A few tips on what to read before you set off
You’ll find information about most aspects of New Caledonia on this website but reading one or two books can give you a more detailed picture of the country. A few suggestions...
Travel guides and guidebooks
You can purchase (or check out online) most of the international guidebooks which include travel guides to New Caledonia, such as Lonely Planet, Fodor’s Travel and The New Caledonia Travel Journal.
Although free guide Globe Trotter, designed and compiled locally, exists only in French, it is excellent and extremely comprehensive. You can download it at leglobetrotter.nc.
If you love gazing at fabulous photographs of your dream destination, feast your eyes on: Des îles et des hommes, written in part by one of New Caledonia's most famous stars, former footballer Christian Karembeu, or Couleurs locales de Nouvelle-Calédonie by Pierre-Alain Pantz (Ed. Solaris), also the author of the superb La Nouvelle-Calédonie vue du ciel.
If you’re wild about nature, whether on land or beneath the sea, you can turn to several outstanding reference books, including Guide des poissons de Nouvelle-Calédonie by Pierre Laboute & René Grandperrin on New Caledonia’s fish and Bernard Surpin’s Plantes du littoral en Nouvelle-Calédonie, an authoritative work on coastal plant species. And for scuba-diving fans with a taste for exotic lifeforms, the Guide des nudibranches by Jean-François Hervé is crammed with amazing photos.
The Maison de la Nouvelle-Calédonie
If you happen to live not far from Paris, the Maison de la Nouvelle-Calédonie has an in-house bookstore with a range of books about New Caledonia. Further information: www.mncparis.fr
La Brousse en Folie
And finally, there is one celebrity local author who deserves a very special mention: Bernard Berger. He is the man behind hugely popular local comic strip "La Brousse en Folie” starring Tonton Marcel, a character who has achieved the status of local hero. If you’d like hilarious and off-key insight into local life and customs, the 21 volumes of Berger’s comic epic are a must. Further information: www.brousse-en-folie.com