuttle bus facilitates movement within the park.

Great Ferns Park

Dubbed the “green lung” of the west coast, the ‘Parc des Grandes Fougères’ (Great Ferns Park) spans nearly 4,535 hectares of tropical rainforest nestled in the heart of the La Foa region’s mountain range. Recognised as an ornithological reserve, the park offers an array of trails for exploration on foot or horseback. These trails unveil a variety of landscapes and viewpoints, including panoramic vistas of the central chain and the West Lagoon from the ridges, serene valley streams, verdant fern forests, and niaouli tree groves. A network of 40 kilometres of marked trails awaits your discovery. Don’t miss the opportunity to participate in eco-friendly themed guided tours, featuring bird watching excursions and guided walks focused on medicinal plants, endemic flora, and fauna.

Deva Domain

Steeped in history, the Domaine de Deva served as a vital settlement nearly 3,000 years ago and later witnessed the final battle of the great Kanak revolt in 1878. Today, this park in the tourist region of Bourail has successfully preserved its 8,000 hectares of coastline and dry forest. It dedicates only 10% of its area to tourist infrastructure, setting an example of environmental conservation and responsible tourism management that respects local communities. This natural site, spanning customary and public land, engages surrounding tribes, Bourail village residents, and public institutions in estate management. The Domaine de Deva features 158 kilometres of marked hiking, horseback riding, and mountain biking trails, winding through an expansive dry forest inhabited by protected and endemic species. It attracts sports enthusiasts and families seeking open spaces.

Coral Sea Park

The Ocean also receives special attention, with New Caledonia’s lagoons having earned UNESCO World Heritage status since 2008. The creation of one of the world’s largest marine reserves, the Coral Sea Park, safeguards New Caledonia’s maritime zone, along with its uninhabited islands and islets (Entrecasteaux, Chesterfield, Walpole, Matthew, Hunter). This immense underwater realm features a diverse array of landforms, including deep-sea areas, an oceanic trench, seamounts, likely hydrothermal vents, coral reefs, coral islands, and volcanic islands. Moreover, some of the planet’s last pristine coral reefs thrive here. This vast protected area, comprising integral reserves off-limits to all visitors, spans more than twice the size of France, safeguarding New Caledonia’s maritime space and enabling sustainable economic development while preserving exceptional biodiversity.

Frequently asked questions about nature parks
  • What are the main rules to follow?
    • Stick to marked trails.
    • Bring appropriate footwear and sunscreen.
    • Do not pick or collect flowers, plants, insects, or minerals.
    • Maintain a safe distance from and avoid disturbing animals.
    • Dispose of your garbage properly, either by taking it with you or using designated bins.
    • If you’ve visited a farm in the days prior to your hike, clean your hiking boots to prevent damage to the biodiversity.
  • Is camping permitted on site?

    In some parks, such as Parc de la Rivière Bleue, bivouacking is allowed in designated areas (no wild camping). Take advantage of the facilities provided, including picnic tables, toilets, and barbecue areas. For barbecues, seek guidance from park wardens, as cutting wood on-site is prohibited. Additionally, be aware of fire risks during dry spells.

  • Is water drinkable on site?

    For your safety, it’s advisable to bring an ample supply of water, even though most parks have water points with natural spring water.