Pronounced hee-yain-gain, this small town on the northeast coast of the main island lies in the middle of some of the island's finest scenery and is the emotional heart of the Kanak independence movement. South of town are the Linderalique cliffs—immense limestone cliffs riddled with caves and coves that provide homes for swallows and flying foxes (hire a guide in the village to explore the caves). The cliffs at the entrance to Hienghene offer a gorgeous view of the harbor and its two enormous natural rock sculptures, the Sphinx and the Brooding Hen. The town itself has a Kanak cultural center (a small museum and examples of traditional Kanak architecture). 150 mi/240 km northwest of Noumea.

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