The vast Parc Provincial de la Rivière Bleue nature reserve lies at the heart of the Great Southern Massif. It stretches over 22,000 hectares and comprises the Haute Yaté and Haute Pourina nature reserves. The Rivière Bleue reserve, which was created in 1980, is dedicated to the protection and conservation of the outstanding natural heritage of plant and wildlife species found within its boundaries; to encouraging recreational and educational activities designed to appeal to schoolchildren and the general public, thanks to the wealth of well-planned nature trails and a special exhibition centre; and to the advancement of scientific research into the reserve’s unique plant and wildlife conducted by leading researchers from all over the world.
Between the Yaté barrier lake and the drowned forest to the east and the “Montagne des Sources” strict nature reserve/wilderness area to the west, the Rivière Bleue reserve shelters an immense diversity of species: gum oaks, kauris, including one 1,000 year old specimen, houp trees, including the famous giant houp, araucarias, including one growing inside a houp tree, tree ferns, palm trees, orchids and a host of endemic species such as Syzygium acre. Three rivers flow through the reserve, the Mois de Mai River, the Blanche River and the Bleue River, which forms waterfalls at several points. This outstanding nature reserve is home to most of New Caledonia’s bird species, such as the endemic kagu which has prospered as a result of a conservation and reintroduction program orchestrated by the South Province. Nature trails and tracks, on foot or mountain bike (for hire on the spot), picnic areas, a shuttle service, bivouacking... there are so many ways to explore and enjoy the wonders of the Parc de la Rivière Bleue! Further information, tel. 43.61.24.