Aerial view of the commune and the Mont-Dore massif in New Caledonia.Mont-Dore
©Mont-Dore|M. Dosdane


Between history and nature

Welcome to Mont-Dore, the gateway to the southern reaches of New Caledonia! Plunge into these vestiges of history and heritage, where nature embraces the sea, and remnants of the penal colony era punctuate the landscape.

As you depart from Nouméa to Mont-Dore in the south, take a moment to witness the evolving panorama: the soil transforms into a deeper shade of red, and the mining scrub becomes more prominent. Upon passing through the heart of Mont-Dore, a scent of adventure tantalises the senses of avid explorers! The natural landscapes, characteristic of the Great South, offer a perfect backdrop for a variety of activities, while forgotten villages stand as silent witnesses to times gone by. In the commune of Le Mont-Dore, specifically at Prony or Cap N’Dua, one can even catch sight of humpback whales from mid-July to mid-September…

Le Mont-Dore is a vast commune stretching south from Nouméa to the extreme south of Grande Terre. From Nouméa, it only takes about 30 minutes on the RP1 to reach the nearest places of interest, such as the start of the Mont-Dore trail. To visit points further south, such as Prony, simply continue along the picturesque, winding RP1 road. Keep in mind that this stretch is not recommended in bad weather, as the fords may prove impassable. Renting a car is certainly the best option for visiting the Great South and the commune of Mont-Dore, as it gives you access to a variety of locations. Day-long self-guided tours are also available from Nouméa.

Annually, in the austral winter, humpback whales embark on an impressive journey spanning nearly 8,000 kilometres to reach the balmy waters of New Caledonia. This migration coincides with their reproductive cycle, as they engage in mating, give birth, and partake in the early moments of their calves’ lives. Whale-watching excursions are arranged in the New Caledonian lagoon, offering enthusiasts the opportunity to witness these majestic creatures from mid-July to mid-September. Following this period, the cetaceans return to higher latitudes to resume feeding.

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Things to do in Mont-Dore