There is a lot of history here. This is the Dumbea River Watershed Reserve and the water from this river supplied the growing city of Noumea with fresh water for over a hundred years.
Noumea was founded in 1854. It was, at first, called Port de France and the location was selected for the excellent natural harbour. But the site had no source of fresh water. At first a small river, the Yahoué, supplied water to the colony but it was never enough and in 1893 the colonists built an impressive 20km long aqueduct up into the mountains where they constructed a dam on the Dumbea river.
The mountain watershed around the Dumbea was protected as a water reserve and no building or mining was allowed to threaten Dumbea's water supply area. The pathway I stood on when I took this sphere image covers the 120 year old iron aqueduct
The enormous natural pool below me was a popular swimming hole when the dam was being built just a short distance from here. By 1996 Noumea had over 76,000 residents and the Dumbea could no longer supply Noumea's water requirements. Plus the old iron aqueduct had some serious leaks. The City built a new aqueduct over 50 km long to the Tontouta River and this was put into service in 2001.
The Dumbea aqueduct is now abandoned and the old iron pipe broken in many places. But the mountainous watershed reserve is still a protected wilderness area and a very popular place for Noumea residents to picnic and camp on the weekends. In 2010, following a series of fires set by mindless, drunken weekend idiots the government barred the road and the river to prevent access by cars. Now, if someone wishes to visit this huge pool they have to walk about an hour to get there.
People still do make the trek, but not people with big coolers full of beer and BBQ fixings. They stay in an area where there are picnic facilities along the winding dirt road, in a zone that can be accessed more easily by fire trucks.
One remarkable side effect of the need to walk to the site, in addition to the absence of blaring country western, reggae and hip hop, is that after only two years a lot of the graffiti has faded away and the litter has vanished. Areas that were blackened cinders just a couple of years ago are now showing a blush of green again.
When I stood right in the same spot in 2009 the big pool was well populated with swimmers. Sun bathers lay like big colourful seals on the river rocks. Last Saturday when we hiked here to take this sphere image we only saw one family of four and one jogger. It was nice, actually.
新喀里多尼亚是离澳大利亚和新西兰最近的南太平洋岛屿。该岛是法国领地且官方语言是法语，尽管如此，其文化却丰富多彩，揉合了美拉尼西亚、欧洲、波利尼西亚、越南、中国、印尼等国的风情。这里有一个多山的大岛，称为大地岛 (Grande Terre)，和6个较小的岛屿——洛亚蒂三岛 (Loyalty Islands)、贝莱普群岛 (Belep) 和松树岛 (Isle of Pines)。 整个群岛人口极为稀少，有大片的荒野。这里有数百公里长的徒步小径、随处可见的露营营地、超过42个公园和保护区、清澈透明的河流和莹莹闪光的瀑布。约三分之一的人口居住在首府努美阿。镍的开采是该国最主要的工业，也是维持其高标准生活的主要经济来源。大地岛四周环绕着世界第二大珊瑚礁，此珊瑚礁形成的泻湖是世界上最大的，也是受保护的泻湖。该泻湖于2008年被列为世界遗产，面积达24000平方公里，是品种丰富的鱼类和无脊椎动物栖息之地。 对于刚上岛的游客而言，最引人注目的是这里鲜艳夺目的色彩。努美阿以其完备的酒店、度假酒店、餐馆设施和丰富多彩的活动欢迎游客的到来。