Roadtrip to the parc provincial de la Riviere bleue

The thing I’ve quickly come to realise about New Caledonia is that you only need to drive a few minutes for the landscape to drastically change. Up in the mountains, about an hour from Nouméa is the breathtakingly beautiful Parc provinicial de la riviere bleue.

Parc provincial de la riviere bleue, Yaté, New Caledonia
Parc provincial de la riviere bleue, Yaté, New Caledonia

The park is located on the western edge of the Lac de Yaté. It is a place where fiery red dirt meets the banks of a pale blue lake. It is mountainous, hot and mostly open if not for the odd welcome pocket of pines and palms.

Parc provincial de la riviere bleue, Yaté, New Caledonia
Parc provincial de la riviere bleue, Yaté, New Caledonia

I got the impression that this is a rapidly changing place. The river bed and lake was largely dried up when we visited but small patches of water suggested this was only recent and a couple of rainy days may see it full again.

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Parc provincial de la riviere bleue, Yaté, New Caledonia

The park is enormous so if you only have a day in which to see it, it’s best to pick a side of the river and go from there. The south side means you can take your vehicle and do short hikes from the roadside. The north side will involve leaving your car behind, and either walking or hiring a bike to see the rest.

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Parc provincial de la riviere bleue, Yaté, New Caledonia

We didn’t have a great deal of time and it was an especially hot day so we chose the first of the two options. We took our car west along the road where frequent lookouts provided incredible views of the park before the road ended abruptly at a spot along the river.

Chute de la Madeleine, Yaté, New Caledonia
Chute de la Madeleine, Yaté, New Caledonia

The Chute de la Madeleine is a picturesque waterfall about half an hour south-east of the entrance to the parc provincial de la riviere bleue. The track takes you right on top of the chute where you can watch the falls from above.

Chute de la Madeleine, Yaté, New Caledonia
Chute de la Madeleine, Yaté, New Caledonia

Good to know:

How do you get to the parc provinicial de la riviere bleue?

The park can be reached via the Route de Yaté from Nouméa. You will need a car to get there.

What is the entry fee to the parc provincial de la riviere bleue?

Entry per adult is 400F ($5.20AUD, 3,30€, £2.95, $4.00USD). Concessions are available with a valid card.

Specific entry times do apply so check on the day. Generally it is open Tuesday to Sunday from 7:00 until 17:00 and the latest time to enter the park is at 14:00.

How do you get to the Chute de la Madeleine?

From the Route de Yaté take the Route de Carénage

What is the entry fee to the Chute de la Madeleine?

Entry per adult is 400F ($5.20AUD, 3,30€, £2.95, $4.00USD). Concessions are available with a valid card.



 

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