After the longer Malawi Peak hike yesterday, I’ve got a couple of hours free time today – not enough to justify hiring a car, but just enough to find something near my hotel. I’m fortunate that Ouen Toro (“The Southern Hill”) is a few minutes walk away from Le Meridien, and has a network of trails through the 60 hectare park. The Ouen Toro city park includes a dry forest, which is one of the last surviving ones in Nouméa. There are signs at most of the junctions, indicating the grade of track. The first trail is pretty easy, as it ascends the hill.
A bit further there’s a junction, and we (I’m joined by one of my work colleagues who’s attending the conference) take a narrower and less travelled track up towards the lookout at the top.
At the top of the 128m hill is a lookout (which is also accessible by car), featuring two Australian cannons from World War II.
From the lookout there’s 360-degree view over the city, the lagoon and the mountain foothills, including excellent views over Anse Vata and Baie des Citrons. It’s especially nice with the late afternoon light.
After taking some photos, we continue over the other side of the hill. A track heads directly down from the road a short distance from the lookout.
Unlike some of the other trails, this one is pretty rough and worn, as it heads down to a lower lookout area on the eastern side of Ouen Toro.
There’s more nice views from here over the coast, as the sun begins to set.
Another 15min down a wide trail, and we’re back by the water again, near a jetty and on the Promenade Pierre Vernier. It’s a pleasant walk back along the shoreline to our hotel…
…just in time to catch the sunset!