Cascade de Ba

Houailou / Tribu de Ba, North Province, New Caledonia

About Cascade de Ba


Hiking Distance: almost roadside
Suggested Time:

Date first visited: 2015-11-27
Date last visited: 2015-11-27

Waterfall Latitude: -21.19731
Waterfall Longitude: 165.55319

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Cascade de Ba (I’ve also seen it spelled Cascade de Baa) was a rather obscure waterfall on the southern end of the North Province’s east coast despite it being mentioned on several maps and guidebooks.

The big reason for this obscurity was that it wasn’t explicitly signposted, which made finding this waterfall a challenge for us.

Cascade_de_Ba_033_11262015 - One of the lowermost of the waterfalls downstream of Cascade de Ba
One of the lowermost of the waterfalls downstream of Cascade de Ba

In fact, even though we were at the correct stream, apparently, we didn’t go far enough upstream to get to the actual waterfall.

Instead, all we had to show for our efforts were a bunch of smaller cascades on a stream that didn’t seem to have much water anyways.

We’ll describe in the directions below, which bridge and which unpaved road was the correct one.

Cascade de Ba – Learning from Our Mistakes

I debated whether or not to even have this writeup since we didn’t actually see the correct waterfall.

But I figured that since we got the correct stream and access road, we mind as well tell you what we did see, and where we made our mistake.

Cascade_de_Ba_005_11262015 - Looking upstream from the road bridge over the Ba Stream
Looking upstream from the road bridge over the Ba Stream

Anyways, most of the waterfall shots that we’re showing on this page are pretty much right off the local access road.

The key tipoff was that there was a shack by the road next to the unpaved access road, which itself was on the north side of the bridge traversing the stream.

Pursuing the Lower Cascades downstream of the Cascade de Ba

The photo you see at the top of this page was actually the lowermost of the cascades on the Ba Stream, and it was downstream from the road bridge (which you can also see in the photo).

I got there by walking downstream (as opposed to upstream) from the bridge opposite the access road and shack.

Cascade_de_Ba_043_11262015 - Pursuing what appeared to be an informal 4wd tractor road downstream from the road bridge and towards the lower cascades of the Cascade de Ba
Pursuing what appeared to be an informal 4wd tractor road downstream from the road bridge and towards the lower cascades of the Cascade de Ba

Then, at an intersection further down this road (that was too rough to drive), I saw a sloping path on my right going back down to the base of the stream.

There were kayaks and hanging clothes here, but this was where the frontal view of that lowermost waterfall was at.

I didn’t know if I was trespassing or not, but I’d imagine that this would be a fine spot for a kayak or a swim.

Pursuing the Cascade de Ba

Anyways, the mistake that we made in terms of trying to find Cascade de Ba was that we didn’t take the access road inland from the shack far enough.

Cascade_de_Ba_029_11262015 - The road and shack just on the north end of the bridge over the Ba Stream that we suspected went up to the Cascade de Ba (eventually)
The road and shack just on the north end of the bridge over the Ba Stream that we suspected went up to the Cascade de Ba (eventually)

Even though we had spoken to a local on the bridge saying we were on the right stream and pointing upstream from the bridge, I guess we underestimated what he meant by going all the way up.

So we weren’t as determined when we went about as far as someone’s house that appeared to prevent access further inland.

Again, not wanting to trespass, we turned back and parked the car near a bamboo stalk, and there were a few more short but wide dropoffs, where we thought the Cascade de Ba was supposed to be.

It was only in hindsight after the trip was over did we realize that the actual waterfall itself was much further upstream past the house we turned around at.

Cascade_de_Ba_018_11262015 - The Ba Stream bed somewhere upstream from the road bridge but downstream of the house where we suspected we had turned around too soon
The Ba Stream bed somewhere upstream from the road bridge but downstream of the house where we suspected we had turned around too soon

We had read that access to the falls was around 100 CFP per car and 100 CFP per person, and perhaps it was that house that was collecting the fees (we’re not sure since nothing was signposted).

Authorities

Cascade de Ba resides near Poindimie in the Northern Province of Grande Terre Island, New Caledonia. To my knowledge, it is not administered by a formal agency, but its access trail passes through private property. For information or inquiries about the area as well as current conditions, you might get leads from this website.

Cascade_de_Ba_023_11262015 - Looking downstream from the road bridge over the Ba Stream, where I knew there was a cascade tier down below
Cascade_de_Ba_030_11262015 - A narrow track that I pursued downstream from the road bridge to get closer to the lower cascade on the Ba Stream
Cascade_de_Ba_032_11262015 - Looking towards a mostly dry lower cascade that I suspect was the lowermost of the Cascade de Ba (or at least a waterfall downstream from it) fronting the road bridge
Cascade_de_Ba_040_11262015 - Looking towards someone's kayak near the foot of the lowermost of the cascades on the Ba Stream
Cascade_de_Ba_044_11262015 - Looking back towards the south at the road bridge again after having made my brief out-and-back excursion to the lowermost of the cascades on the Ba Stream
Cascade_de_Ba_047_11262015 - Back at the unpaved access road leading inland from the RPN3 towards Cascade de Ba
Cascade_de_Ba_003_11262015 - Looking back along the narrow unpaved local road that I suspected led up to the Cascade de Ba
Cascade_de_Ba_006_11262015 - One of the pools of water on the Ba Stream that I suspected was well downstream of the actual Cascade de Ba
Cascade_de_Ba_007_11262015 - Looking across a wide but short cascade (or what would have been a cascade) on the Ba Stream that I had mistakenly thought was Cascade de Ba, but it turned out that I was well downstream from it
Cascade_de_Ba_014_11262015 - Looking across one of the few flowing sections of the Ba Stream somewhere downstream of the actual Cascade de Ba
Cascade_de_Ba_018_11262015 - Looking across another rocky section of the Ba Stream that I thought could have been the Cascade de Ba, but it turned out that I was too far downstream from it

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Since Julie and I stayed at Hotel Tieti near Poindimie, we’ll start by describing the driving directions due south from here.

Basically after turning left to go south on the RPN3 road, we’d take this drive for about 59.5km (initially passing through the sizable town of Poindimie then through other smaller villages en route).

Eventually, we’d reach a sign indicating that we were entering La Tribu de Ba, and it was within this local village that we should’ve been looking for the bridge containing the Ba Stream.

Cascade_de_Ba_002_11262015 - Looking up the road towards a tiny pullout where we stopped the car (prematurely) in pursuit of the Cascade de Ba
Looking up the road towards a tiny pullout where we stopped the car (prematurely) in pursuit of the Cascade de Ba

It turned out that there was a shack adjacent to an access road on the right just before the correct bridge, and it was this access road that we should take.

During our visit, we actually overshot this bridge and access road because there were no signs indicating this waterfall.

We only found it when we backtracked and happened to ask a local who just so happened to be at this bridge.

Going in the other direction from the roundabout (near the town of Houailou and the access road leading through Col des Rousettes while crossing the mountains to the town of Bourail), the bridge and access road was about 13.3km further to the north.

Cascade_de_Ba_026_11262015 - Looking across the road bridge over the Ba Stream towards the turnoff and shack to the left just beyond this bridge (heading north)
Looking across the road bridge over the Ba Stream towards the turnoff and shack to the left just beyond this bridge (heading north)

Just on the north side of the bridge was the access road and shack on the left.

Where we made the mistake was that we should’ve taken this access road far inland to get all the way to the Cascade de Ba.

We stopped way short of the mark when we thought we were about to trespass through someone’s property.

In hindsight, we should’ve persisted until we knew for sure that the road ended and some form of payment or interacting with the local landowner would be necessary.

Finally, for reference, it was roughly a 3.5-hour drive between Cascade de Ba and the Noumea domestic airport at the suburb of Magenta (on the east side of Noumea) via the RT3 via Bourail and Houailou and into the Tribu de Ba.

View of a wide dropoff in the rock that I thought was Cascade de Ba, but it turned out that I didn't get far upstream enough. In any case, the stream didn't have much water

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Tagged with: houailou, tribu de ba, poindimie, north province, new caledonia, grande terre, waterfall, swim, swimming



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Johnny Cheng is the founder of the World of Waterfalls and author of the award-winning A Guide to New Zealand Waterfalls. Over the last 2 decades, he has visited thousands of waterfalls in over 40 countries around the world and nearly 40 states in the USA.
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