Koumac

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WorldSouth PacificNew CaledoniaKoumac
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20°34.83′S, 164°16.42′E
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Local chartlet

Koumac is a town of about 3,500 people in the far north of Grande Terre. It has the only substantial marina on the west coast outside of Noumea. The town offers a wide range of services including several supermarkets, a bakery, post office, fuel, Mairie (local council offices), hospital, car rental, tourism centre and a variety of interesting local tourist attractions. It is the last population centre of any size when heading north along the coast.

Cruising the region

Koumac provides an excellent base from which to explore the Northern Lagoon and a great opportunity to restock either before or after venturing further north.


Charts

See New Caledonia.

Weather

Local weather conditions?

Sources for Weather forecasts:
Local forecasts are, of course, in French, but non-French speakers should find them relatively easy to understand. A very useful vocabulary can be found at How to Understand French Weather Forecasts for Sailors.

The main source of weather information for the area around New Caledonia is Meteo France Nouvelle-Calédonie. The marine section provides a 6 day forecast for the whole region, with details for each of the passes through the barrier reef.

Nouméa radio broadcasts the weather report in French on VHF 16, everyday at 6:30, 9:30, 15:15, 18:30.

There is a set of repeater channels allowing receipt of weather info anywhere in the country:

  • Nouméa area: VHF 26
  • Southern portion of the Grande Terre: VHF 28
  • Isle of Pines and the Southern Lagoon: VHF 25
  • Grande Terre North West coast: VHF 25
  • Northern portion of Grande Terre: VHF 24
  • Ouvea: VHF 23
  • Lifou: VHF 26
  • Maré: VHF 87

Passages

Popular passages/routes, timing, etc.

Islands

List Islands

Navigation

Details?

Entrance

Koumac is not currently a Port of Entry.

Some crews have left their boats in the Pandop Marina, bused to Noumea, completed departure formalities and returned to Koumac by bus to depart. It is not certain that this approach is actually legal, so it is recommended that you seek advice from Customs before doing this.

Berthing

Marinas & Yacht Clubs

Port Koumac including the commercial harbour and Pandop Marina

Pandop Marina is about 3km (1/2 hours walk ) from the town of Koumac. The marina is small and may not have spare berths, but the Port Captain will attempt to accommodate you if he can. The entrance to the marina is relatively tight and is shared with the local commercial fishing fleet, so care should be exercised on entering the marina. It may be possible to contact the Port Captain on VHF 67, but be prepared to converse in French. If you are uncertain about entering the marina, continue eastwards passed the entrance and anchor off the beach a short distance further on. Dinghy ashore and find the Port Captain.

Port Captains Office at Pandop Marina

The Port Captain is most hospitable and the local yacht owners are very friendly. There is a fuel jetty. Water and power are available. Showers and laundry facilities are available through the Port Captain.

It is a pleasant stroll into the town, but you are just as likely to be offered a ride if you start walking.

Anchorages

  • It is possible to anchor in Anse de Koumac, off the beach, a short distance past the Pandop marina.

Yacht Repairs and Services

Marine Stores

There is a hardware store (quincaillerie) in Koumac.

Repairs/Yards

There is no slip facility in Koumac. Most yachts return to Noumea to slip.

Fuel, Water, & Electricity

Fuel
Fuel is available from a fuel jetty in the Pandop Marina
Water
Water is available in the Pandop Marina.
Electricity
Power is available in the Pandop marina

Things to do Ashore

Tourism

The old mining town of Tiebaghi in the NW of New Caledonia
  • Koumac Tourisme will assist with information, car hire, hotel bookings and other information.
  • A tour to the old mining village of Thiebaghi is much more interesting than it might sound. This takes you high into the hills above Koumac, with stunning views in all directions. Thiebaghi provides a fascinating insight into the impact of mining on the history of New Caledonia and the amazing cross cultural mix that has result from this particular mine. Contact the Tourism Centre for information.
  • The Koumac Grottos are large caves close to the town. It is recommended that you obtain a guide to visit the caves.

Grocery & Supply Stores

There are several substantial supermarkets in Koumac. It is one of the best places outside Noumea to restock the boat.

Eateries

  • Le Skipper - next to the Port Captains office.
  • There are a number of restaurants around Koumac

Internet/WiFi

The Port Captain has internet services available in his office.

Laundry

See the Port Captain.

Motorbike & Car Rentals

Contact the Tourism Centre

Garbage Disposal

There are bins at the Pandop Marina

Transportation

  • There is a bus service to Noumea.
  • Air Caledonie flys between Koumac and Noumea.

Friends

Contact details of "Cruiser's Friends" that can be contacted for local information or assistance.

Forums

List links to discussion threads on partnering forums. (see link for requirements)

Links

References & Publications

See New Caledonia.

Comments

We welcome users' contributions to the Wiki. Please click on Comments to view other users' comments, add your own personal experiences or recommend any changes to this page following your visit.

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Names: Lighthouse, Pedro,


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