North of Koumac
The paved coastal highway runs 56 km northwest of Koumac to the small town of Poum on Banaré Bay, with good views along the way. About 18.5 km north of Koumac is the entrance road to the Dôme de Tiébaghi mining area. From the main road the mining town is visible high up on the side of the 587-meter-high plateau. In 2002, Société le Nickel announced that it was increasing the output of this mine from 250,000 tones to a million tones a year.
There's isn't much to see in Poum village, but you can climb barren Mt. Poum (413 meters) in about an hour. You can camp freelance on the beach off the road to Poum wharf, opposite a small white church, but it's not a very attractive spot. Don't go off and leave your gear unattended here. There's no water tap, but the swimming is good. The bus back to Koumac leaves Poum three times a week.
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