Mountain Biking is hugely popular in New Caledonia - as is trekking in wilderness. The GRNC-1 is a "managed" trail that goes from Baie de la Sommes Prony, in the south of Grande Terre, all the way to the mountains behind Noumea. Eventually it will go right to the northern end of Grande Terre along the vast wilderness of the Grande Terre mountains.
Parts of the walking trail are steep and really difficult for mountain bikes. This photo was taken on a mountain bike by-pass that goes around the difficult areas near the Carenage River. You can just make out the trail to the south of where I took this image. I wanted to capture the deep erosion gulley with the iron-rich red soil cutting through the green mountains. The bike path twists around features like this and descends with myriad curly turns down to the main trail and on to the Baie de la Somme.
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.