The Dumbea River is just a 20 minute drive from downtown Noumea. It is one of the most beautiful wilderness areas in New Caledonia, and the water is sparkling clear with lots of pools to swim in. The whole area is part of the "Réserve naturelle intégrale de la montagne des sources" - a reserve set up to protect the water supply for Noumea. There are trails everywhere and one of them goes along the north branch of the Dumbea River to this clear, deep pool - surrounded by stone cliffs. The Dumbea is a very popular weekend exercise area for the residents of Noumea. Explore the Dumbea in the Rocket Guide to 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.