See photos (4)

GRNC1 Stage n°7A: from the Soleil mine to Dumbéa

Sport, Pedestrian sports, Hiking itinerary, Trail route in Dumbéa
15.3 km
One-way
  • This aerial route has an alpine feel. The mule track wraps around the sides of the mountain and winds its way through the valleys and over the high ridges overlooking the Dumbéa River.

  • FFRandonnée® grading:
    * Effort: IBP 67 Not very difficult (orange);
    * Technical difficulty: Not very difficult (orange)
    * Risk: Not very difficult (orange)


    Attention: entry into the Blue River Provincial Park from Dumbéa: bushwalkers who wish to leave from this place to walk the GR® NC1 must notify their departure to the park administration, ( Please note, the connection is impossible in rainy weather. Several major creeks are easily flooded).

    From the Mine Soleil hut to the creek...
    FFRandonnée® grading:
    * Effort: IBP 67 Not very difficult (orange);
    * Technical difficulty: Not very difficult (orange)
    * Risk: Not very difficult (orange)


    Attention: entry into the Blue River Provincial Park from Dumbéa: bushwalkers who wish to leave from this place to walk the GR® NC1 must notify their departure to the park administration, (> Please note, the connection is impossible in rainy weather. Several major creeks are easily flooded).

    From the Mine Soleil hut to the creek of the Miners camp (2.3 km – 1 hr. 30 m.)

    D Mine Soleil hut (GPS: 660 569 – 7 556 610; alt. 1,120m): return to the main route of the GR® NC1. Turn right to descend south-east (> ignore the old posts with yellow and red marks). The trail quickly loses altitude in a pleasant humid forest (> the ground is often greasy and slippery, but the zigzags allow a careful descent). Cross a small creek, then emerge into open terrain (GPS: 660 379 – 7 556 226). About 40m further,
    on the left edge, a helipad has been fitted out. The trail then crosses a tiny trickle of water that often dries up. Clinging to the steep side of the mountain, the mule track follows the relief [> alpine atmosphere]. It approaches the Sunshine Mine from the north along the top of the excavation, then plunges south through a series of short switchbacks to reach the mining centre.

    1 Sunshine Mine (GPS: 659 903 – 7 555 903): continue towards the base of the work area [> several vestiges are still visible: cables of the funicular, pulley, wheel] and reach an intersection (> the mule track marked by yellow and red cylindrical posts, which continues straight, leads to the intermediate station and the valley of the north branch of the Dumbéa).

    2 Intersection (GPS: 659 869 – 7 555 909; alt. 767m): turn left to bypass the lower part of the mine. After a short climb, the path dips in zigzags on a steep slope to reach a creek (GPS: 660 020 – 7 555 576). Cross at the foot of a large kaori (Agathis lanceolata) whose cylindrical shaft sits enthroned on the right bank (> the bed is invaded by large smooth rubble stones, crossing sometimes a little slippery). The trail then roughly follows the contour to cross a wooded strip [> site of the base camp of the miners who worked in the surrounding mines. Trails and a funicular connected the centres of activity: the Sunshine Mine, the Soleil Mine, the intermediate station, as well as the hillock located at an altitude of 800m to the east of the camp]. Several rarely dry creeks allow you to fill up with water.

    From the Miners' camp to Mont Poudéhoume (3.6 km – 1 hr. 45 m.)

    3 Miners' camp (GPS: 660 070 – 7 555 457; alt. 590m): after the southern exit from the forest, the track crosses a long ravine which cuts into the side. On the opposite bank, it climbs in several long, easy and regular switchbacks. It joins, by a long escarpment, the ridge of Mount To. Reach the intersection towards the old Clothilde-Jeanne Mine.

    4 Intersection (GPS: 659 301 – 7 554 445; alt. 788m): continue straight ahead (> the discreet path that goes to the left goes towards the old Clothilde-Jeanne site, near Mount To). Then easily follow the northern slope of the ridge [> viewpoints, mountain atmosphere]. Shortly before the so-called "Block" track, the path passes under a large kaori struck down by lightning whose greyish skeleton emerges from the scrub.

    5 Blasted Kaori (GPS: 658 436 – 7 554 269; alt. 778m): continue to the fork.

    From Mount Poudéhoume to the Dumbéa Valley (7.1 km – 2 hrs.)

    6 “Block” track (GPS: 658 176 – 7 554 048; alt. 789m) [> it climbs in endless zigzags from the northern branch of the Dumbéa located 600 m below] [> a track to the south-west leads to the summit of Mount Poudéhoume; lookout towards the west coast]: take the old mining track, straight ahead towards the south, along the ridge on its eastern side [> some beautiful mountain kaoris (Agathis ovata) mark out the track]. About 1.5 km further on, around 600m altitude, the track turns sharply to the right.

    7 Fork (GPS: 657 618 – 7 552 831; alt. 610m): dive to the left towards a ridge of eroded red earth where an imposing mountain kaori (Agathis ovata) sits. A few tens of meters further, the track plunges to the right towards the valley and traces several zigzags on the steep side. Around 215m altitude, cross a creek to find the path in the embankment on the other bank (sometimes dry water point). The path descends gently towards the Dumbéa. At the first intersection, turn right, and then right again at the next one. Reach the track that leads to the Dumbéa dam.

    8 Track (GPS: 657 025 – 7 551 616; alt. 150m): turn right, to the west, on the red dirt track following the GR® marks (> the yellow marking marks relate to the path of the old Dumbéa dam). It makes a long curve to the left and then to the right. Cross the concrete bridge, and go up.

    9 Start of the path of the old Dumbéa dam (GPS: 656 002 – 7 551 589; alt. 66m): following the left bank of the river, continue towards another following concrete bridge (> the pipe which brings water to Nouméa is buried under the road). Cross the bridge and reach the end of the route.

    10 Barrier (GPS: 654 813 – 7 551 054; alt. 68m): a parking lot, unsecured, allows you to park a few vehicles here. It is accessible from the Fayard park (Dumbéa). To reach it, take the RM 4 towards the north-east. Reach the car park at the end of the paved road. The start of the GR® NC1 to the Blue River provincial Park is now here. Beyond that, access with a light car can become tricky in rainy weather.

    © Text by Jean Francis Clair

    FFrandonnée® grading
    * Effort: IBP 67 slightly difficult (orange)
    * Technical difficulty: slightly difficult (orange)
    * Risk: slightly high (orange)
    * Overall grading: slightly difficult (orange)
  • Departure
    Dumbéa
  • Situation : the arrival of the GRNC1 stage n°7A is accessible from the Fayard park (Dumbéa). To reach it, take the compulsory free shuttle put in place by the city hall of Dumbéa (ville-dumbea.nc) to reach the end of the sealed road.
    The arrival of the GR® NC1 is now at this location

    Parking: Fayard park or in the absence of a shuttle, reach the last car park located at the end of the asphalt road.
  • Spoken languages
    • French
  • Documentation
    GPX / KML files allow you to export the trail of your hike to your GPS (or other navigation tool)
Services
  • Equipment
    • Covered picnic area
    • Public WC
    • Picnic area
Follows a section of...
Close