Spot Quest in Paradise by Sebastian Grubinger

About 3 years ago Michael Husser told me he is going to live in New Caledonia. First thing I did was to google it. I had no idea where it´s located and found out it´s an island in the South Pacific Ocean - far away!

Since Michael moved there he kept telling me over and over to visit him. The pictures he sent me were simply incredible. A Paradise! Well, from Austria it´s not a weekend trip so I wasn´t sure if I will ever make it.

Finally me and my girl, Simone, decided to go on bit longer holidays than usual and we ended up booking our flights: A 30 hours trip from Vienna to Sydney and finally to Noumea, the capital of New Caledonia.


In Sydney we stayed a few days with Paul Chamberlain, his wife Jenny and their daughter Bea. Thanks a lot for your hospitality and being perfect tourist guides! We enjoyed it a lot!

The real adventure started with leaving Sydney to Noumea. We didn´t really know what will come up but finally the whole trip exceeded all our expectations.

New Caledonia belongs to France, there is hardly any tourism. I think without Michael´s and Maguy´s help we would have been kind of lost. Thanks so much at this point!

They supported us to plan our time there: the trip around the main island, the trip to Ile des Pins, a smaller island close to New Caledonia and the weekend on that tiny, lonely island which was as big as a proper contest flatland spot. Everything turned out crazy good!!!


After our arrival we chilled in Noumea at Michaels place to organise a rental car, check out the capital of the island and ride a bit at Michael’s home spot, the BB courts known from his Heresy edit “AWAY”.

The first trip to the South of the island showed us how divers New Caledonia is: Red Soil, big nickel mines, a Mountain with a beautiful barrier lake and next to this, amazing beaches with tons of palm trees (btw, I love palm trees :-).

Back in the capital we put our stuff together to prepare for a 10 days trip around the island. We went up North, close to Boulouparis, to camp in kind of a national park. You drive your car about an hour in the middle of nowhere to arrive at a huge beach with a small “hippie-built” hut – called “Hilton”. A beautiful place to relax, do BBQ and I also found a tiny place to ride before breakfast ;-) We stayed around this area for about 2 days.


Our next drive took us to Voh, a nice beach where we just stayed a couple hours to swim and film a short clip on a small covered spot next to the beach. From there we took a few dirt roads to the northernmost place of New Caledonia, Poingam. Within a few hours driving you arrive at a resort surrounded by amazing exotic plants, a huge beach with calm water and delicious local food at the camping.


The road to the East goes through divers environment that change every few kilometres. Sometimes you feel like in Ireland with grass hills, suddenly in the Austrian Alps and finally you arrive on a Caribbean coast. On this coast I found an old BB court right next to the ocean where I got to ride a couple hours in the midday sun. The floor was crazy bumpy and even the sun protection 50+ had a hard job to protect my skin properly, but I enjoyed the session a lot.

Our way along the coast, down to Thio, showed us so many amazing places, way too many to list them here.

Finally a shitty track road, definitely the worst road I’ve ever been driving (2h for 13km up- and downhill) took us to the best camping ever.

A place without people, a huge beautiful beach with clear water, exotic plants and a small concrete flat that made it possible to play around on my bike daily. Pure holidays!


Michael picked us up 3 nights later to go to a lonely island. A 30 minutes boat ride between 2,5 meters waves made us discover a tiny island. Walking around took us not even 5 minutes. Building the camp and hunting fish and lobster was the only thing to do, followed by chilling, eating coconuts and having a delicious BBQ before going to sleep under a bright starry sky. Crazy experience to be alone on an island without the chance to leave (the boat picks you up the next day).

After one day riding in Noumea we headed to Ile des Pins, one of a few islands in New Caledonia’s territory. It’s known for its white sand beaches and the clearest water. Beach and water – not more to say.

Everyplace we went to was amazing. We got to sleep on the most beautiful beaches on small camp grounds, spent a weekend on that tiny islands hunting, having BBQ and finally eating fish and lobster. We swam in the clearest water with white sand beaches, snorkelled at crazy places and enjoyed pure nature.


And most of the time we were alone! No other people at the camping, nobody at the beach, and also nobody on the island.

Nature is wonderful, it´s something very relaxing which gives lots of energy. To hang out on the beach, walk in a forest or simply be surrounded by palm trees and other exotic plants frees my mind. It has similar effects on me as riding has. And riding on a spot surrounded by nature is something even more special, something beautiful for me!

But now imagine an island with all its amazing beaches, exotic plants, lakes, kind of jungles, dirt roads... imagine a natural paradise!

Only a small number of population, hardly any tourism, no big hotels, not the kind of supermarkets we are used to, no parking, bumpy streets...

Where can you ride?

This edit is not about “hardcore” flatland or new tricks. It´s about a trip, an adventure, to a diverse island where I also found a few places I spent time on with my bike.

Some of them I usually won´t ride. They were too small or very bumpy, some I wouldn´t even consider being a flatland spot. But I felt like riding and the ambience of these places made this feelings even stronger. So I rode what I found and I enjoyed it a lot, even if it was hard sometimes to get a clip!


2014-04-01 - Sebastian Grubinger