Cascade de Wadiana

Goro, South Province, New Caledonia

About Cascade de Wadiana


Hiking Distance: roadside
Suggested Time:

Date first visited: 2015-11-30
Date last visited: 2015-11-30

Waterfall Latitude: -22.29394
Waterfall Longitude: 167.01282

Cascade de Wadiana (I’ve also seen it spelled Wadjana) surprised both Julie and I with its size.

We were kind of expecting a much smaller waterfall that would probably be known more as a swimming hole.

Yate_299_11292015 - Cascade de Wadiana
Cascade de Wadiana

However, as you can see from the picture above, if you combine the swimming experience at its plunge pool with the grand scene of this multi-tiered cascade, you have the makings of a memorable spot!

Indeed, we noticed that the plunge pool had lots of fish, and the waterfall itself was just upstream from the South Pacific Ocean.

In fact, Julie and I thought this waterfall was prettier than the Chutes de la Madeleine Waterfall not that far away from here.

In any case, this waterfall was not only beautiful and a good place for a swim, but it was also very accessible.

After all, it was pretty much right off the road in the remote southeast coast of the Grande Terre Island.

Experiencing Cascade de Wadiana

Yate_270_11292015 - When the sun came out, we got this nice look across the plunge pool fronting the Cascade de Wadiana
When the sun came out, we got this nice look across the plunge pool fronting the Cascade de Wadiana

We were able to access the Cascade de Wadiana after a short rock scramble from the pullout next to the road (see directions below).

After less than a minute of the rock scramble, we were pretty much right by the rocky banks of the plunge pool of the waterfall.

As we scrambled to the outlet of the stream, we could also see that just downstream from the road bridge was the coastal reef and lagoon protecting the coast from the bigger waves further away from land.

Something peculiar about our visit to Cascade de Wadiana was that there were several smoldering patches of something burning (rubbish maybe?).

Yate_306_11292015 - Looking down at one of the smoldering piles strewn about the front of the Cascade de Wadiana that really reduced the air quality here
Looking down at one of the smoldering piles strewn about the front of the Cascade de Wadiana that really reduced the air quality here

There was a local living right across the road from the falls, and I’d imagine they were the ones who set up the smoking piles.

That created some pretty nasty air quality in the area, and we weren’t sure if those were set up to keep mosquitos away or to keep people away.

That was probably the one thing that kept us from lingering here much longer as our lungs were taking a beating from the smoke that was pervasive.

When I walked onto the single-lane road bridge nearest to the falls, I was able to see that there was a hard-to-see upper tier way up on the mountain before it disappeared into the foliage.

Yate_258_11292015 - Context of the road side for the Cascade de Wadiana and the bridge between the falls itself and the lagoon
Context of the road side for the Cascade de Wadiana and the bridge between the falls itself and the lagoon

That kind of gave me a sense of just how tall this waterfall was though it didn’t seem to have an official measure (I’m guessing it was in the neighborhood of 60m or more).

In any case, our visit lasted about 15 minutes before our lungs couldn’t take much more of the smoke.

Authorities

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

Yate_229_11292015 - Beyond the turnoff for Chute de la Madeleine, the RP3 rose towards the Col de Yate, which afforded us this view of Lac de Yate and the Riviere Bleue in the distance as we looked west
Yate_261_11292015 - This was the partial view of the uppermost tiers of Cascade de Wadiana as seen from the bridge
Yate_284_11292015 - Direct look across the plunge pool at the Cascade de Wadiana
Yate_304_11292015 - Julie checking out Cascade de Wadiana from across the plunge pool
Yate_311_11292015 - South of Cascade de Wadiana, the road continued to degenerate into a red dirt road as it passed the old nickel mine at Goro
Yate_340_11292015 - Finally, the road beyond Goro and towards Plum became full of potholes as the unpaved parts became paved. It almost made me wish the road stayed unpaved

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Since the Cascade de Wadiana was roughly an hour’s drive further to the east of Chute de la Madeleine, we’ll punt you to that page for directions on getting out of Noumea and its suburbs to the RP3 along the shores of Lac de Yate.

The turnoff for Chute de la Madeleine was roughly 64km northeast of Noumea.

From that signposted turnoff leaving the RP3, continue east on the RP3 (instead of turning inland towards the Chutes de la Madeleine), and take this road for the next 12.5km.

Yate_251_11292015 - Looking towards the far southeastern side of Grande Terre Island on the way to Yate and ultimately the Cascade de Wadiana from a lookout by the RP3 on the Col de Yate
Looking towards the far southeastern side of Grande Terre Island on the way to Yate and ultimately the Cascade de Wadiana from a lookout by the RP3 on the Col de Yate

This road went up and over the Col de Yate, where we were able to make a couple of scenic stops to look west towards the Lac de Yate and east towards the Pacific Ocean.

Then, we kept right to cross the bridge and continue heading south of Yate.

Beyond the town, the road started to degenerate from paved with lots of long speed bumps to mosty gravel (still with speed bumps).

Roughly another 21km south of Yate, we crossed over a bridge where a signpost pointed out the Cascade de Wadiana to our right.

Yate_309_11292015 - Context of the Route de Goro road and the pullout across from Snack Vie Moro and next to the Cascade de Wadiana
Context of the Route de Goro road and the pullout across from Snack Vie Moro and next to the Cascade de Wadiana

Immediately after the bridge, there was a long enough pullout to accommodate a handful of cars, and this was where we stopped.

Our drive took us 80 minutes from Chute de la Madeleine, but I’d imagine it would be around 1 hour without stops (thus it would be around 3 hours from Noumea).

While it may be tempting to look at the map and think that it might be slightly shorter to drive to the Cascade de Wadiana from the southern approach, we wouldn’t recommend it (unless you’ve allowed yourself plenty of time).

That’s because the road between Goro and Plum was full of potholes and steep hills.

Yate_335_11292015 - The brutally long and slow-going road between Cascade de Wadiana and Plum on the far southern end of Grande Terre Island
The brutally long and slow-going road between Cascade de Wadiana and Plum on the far southern end of Grande Terre Island

That said, there were some interesting sights like the remnants of the nickel mine at Goro as well as an ecolodge near the Baie de Boise.

There was also an unsightly industrial area at Prony, which I’d imagine where the current nickel extraction and processing went on (thereby powering the economy of New Caledonia given how many people it seemed to employ).

Checking out the waterfall at first from the road bridge then going by some smoldering smoke piles before checking out the waterfall and plunge pool full of fish

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Tagged with: goro, yate, south province, grande terre, new caledonia, waterfall, wadiana



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Johnny Cheng

About Johnny Cheng

Johnny Cheng is the founder of the World of Waterfalls and author of 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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