Oundjo Lagoon in KonéOundjo Lagoon in Koné
©Oundjo Lagoon in Koné|Oneye Production

24 hours in the "VKP" region

Anaëlle and Steven's good ideas

The Voh-Koné-Pouembout region, or “VKP” as the Caledonians call it, took us by surprise. We began our day with a gyrocopter flight over the heart of Voh and the Koné lagoon, where we enjoyed counting underwater fauna from the sky. Breathtaking views, an introduction to river fishing, and a night spent at a ranch at the foot of Koniambo all contributed to our unique experience. Today, we offer you a first glimpse of this northern tip of the West Coast and the extraordinary adventures you’ll go on to discover its hidden treasures.

Anaëlle and StevenAnaëlle and Steven
©Anaëlle and Steven
Anaëlle and Steven

Anaëlle and Steven are content creators who have recently settled in New Caledonia. For NCT, they agreed to share their favourite places and other good ideas, which they document in photos and videos during their getaways. From the mainland to the islands, from their favourite walks to the best shopping spots, Anaëlle and Steven take you on a journey to discover the must-see attractions in New Caledonia. Follow their adventures on @anaellechretienoff and @stevenlqr.

What we really love about New Caledonia is the diversity of its landscapes, from the sea to the mountains.

Anaëlle and Steven

Taking a gyrocopter flight over the heart of Voh

A must!
The perfect #Christmas present, #fly over the Heart of Voh! 😍🛩💚
The perfect #Christmas present, #fly over the Heart of Voh! 😍🛩💚
The perfect #Christmas present, #fly over the Heart of Voh! 😍🛩💚

If we had to summarise our exploration of this part of the Northwest Coast in just one word, it would be ‘Wow!’. Our first activity of the day, the flight over the Heart of Voh and the lagoon from Koné airfield, had a lot to do with it.

We’d booked the one-hour gyrocopter trip with Hibisair to get the full thrill, and we really didn’t see the time fly by. What’s more, the conditions were ideal. Apparently the ground tour is fun too (find out more in the Good to know section).

For Anaëlle, it’s THE most beautiful activity we’ve done since we arrived in New Caledonia and flying as a duo makes the experience even more intense because, even if you’re not in the same plane, you can truly share a special moment by seeing the things simultaneously.

Counting the inhabitants of Koné's lagoon

was also a thrilling experience

As well as the crazy contrast, what really stood out for us were the animals: we weren’t expecting to see so many! Sharks, dugongs, at least a dozen turtles, manta rays… it was extraordinary! And the pilot didn’t hesitate to descend for a closer look.

Even though we already imagined it would be beautiful, the lagoon was still beyond our expectations. The impressive blue hole of Oundjo and the sacred history that surrounds it, the reef that wows, the mangrove swamps of the Heart… when you see all this, you tell yourself that nature is truly beautiful and unique.

We couldn’t stop smiling for an hour, not knowing where to look because it’s so easy to spot everything in the water. You also hear a lot about the magnificent Poé lagoon, but the Koné lagoon is certainly just as stunning.

Climbing Tia Plateau for unique views

Back on land, we decided to get a bit of exercise by exploring the area around Pouembout and climbing the Tia plateau. The 4 km trail can be accessed from the town’s entrance, where you’ll find parking and an information board to find out more about your route.

Although the start of the path climbs steeply, the top is soon reached, so it’s not too difficult. It only takes two hours to get there and back, but it’s a good idea to bring plenty of water, especially in the warmer months.

Throughout the walk, we were surrounded by the typical vegetation of the area, red earth that looks like sand, and always the lagoon in the background. It reminded us of the contrasts we loved in Deva and Prony because the viewpoints here also give onto incredible landscapes.

Trying ultralight fishing in the river

with Micky Mouche

After lunch, we joined Michael, also known as Micky Mouche, in Pouembout for an introduction to river fly-fishing and, more specifically, to ultra-light fishing. We really enjoyed a quiet afternoon listening to the sound of the water and had a great time in his company.

He’s a great listener, and he’s always ready to give advice to pass on his know-how and instill passion. We even caught a jungle perch (or New Caledonian carp), which Micky is passionate about, but because he cares deeply for nature, we let it go.

Micky Mouche also offers activities at sea. Note that you’ll need a car to get to his house and then follow him to the river. He doesn’t accept card payments, so remember to withdraw cash or bring a check.

A real bushman's night at the Koniambo gîte

Our last discovery of the day was the Koniambo gîte, run by Cyrielle and her partner at the foot of the massif of the same name. Built near the village of Voh, it has its own farm, which we rushed to see as soon as we arrived.

The gîte is comfortable, very quiet and has a real cosy feel, a bit like a small ranch. It’s perfect for families as they can take part in activities with the animals and the friendly managers

We loved the view of the sheep when we opened the curtains in the bungalow, and the wooden terrace for breakfast. If you don’t feel like cooking, Cyrielle will bring your dinner to the terrace. The service is top-notch, as is her pavlova passion: we’d never had one like it!

A few good addresses to complete your experience

In addition to these intense 24 hours, we were able to try out a few good addresses in the area. As Nouméa is a 3-hour drive from Koné, we decided to sleep in the area so that we could start our day early the next day.

For our first night, we chose the Pacifik Appartel (or Pacifik Koné), and it was really great. The small studios with kitchen and TV are very well-equipped and close to the shops if you want to get something to eat. The pool is clean and the staff friendly.

We also recommend the Hotel Hibiscus’ restaurant, where we had a delicious meal. The meat was excellent, and you can dine in different settings, outdoors or indoors. The hotel, which has a pretty garden, also offers various packages including overnight stays and flights over the heart of Voh.

If you’re looking for a cool, unusual little spot that lives up to its name, we recommend the Container Café in Koné, where you can eat on the go or take your time. The produce is fresh and our galettes and chocolate desserts were served quickly.

Good to know

The Heart of Voh:

Immortalised by photographer Yann Arthus-Bertrand, the heart of Voh can also be seen from the ground. It’s a 2½ hour guided or solo hike up Mount Kathépaïk, or it can also be reached directly via the mangrove swamp on a guided tour.

The flight with Hibisair:

No need to overburden yourself before the gyrocopter or Ulm flight. In addition to the safety instructions, the service provider offers a warm jacket for the cold, and a Go pro service (optional) to film the 30-minute or hour-long outing. Participants in duo or trio flights can communicate with each other using the radio.

Anaëlle and Steven's good ideas

Find out more about all their adventures!