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New Caledonia Travel Guide

La Foa

La Foa, 65 km northwest of La Tontouta Airport, is an alternative place to spend the night before catching a flight. It's an orderly Caldoche town surrounded by lush fields, acacia trees, and stately Araucaria columnaris pines. People from nearby farms and villages come to shop at La Foa's supermarkets, and there are two banks and a tourist office. Fairly frequent buses up the west coast stop in front of the post office. At the south entrance to La Foa is a small metal bridge erected in 1909 by two students of Gustave Eiffel.

To visit the abandoned farmhouse where independence activists Éloi Machoro and Marcel Noraro were murdered by French police snipers in 1985, take the road inland from opposite the BCI Bank in La Foa. The pavement ends after 2.5 km at a complex marked "Distribution d'eau de La Foa." Keep left here and straight ahead another 11.5 km on a dirt road along the La Foa River, until you see a building with a red tin roof to the right of the road. Lengths of cloth hang from trees in front of the house in memory of Machoro and Noraro.

The turnoff to Fort Teremba is 14 km west of La Foa, then it's another three km south on a paved road to the fort. Built by convict labor in 1874, Fort Teremba's round tower affords a good view of Teremba Bay and the surrounding area. Beyond Fort Teremba, a dirt road leads 5.5 km to Plage de Tanguy where you can camp free on the beach, though it's rather swampy and mosquito infested. No services are provided. On the way there you pass the territory's largest prawn farm.


Farino is on a cool hilltop overlooking the west coast, 3.5 km off the Canala road and 10 km from La Foa. The mairie is on the ridge as you enter the village, with the Carrefour Farino supermarket at a crossroads a km beyond. Another km along, if you take the left road at the junction, is a waterfall with a deep pool for diving (free admission). The second Sunday of each month, there's a big market at Farino.

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