Visit to the Koumac caveVisit to the Koumac cave
©Visit to the Koumac cave|Eric Aubry

Koumac Caves

Ready to travel 180 million years back in time? The rocky massif of the Grottes de Koumac now exposes two intriguing formations carved from marble and karstic limestone. Free and open to the public, they are surrounded by lush flora characteristic of Caledonian forests, providing an enchanting experience. The initial cave offers an easy exploration suitable for all, including children. Meanwhile, its larger counterpart, the “Grande Grotte”, presents a more challenging adventure.

The Grottes de Koumac site is public, with free and unrestricted access. Public transport doesn’t go that far, so you’ll have to get there with your own rental car, unless you’ve opted for a personalised guided tour. From the centre of the commune of Koumac in the north-west of Grande Terre, it’s about a 8 kilometre distance. If you’re coming from the south, take the first exit at the church traffic circle, then right again once you’re on Avenue Georges Baudoux. A sign will direct you to the site on your left, 400 metres away. Once over the little bridge, you’ll have to turn right again and walk for another kilometre to reach the caves. The Grottes site is open to the public every day, from 6.30am to 6pm.

  • Equipment: bring two lamps (torch or headlamp), pants, closed shoes and drinking water.
  • A minimum of 2 people is required to tour the Grande Grotte.
  • Don’t forget to write down your names on the register available at the entrance before entering the cave.
  • For safety reasons, the site is closed in wet weather or at night.
Top 3 things to do on site

1. Explore the first cave with family

Welcome to the “Petite Grotte des Vents“, the first cave unveiled to explorers! This easily accessible cavern is perfect for family excursions, requiring just about twenty minutes for a complete round trip. With its lofty vault and ample natural illumination, even those with a fear of tight spaces will find this cave comfortably explorable. Equipped with a flashlight, visitors can marvel at diverse rock formations, observe bats, and appreciate the intertwined banyan roots and small hollows along the way.

2. Sink into the enchanting atmosphere of the Second Grotto

Situated a bit farther along the trail and stretching 380 metres, accessing it demands good physical fitness, involving an ascent right from the start. It’s not recommended for young children. Equip yourself with sturdy footwear, read the safety instructions at the base of the rocks, and get ready for an entrancing trip into a mystical setting, surrounded by silence and darkness! The complete tour lasts approximately 1 hour, and as you progress, use your lamp to observe the stone heaps that reflect Kanak culture. Avoid going beyond 380 metres as access is restricted due to gas concerns.

3. Picnic in the shade of trees

Indulge in a unique lunch experience in Northern Caledonia with a picnic right beside the Grottes de Koumac! The location offers a free camping area equipped with tables and sanitary facilities. Take in the soothing sounds of nature and the resident animals at the entrance of the underground galleries for an unforgettable experience.