The first Catholic missionaries arrived at Pouébo in 1847, but were soon driven off by the Kanak inhabitants. The unrelenting fathers returned in 1852 for a more successful second try at establishing a mission. A gold rush here in the 1860s led to much French land grabbing and a Kanak revolt.
Pouébo Mission Church dates from 1874, and it's worth visiting for its stained glass. At the entrance is a relic of Hippolyte Bonou, the first local chief to convert to Catholicism, who died on the Isle of Pines in 1867. The tomb of the colony's first Catholic priest, Guillaume Douarre, who died at Ballade in 1853, is inside the church.
Continue to Hienghène and the North: Balade to Ouégoa »