The administrative hub of the northeast coast, this village of 3,900 also serves as a jumping-off point for scuba diving and exploring the rocky, atmospheric coastline. Formerly a stronghold of the Caldoches but now primarily Kanak, Poindimie spans the Poindimie River, which flows down from the central mountains. Be sure to check out the local World War II memorial on a hill in front of the BCI bank. (The town was founded during the war and still retains a few steel Quonset huts built for storage by U.S. forces.) There are plenty of beaches around town for swimming, and nearby valleys offer excellent hiking. Particularly lovely is the valley belonging to the Napoemien clan, located south of Poindimie (you can stay overnight at the clan's gite, or guesthouse). 120 mi/200 km northwest of Noumea.

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