Wine is a symbol of good times and good company in New Caledonia. Many retailers stock a variety of French wines, from the affordable vintages to more prestigious labels. Head to Le Pavillon des Vins or La Vinothèque for some of the best selections.
La Vinothèque, 17 Rue Colnett, Nouméa, +687 26.14.66
La Brousse en Folie is a popular French comic book series by Bernard Berger, set in a village in New Caledonia. The reader gets a glimpse into New Caledonian life and customs with stories that revolve around Tonton Marcel. There are 21 volumes in the series, as well as a video game based on the comic strips.
A trip to New Caledonia is not complete without a visit to Chocolats Morand in Nouméa. Famous French chocolatier Patrick Morand is known for his artistry and exquisite flavour combinations. Take some treats home for careful taste consideration.
Chocolats Morand, 13 Rue Eugene Porcheron, Nouméa, +687 27.31.77
In many Pacific nations, turtles are a symbol of good luck. As such, turtle sculptures, ornaments and trinkets are available for purchase in local markets and souvenir shops. Stamp hunters might want to try their luck finding one of the many turtle stamps that New Caledonia has featured over the decades.
The Kanak people of the Melanesian region create beautiful tribal masks traditionally used during the funerals for chiefs. Most souvenir masks are carved from wood and symbolise different parts of the tribe’s culture and history.
If you’re heading to the islands of Lifou and Maré, then a visit to the vanilla plantations is a must. Vanilla production is a major industry and is referred to as brown gold. The Lifou Tourism association hosts a vanilla festival every year in October, where you can sample a variety of different recipes. Purchase vanilla from the island plantations or in supermarkets to bring home.