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Signal islet Path

Sport, Pedestrian sports, Hiking itinerary in Nouméa
1.6 km
Loop
  • A nature walk in the invigorating sea air of a wooded island in the Great South Lagoon. Many different sea birds nest here during the breeding season and the lagoon bed is rich and colourful. The coastal vegetation gradually gives way to the dry forest of the interior.

  • D From the north-west point of the island (GPS: 633 126 – 7 534 004), head east between the shrubs until you reach the “Island Vegetation” information board. Continue straight ahead until you come to an intersection. Turn right (south-east) until you reach the storage area (madreporic coral used to be stored here before being turned into lime).

    1 Come back to the intersection and continue on the right-hand trail. It curves to the south and goes along the top of the beach to the “Sea...
    D From the north-west point of the island (GPS: 633 126 – 7 534 004), head east between the shrubs until you reach the “Island Vegetation” information board. Continue straight ahead until you come to an intersection. Turn right (south-east) until you reach the storage area (madreporic coral used to be stored here before being turned into lime).

    1 Come back to the intersection and continue on the right-hand trail. It curves to the south and goes along the top of the beach to the “Sea Birds” board.

    2 Continue along the shore to the south (there are some benches where you can stop and enjoy your surroundings). You’ll come to an intersection (GPS: 633 283 – 7 533 556). At low tide, turn left to go down to the beach, heading south-east to avoid a thicket. At high tide, cut across on the right-hand path (south-west), which joins the beach further on. The long coastal path curves to the west. Continue along the sand through the fallen trees (straight ahead, perched in a tree you’ll see a dark ball among the branches and coral debris: it’s an osprey's nest (Pandion haliaetus). Don’t go near it). Continue to the “Signal” (GPS: 633 283 – 7 533 556).

    3 Climb the short flight of steps to the base of the tall limestone column (in the 19th century, it was used as a daymark by ships entering the Dumbéa Pass. It’s fragile, so don’t go near it). Head north-east and go down to the decked area where you’ll find the “Dry Forest” board.

    4 The trail joins the dry forest (very fragile vegetation; stay on the footpath) until you reach the “Nesting Wedge-tailed Shearwaters” board.

    5 On either side of the decking, there are burrows where the wedge-tailed shearwaters lay their eggs and raise their chicks. The trail gradually gets closer to the coast.

    6 Pass the old 19th century lime kiln and ruined house, then return to the wharf. Just before the start of the pontoon, a faré marks the end of the trail and offers shade for your picnic.

    © Text by Jean Francis Clair

    SEA SNAKES
    There are 14 species of sea snake in New Caledonia. The ones most frequently encountered by walkers are the yellow-lipped sea krait (Laticauda colubrina) and the blue-lipped sea krait Laticauda laticaudata). They feed in the sea, but spend much of their time on land digesting their food, shedding their skin, reproducing and laying eggs. These efficient predators are widespread on Signal Island. Between 2002 and 2004, CNRS researchers estimated their population to be 1,500 individuals, which remove about 600 kg of fish from the lagoon every year! Their venom is among the most poisonous in the animal kingdom.
    A flexible joint in their jaw allows them to bite any type of prey and any part of the body! But they are timid and accidents are rare. As a precaution, wear shoes and avoid handling them.

    FFrandonnée® grading
    * Effort: IBP 7 easy (green)
    * Technical difficulty: easy (green)
    * Risk: low (green)
    * Overall grading: easy (green)
  • Departure
    Nouméa
  • Location: Signal Island, 16 km west of Nouméa

    Parking: purpose-built pontoon to the north of the island
  • Environment
    • In a nature reserve
    • Sea view
    • Waterside
    • Beach within 300 m
  • 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
    • Picnic area
On the premises
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