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Devil’s pot trail (Dumbéa)

Sport, Pedestrian sports, Hiking itinerary in Dumbéa
11.5 km
Round trip
Hiking
4h
  • Located at the heart of the Dumbea nature reserve. The northern branch is the wildest. The valley’s steep hillsides give a mountainous character to the area. This storied site testifies of a former mining activity, whose remains are still visible.

  • COURSE DESCRIPTION

    D Start (GPS : 653 595 - 7 551 377 ; alt. 19 m/62 ft) : reach the river.

    1 Ford : cross the ford, following the alignments of big round stones (be careful, do not cross after heavy rains). When leaving the water (variable level), walk straight ahead on a rough track, that proceeds onto the pebbles of the river’s dry part. Before a grove, yaw northwestwards, ignoring the track that goes on straight forward. After a few hundred meters, the path leaves the riverbed and...
    COURSE DESCRIPTION

    D Start (GPS : 653 595 - 7 551 377 ; alt. 19 m/62 ft) : reach the river.

    1 Ford : cross the ford, following the alignments of big round stones (be careful, do not cross after heavy rains). When leaving the water (variable level), walk straight ahead on a rough track, that proceeds onto the pebbles of the river’s dry part. Before a grove, yaw northwestwards, ignoring the track that goes on straight forward. After a few hundred meters, the path leaves the riverbed and abruptly turns to the right (north-east) on a red dirt trail.

    2 Turn (GPS : 653 750 - 7 551 550 ; alt. 16 m/52 ft) : the route follows the former track leading to the mine sites of Haute-Dumbéa, penetrating the Haute-Dumbéa natural reserve. Go up north, along the left riverbank, till you reach the junction with the trail towards Mount Poudehoume (alt. 806m / 2644 ft)

    3 Fork (GPS : 654 489 - 7 552 436 ; alt. 30 m/98 ft) : take a left towards northwest to get to the river. The path on your right « was traced in 1976-1977 by R. Bloc, in order to extract chromite from camp Bloc. » (J. Chatelier).

    4 Gué (GPS : 654 569 - 7 552 570 ; alt. 24 m/79 ft) : crossing it is easy when the water level is low (be careful, do not cross after heavy rains). The track then winds along the right riverbank, in a norheasterly direction.

    5 Remains (GPS : 655 043 - 7 552 684 ; alt. 35 m/115 ft) (wooden railway sleepers, belonging to the former ore cart line, are still visible) : keep on walking northeastwards (the valley narrows). In a left-hand curve (west), a nice crystalline-water hole awaits visitors.

    6 Picnic area (GPS : 655 291 - 7 552 770 ; alt. 33 m/108 ft) (easy access for families) : continue alongside the meandering river (former ailway enstonements). Curve to the east.

    7 Lookout (GPS : 655 184 - 7 553 174 ; alt. 40 m/131 ft) (telephone network) : the track circumvents the base of a secondary ridge originating from Mount Piditéré (alt. 869 m / 2851 ft), before going into a wide thalweg in order to round a hillock (alt. 93m / 305 ft) via the west and then the north (the river, obscured by vegetation and the terrain, is no longer within sight from the path). After crossing a wooded combe with two successive fords, it takes back its way to the north.

    8 Remains (GPS : 655 608 - 7 553 874 ; alt. 68 m/ 223 ft) (telephone network) : the track overlooks the river (several stone retaining walls are visible ; they used to stabilize the ballast).

    9 Helipad (DZ) (GPS : 655 695 - 7 553 972 ; alt. 68 m/223 ft) : a landing pad for helicopters has been set up, upslope from the path that keeps following the river.

    10 Acrobatic zone (GPS : 655 611 - 7 554 308 ; alt. 70 m/ 230 ft) : floods pulled out the ballast from the cart line and the runway. Only the eroded cliff still stands (handrails and stairs) (caution : preferably walk into the riverbed). When leaving the zone, the former track becomes easy again (be careful, the ground can be slippery in wet weather). A little farther away, the rusty remnants of an old truck lie alongside the track (see photo on the back).

    11 Helipad (DZ) (GPS : 655 904 - 7 554 462 ; alt. 85 m/278 ft) : a second landing pad for helicopters has been set up upslope from the path, just before reaching the end of the course.

    12 End of the trail (GPS : 655 692 - 7 554 462 ; alt. 82 m/268 ft) : waterholes and Devil’s pots. Picnic area (the former mining pathway used to continue beyond this point, but floods have caused significant damage).

    BE CAREFUL Bathing, and particularly jumping from high points, may present risks. The water level is variable and rocks clutter up the bottom.

    © Jean Francis & Delphine Clair

    FFRandonnée Rating : Effort 49 Quite Easy - Technicity : 3 Easy (quite difficult from 7 to 12) - Risk : 3 Quite Low
  • Departure
    Dumbéa
  • Location : in front of the Fayard park (Dumbéa), take the metropolitan road RM4, and then the RM6 till you get to the car park. During the summer season, there is also a shuttle service starting at the Fayard park (ville-dumbea.nc, tel : 41 40 00).
    Car park : at the end of the paved road (GPS : 653 539 - 7 551 421).
  • Plain text period
    All year round.

    Subject to favorable weather.
  • Environment
    • Close to GR footpath
    • In a nature reserve
  • Documentation
    GPX / KML files allow you to export the trail of your hike to your GPS (or other navigation tool)
Services
  • Equipment
    • Picnic area
    • Car park
  • Services
    • Coach access
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