Vanuatu & New Caledonia: travel books to read before you go

This excerpt from Lonely Planet’s Vanuatu & New Caledonia guide provides a selection of travel literature to get you in the mood for your trip.

South Pacific Literature: From Myth to Fabulation by Subramani covers regional literature and includes work by ni-Vanuatu and Kanak writers.

Pacifica by Nadine Amadio is fascinating storytelling about local myths and traditions, along with superb photography to illustrate them. It covers all the Pacific islands.

Art in the New Pacific by Vilsoni Tausie explores Melanesian art, dance, sculpture and oral traditions.

Pacific by Judy Nunn is a tale of love, passion and sex that tracks the lives of two women in Vanuatu, one a WWII heroine, the other a young Australian actor. A fun read.

Try to find a copy of Savage Civilization by Tom Harrisson, who went ‘native’ in 1934. It is a fascinating first-hand account of cannibalism, sacrifice, rivalry and the reason behind many of Vanuatu’s rituals. You won’t be able to put it down.

The Lady and the President by Peter Stone has great photos of USS President Coolidge (luxury liner, troopship carrier, diveable wreck), which cover the tragedy of war and delights of scuba diving.

Vanuatu and New Caledonia by Carol Jones is a cheerful book about the region and its people, set out as postcards with lots of maps and photos. Perfect for children, and their parents, to read.

More travel literature reading lists for other destinations can be found here.