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New Caledonia History Prony Poudriere
New Caledonia

In the late 1800's the French set up a prison colony in the Baie du Prony, New Caledonia. The prisoners were put to work cutting down trees to provide the building materials for the growing town of Noumea. This stone building, the "Poudriere du Penitencier",  was built in 1884 to hold the gunpowder and arms for the guards. Today the "Village de Prony" is a small group of vacation homes built in the ruins of the old prison colony. The home owners, aided by the Province Sud, restored the building in 1991 and 1994.

Prony is near the start of the GR-NC1 walking trek that presently goes through the wilderness of Grande Terre all the way to Noumea and will one day go all the way to the north of the island.

For information on the walking trails of New Caledonia get a copy of the Rocket travel guide to New Caledonia.

Copyright: Richard Chesher
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Uploaded: 05/01/2010
Updated: 23/05/2014
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Tags: history new caledonia; prony prison colony; walking trails new caledonia; travel guide new caledonia
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More About New Caledonia

New Caledonia is the closest South Pacific Island to Australia and New Zealand. It is a French Territory and although the official language is French the culture is a blend of Melanesian, European, Polynesian, Vietnamese, Chinese, Indonesian, and more. There is one large mountainous island called Grande Terre and 6 smaller islands - the three Loyalty Islands, Belep and the Isle of Pines.The islands are remarkably unpopulated and there are vast areas of wilderness. There are hundreds of kilometers of walking treks, camp grounds, more than 42 parks and reserves, and crystal clear rivers with sparkling waterfalls. Almost one third of the population is located in the capital city of Noumea. Nickel mining is the primary industry and is the major contributor to the high standard of living in the country. Grande Terre is surrounded by the second largest barrier reef in the world and the protected lagoon created by this barrier reef is the largest in the world. Listed as a World Heritage Site in 2008, the lagoon is 24,000 square kilometers and supports a diverse and luxuriant fauna of fish and invertebrates.The vibrant, clear and rich colors are one of the first things that visitors notice when they arrive. Noumea has a complete range of hotels, resorts, restaurants, and activities to welcome visitors.