Bac de la Ouaième, HienghèneBac de la Ouaième, Hienghène
©Bac de la Ouaième, Hienghène|Guy Michel

Take the Ouaième ferry

in Hienghène

Indulge in a unique and exceptional experience aboard New Caledonia’s last operational ferry! Nestled on the Ouaième River, a distinctive and exotic sacred site, the Bac de la Ouaième provides a charming and breathtaking backdrop. Surrounded by lush mountains, traversing the river on this floating platform is the exclusive link between Hienghène and Pouébo, offering access to the picturesque Corniche route. Step out of your car to fully appreciate this serene and tranquil moment!

Bac de la Ouaième is located on the east coast of New Caledonia, 15 min from the centre of Hienghène to the south and 1h from Pouébo to the north. To reach the east coast from Nouméa, the ideal route is to head north towards Koné (3h20), before taking the route Koné-Tiwaka. This picturesque stretch winds its way through the Chaîne Centrale for around 1h, with some great viewpoints to boot. Once you reach the village of Hienghène via Touho, it’s a short 15 min drive to Ouaième. You’ll need to rent a vehicle from Nouméa to explore this magnificent road from Hienghène to Pouébo and cross the Ouaième River.

  • Free transfer 24/7.
  • The crossing takes 5 minutes, so be quick to get out of your vehicle and take photos.
  • Make the crossing during the day to enjoy the panorama.
4 things to do at Ouaième Ferry

1. Take the ferry to cross the river

The Ouaième ferry – An unforgettable attraction
The Ouaième ferry – An unforgettable attraction
The Ouaième ferry – An unforgettable attraction

To travel between Pouébo and Hienghène, or vice versa, one must navigate the Ouaième River, as there is no alternative route. With no bridge spanning the river, the sole means of crossing its expanse is by boarding the last ferry in New Caledonia. Fortunately, this ferry service is not only free but also operational day and night, seven days a week. New Caledonia’s ultimate ferry journey unfolds against a backdrop of verdant mountains, providing a serene and awe-inspiring experience in the midst of this majestic natural setting.

A piece of advice

In the event of heavy rainfall, ferry operations may be temporarily halted. It’s recommended to check with the Hienghène Tourist Office before setting off.

2. Admire the landscape

The Ouaième River holds cultural significance as a conduit for the souls of the departed on their journey to the afterlife. Legend has it that ancestors would be reborn as fish at the river’s mouth. Due to the sacred nature of this site, constructing a bridge to replace the ferry has proven impossible. Consequently, the ferry remains the sole means to traverse the river and revel in the breathtaking landscape that unfolds before you. Stepping out of your vehicle, you can admire the lushly vegetated ridges that frame the Ouaième River. The tranquillity of the crossing provides an opportunity to capture stunning photos. Just be mindful—you have a mere 5 minutes before reaching the other side!

3. Take the coastal road

Cradled between the ocean and formidable mountains, the Corniche Road connects Pouébo to Hienghène, situated to the north of the Ouaième ferry. This scenic drive stands out as one of the most stunning routes in New Caledonia. Behind the wheel, you’ll navigate a slender, meandering road that hugs the coastline and weaves beneath towering cliffs. The awe-inspiring vistas that unfold during the journey serve as a compelling reason to capture magnificent photographic memories!

Candidate Profile 05Candidate Profile 05
©Candidate Profile 05

This is the perfect road for a road trip! As you drive along the coast, the views of the many surrounding islets are magnificent, and the ferry crossing is truly atypical. The road is perfect for a road trip!

Alexander Mcalpine, Caledonian Dream season 2

4. Stop at the lookout point

Stretching across a length of 34 kilometres, the Ouaième River winds through the Mont Panié massif, which boasts New Caledonia’s highest peak at 1629 metres. Along its course, it weaves through several tribal areas before ultimately cascading into the Loyalty Basin. Heading north after traversing the ferry, take a moment to relish the scenic views overlooking the Ouaième River’s estuary, taking a couple of photographs to immortalise the beauty!