Having completed a wonderful island tour, walked the length of Kanumera Bay and relaxed a bit with friends on the gorgeous Kuto Beach there were still a couple of hours left before our cruise ship was scheduled to leave the Ile des Pins.
I had planned on hiking up Pic N’ga, the highest point on the island and easily accessible from Kuto Beach. While I felt I could have fitted the walk in (advertised as 1.5 – 2 hrs max duration) I had read that the track was not wonderfully well marked so there was a risk that I would arrive back too late. Not wanting to test if my sway was sufficient to persuade the captain of a cruise ship carrying 2000 other passengers and a crew of 1000 to await my return I relented and, with a few others, just returned to the ship for a late lunch – of quite nice pizza, as it were. I include this short review for completeness and to exhort you to consider the walk, if time permits.
Even if you don’t make it up to the peak, 262 metres high, you must certainly admire it from Kuto Beach and from the bay, as I did. I can but imagine the beautiful panoramic views of the lagoon, bays, island and surrounding islets from the top – something for next time.
I do like how the peak has a clump of pines on its summit. It was from these tall native pines (Araucaria columnaris), found all over the island and endemic to New Caledonia, that the island got its name, given to it by Captain Cook when he passed by, en route to New Zealand, in 1774. Also at the summit, and you can hopefully just make it out from my third photo, is a simple wooden cross. I have not been able to ascertain why this is here.
I understand there may be a small fee required to climb to the summit (XPF 100, to be left in a box at a hut at the start of the path near Kuto). Be sure to wear study shoes, sunscreen and a hat (other clothing, to taste, also advisable) and carry at least a litre of water per person.
This blog entry is one of a group (loop) of entries based on my trip to Ile des Pins, New Caledonia. I suggest you continue with my next entry – Souvenir Shopping on the Ile des Pins – or to start the loop at the beginning go to my introductory entry – No Hurries, No Worries.