Pacific Island Books

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Adventure Guide to the South Pacific by Thomas H. Booth. Recommended retail price $ 17.

Tranquil lagoons in shades of emerald and turquoise, palms swaying gently in the tradewinds, powdery white beaches framed by soaring mountains and lush vegetation, waters teeming with brilliantly colored fish – this is the legendary South Pacific. Today many of the islands remain as they were when Captain Cook and Captain Bligh of the Bounty sailed here, with traditional Polynesian life little changed.

While now a little dated (publication 1990) this is a comprehensive guide to these islands, from the remote and rarely visited atolls of Micronesia to Papua New Guinea, with its fascinating Sepik River culture.

Where to stay, where to eat, how to get around, what to see and do – all the practical information you will need is spelled out in detail. Maps are included for every island and major town.

Included are Tahiti, Moorea, Bora Bora, The Cook Islands/Rarotonga, Tonga, The Samoas, Fiji, New Caledonia, The Solomons, Vanuatu (The New Hebrides), Papua New Guinea, Micronesia (Guam, Yap, Truk, Palau, the Marshalls, the Marianas, Wake), Tuvalu and Kiribati. Soft cover, 422 pages.

Cafes of the World by David Burton & Grant Sheehan. ISBN 0473046105. Recommended retail price $17.95.

"Coffee is the only beverage that sharpens rather than stupefies the mind, and cafes are meeting places of the mind, an expression of a culture…"

David Burton, food critic and writer introduced "Café's of the World", a book for café and coffee aficionados. Forty-two evocative photographs by Grant Sheehan reveal the ambience, the architecture and the people of many of the world's most interesting cafes.

This unique book takes the reader on an illuminating journey, visiting the highly individualistic cafes of Australia and New Zealand, the grunge cafes and classic diners of the United States and the grand cafes of Europe. From the eccentric to the elegant, sumptuous to small, this insightful view of international café society shows its many forms and explains its enduring popularity.

Grant Sheehan is a freelance photographer, who lives and works in Wellington, New Zealand. His most recent books include "Leading Lights: Lighthouses of New Zealand" (1991), "Character Cafes of New Zealand" with text by David Burton (1994), and "Landmarks; Heritage Buildings of New Zealand" with text by David McGill (1997).

David Burton grew up with good coffee in Burton's Coffee House, run by his caterer father during the 1950's and early 1960's in Nelson, New Zealand.

For the past twenty years he has been a food writer and restaurant critic, and is the author of seven books, including the award winning "200 Years of New Zealand Food & Cookery" and "The Raj At Table". His last book, Savouring the East, was shortlisted for two British book awards in 1997 - the Andre Simon Memorial Award and the British Guild of Food Writers Book of the Year. Soft cover, 96 pages. Published in 1997.

Healthy Travel: Australia, New Zealand & the Pacific by Isabelle Young. Recommended retail price $5.95.

Many folk from sheltered cultures are totally at sea when set loose overseas. Sometimes such ignorance can just be embarrassing, such as when a visitor says or does something inappropriate. At other times it can be very much worse and can even lead to loss of life. This book will help you avoid being an “Ugly American” (or Asian or European etc.). Soft cover, 432 pages.



Landfalls of Paradise: Cruising Guide to the Pacific Islands by Earl R. Hinz. A Latitude 20 Book (distributed by University of Hawaii Press)
ISBN 0-8248-2115-7. Recomended retail price $44.95.

"The only complete cruising guide to the Islands of the Pacific... a must." --Islands

Landfalls of Paradise has remained the definitive guide for cruising in the Pacific for more than a decade. This new edition contains the most current information available on customs and immigration procedures, together with revised harbor charts and updated descriptions of more than seventy-five ports of entry and many lesser harbors and anchorages. (Midway, Bikini, Suvarov, and Henderson Atolls have been added to this edition.) The extensive treatment of island countries found in previous editions remains, with pertinent political, economic, social, and geological information updated. Expanded weather coverage, including discussions of the South Pacific Convergence Zone, the impact of El Nino, tropical cyclone havens, and preferred weather windows for sailing, will help guide cruisers to a safe harbor. Among the appendixes are a trilingual dictionary useful for port entry, a glossary of cruising terms, and a new section offering sound advice on the prevention and, in some cases, treatment, of critical medical conditions such as ciguatera and scromboid fish poisoning, dengue fever, and malaria.

Earl Hinz has sailed Pacific Ocean waters since 1958. He is the author of numerous cruising, maritime history, and technical boating books. Soft cover, 384 pages. Published in 1998.

thumb of More Curious than Cautious

More Curious than Cautious by Peter Fraser. ISBN: 9781598587708. Published by Dog Ear Publishing.

Armchair travelers, get comfortable. “A Survivor of Paradise” is a memoir of this Author’s solo adventure visiting several Idyllic Islands of the South Pacific. It is the middle of the twentieth Century. Come with me for a view of a small part of this fabulous tropical world which is gradually disappearing. Together we join the crew of the schooner “Te Vega” for a two week cruise to Tahiti. We arrive in time to enjoy some distinct traditional cultures of the islands. This is your chance to “go native” and dress in pareau and sail an outrigger canoe. You travel on copra trading vessels to The Society Islands, the Atolls, and the Marquesas. We meet a descendant of Fletcher Christian, leader of “Mutiny on the Bounty,” and go dancing in riotous “Quinn’s Hut.” Is this really “Paradise?” Maybe! Next we visit Samoa which is far less influenced by modern Western Culture. Stop to watch them build a “fale,” their thatched home, and work on a dugout canoe. Watch a young man get his body tattoo, a unique experience. Learn to cook in an umu, an underground oven. Come to Fiji. If lagoon snorkeling is your thing, this is the place. You might even catch a “vasua.” Or you might choose to try an Indian fire walk with bare feet. We meet village chiefs, Island Royalty, ex-cannibals, and drink a toast to them in kava. You stay with families in their thatched “bure” (home) villages, and share their meals while sitting on floor mats. We can bathe in delightful rivers. Now, if you have the heart, you can sail to New Zealand, but the weather is not predictable. Meet some Maoris and help make a tukutuku. We attend weddings and funerals and sit through a traditional Silent Kava Ceremony with a week-long celebration. It’s all in here.

Published in 2010. Soft cover, 372 pages.

Plumber’s Progress, A : Pilgrimage to the Heart of Tibet by W. J. O’Connell. ISBN 1877135895. Published by Longacre Press. Recommended retail price $21.95.

Why is a Kiwi plumber, pushing 50 and with a bad lung, hell-bent on wandering off to the lid of the world where there are lots of Chinese soldiers and not much air?

After decades of hard yakker, harder addictions, then six years of living in an American ashram, Kiwi adventurer W. J. O’Connell loses his right to stay on in the U.S.  He’s hitting middle age, has no home, no job, no wife, no bach at the beach, no life insurance.  What should he do?

Logical really.  He’ll take a hike.

This is the story of a personal journey to find the ‘something more to life’ that so many seek at important crossroads.  O’Connell’s route takes him from Delhi to war-torn Kashmir, then from Ladakh to sacred Mount Kailas in a remote region of Western Tibet.  It subjects him to experiences both bizarre and terrifying; travel scams, nightmarish bus rides, rescue by stray dogs, and encounters with all kinds of offbeat travelers.

Disarmingly honest and with a refreshing sense of comedy, O’Connell is unashamedly on a spiritual quest: a spiritual quest through ‘swamps of his own cynicism and doubt’.

Think Eric Newby meets The Snow Leopard; think philosophy confronts the ordinary bloke.

Soft cover, 222 pages. Published in 2003.


Slice of Heaven: A family on the move by Martin Thomas. ISBN 0-9582388-4-7. Published by Phantom House. Recommended retail price

Slice of Heaven is the fascinating story of the Thomas family - Martin, Jenifer and their four young children - who, after the sudden death of Martin's father and brother, decide to leave New Zealand and create a new life for themselves. With little local knowledge, but believing simply that anything is possible, they buy an old schoolhouse in the heart of the Italian countryside and set about transforming it into an enchanting villa.

Not content with enjoying the fruits of their efforts, and determined to provide their family with inspiring and positive surroundings, Martin and Jenifer buy a small island in the Caribbean Sea, off the coast of Nicaragua. The island seems idyllic, home only to a rare species of turtle. But as their new dream takes shape they find themselves facing unexpected opponents, and there are times when the task seems too difficult even for them. As the story ends Nature has taken a hand in events.

This is an inspiring and entertaining book about turning dreams into reality.

Soft cover, 228 pages. Published in 2004.

Click below for links to related books.

4WD North Island; 91 Back Country Adventures, Volume Two by Andy Cockroft

4WD South Island; 107 Off Road Adventures, Volume One (revised) by Ken Sibly & Mark Wilson

4WD South Island: 93 New Off Road Adventures, Volume Two by Ken Sibly & Mark Wilson

AA Guide to Day Tours in New Zealand

AA 2007 New Zealand Bed & Breakfast Guide

AA New Zealand Road Atlas

Antarctica by Jeff Rubin

Antarctic Odyssey: In the Footsteps of the South Polar Explorers by Graham Collier & Patricia Graham Collier

Auckland by Christine Niven

Australia by Hugh Finlay et al

Australia the Beautiful Land by Bruce Elder

Australia Handbook by Marael Johnson and Andrew Hempstead

Australia, Insight Guide

Australia, Let's Go

Australia, Maverick Guide to, edited by Len Rutledge

Australia; Reef, Rainforest, Red Heart by Darren Jew

Australia: The Rough Guide by Margo Daly et al

Australia, Visions of a Continent photographs by Shaen Adey

Australia Wide Cookbook by Valwyn McMonigal

Australian Bed & Breakfast Book, The by Moonshine Press

Australia, National Geographic Traveler by Roff Martin Smith

Australian Outback, Edited by Scott Forbes and John Gattuso

Australian Phrasebook: Understanding Aussies and their Culture by Denise Angelo et al.

Bed & Breakfast - Australia's Best by Jane Schonberger and George Morency

Bed and Breakfast Directory of New Zealand, 2004

Brisbane & Gold Coast City Map published by Lonely Planet

Brisbane & the Gold Coast, Insight Pocket Guides by Paul Phelan

Boutique Lodgings of New Zealand; An Essential Guide to Memorable Accommodation

Bushwalking in Australia by John Chapman and Monica Chapman

Bushwalking in Papua New Guinea by Yvon Prusse

Charming Bed & Breakfast in New Zealand (2004 edition)

Cold Beer and Crocodiles; a Bicycle Journey into Australia by Roff Smith

Cycling Australia by Nicola Wells et al.

Easter Island by International Travel Maps

Ecuador & the Galápagos Islands by Rob Rachowiecki

Explore Queensland: Over 70 Tours of the Sunshine State by Bruce Elder

Explore Wilderness Australia; Over 80 ecotours across the Australian continent by Neil Hermes

Exploring Hanauma Bay by Susan Scott with photographs by David Schrichte

FIJI2000: The Dawning of a New Millennium. Photography by Peter Henning & Glen Craig

Fiordland National Park Map published by New Zealand Department of Survey and Land Information

Fiji Handbook by David Stanley

Fiji, a Lonely Planet travel survival kit by Robyn Jones and Leonardo Pinheiro

Fiji Islands. Map

Friars' Guide to New Zealand Accommodation for the Discerning Traveller - 2004

Friars’ Guide to New Zealand Accommodation for the Discerning Traveller -2005 Edition by Denis and Jillian Friar

Friars’ Guide to New Zealand Accommodation for the Discerning Traveller - 2006 Edition by Denis and Jillian Friar

Friars’ Guide to New Zealand Gardens Open to Visit - 2001 by Denis and Jillian Friar

Great Barrier Reef: Islands of Australia's by Hugh Finlay, Mark Armstrong, and Tony Wheeler

Great Barrier Reef, The: Australia's tropical paradise by Alison Cotes.

Great Escapes: A Guide to Motorcycle Touring in New Zealand by Peter Mitchell

Hawaii by Glenda Bendure and Ned Friary

Hawaii: The Big Island: Making the Most of Your Family Vacation by Dona Early & Christie Stilson

Hawaii, The Big Island Trailblazer: Where to Hike, Snorkel, Surf, Bike, Drive by Jerry & Janine Sprout

Heart of Gold ... the people and places of Otago by Ian Dougherty

Hikers Guide to the Hawaiian Islands, The by Stuart Ball

Honolulu~Waikiki Handbook: The Island of Oahu by J. D. Bisignani

Inside The Rocks: The Archaeology of a Neighbourhood by Grace Karskens

Islands in the Clouds: Travels in the Highlands of New Guinea by Isabella Tree

Islands of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef by Hugh Finlay, Mark Armstrong and Tony Wheeler

Islands of Samoa. Map by James Bier

Kauai Trailblazer: Where to Hike, Snorkel, Paddle, Surf, Drive by Jerry & Janine Sprout

Magic of New Zealand, The by Graeme Lay with photographs by Holger Leue

Magnificent Australia by Robert Coupe

Maui and Lana’i: Making the Most of Your Family Vacation by Dona Early & Christie Stilson

Maui Handbook including Molokai and Lanai by J.D. Bisignani

Maui Trailblazer: Where to Hike, Snorkel, Paddle, Surf, Drive by Jerry & Janine Sprout

Melbourne by Mark Armstrong

Melbourne, Insight Guide

Melbourne, Insight Pocket Guides by Cameron Duffy

Micronesia by Glenda Bendure and Ned Friary

Micronesia Handbook by Neil Levy

Micronesia, wall map

New Caledonia by Leanne Logan and Geert Cole

New Zealand by Charles Burfitt

New Zealand: Aotearoa, photographs by Warren Jacobs, text by Peter Hooper

New Zealand: a visual celebration photography by Gareth Eyres, text by Graeme Lay

New Zealand Bed & Breakfast Book, The by Moonshine Press

New Zealand by Motorhome by David Shore and Patty Campbell

New Zealand Driving Holidays by Donna Blaber

New Zealand Handbook by Jane King

New Zealand: Insight Map

New Zealand, Insight Pocket Guide by Craig Dowling

New Zealand, Insight Guide

New Zealand, Let's Go

New Zealand: Lonely Planet Guide by Paul Harding, Carolyn Bain and Neal Bedford

New Zealand, Maverick Guide to, edited by Susan Buckland and Jane Warwick

New Zealand, This is by David Wall

New Zealand’s Top Tracks: A Guide to the Department of Conservation’s Great Walks by Mark Pickering

Northern Territory by David Andrew and Hugh Finlay

On the TransAlpine Trail: A travel guide to State Highway 73 and the Midland Railway (fourth edition) by Geoffrey Churchman

Outback Australia by Shaen Adey and Jane Burton Taylor

Outback Australia by Denis O’Byrne, Ron & Viv Moon, Hugh Finlay and Jeff Williams

Out to Eat: Melbourne 2002

Pacific Ocean. Map

Papua New Guinea by Adrian Lipscomb, Rowan McKinnon and Jon Murray

Papa Mike's Palau Handbook by Mike Hollywood

Papua New Guinea. Map

Perth and Fremantle, Guide to by Liz Glass and Sue Scott

Pidgin Phrasebook: Pidgin Languages of Oceania by Trevor Balzer et al

Place to Stay, A : Hotels of New Zealand photography by Grant Sheehan, text by Shelley-Maree Cassidy

Queensland by Joseph Bidloss, Kate Daly, Matthew Lane and Sarah Mathers

Queenstown to Milford: “A View From the Road” by Paddy Ryan

Rapa Nui: The Easter Island Legend on Film by Kevin Reynolds and Tim Rose Price

Rarotonga & the Cook Islands by Nancy Keller and Tony Wheeler

Reach for Paradise by Andrew Rayner

Samoa by Dorinda Talbot and Deanna Swaney

Secret Sydney by James Cockington

See Melbourne By Tram by de Lacy Lowe

Solomon Islands by Mark Honan and David Harcombe

Solomon Islands. Map

South Australia by Denis O’Byrne

South Pacific Islands by Joan Beard

South Pacific Islands: Special maps of all major islands.

South Pacific Phrasebook by Hadrien Dhont et al

Sydney by Meg Mundell

Sydney Harbour: A Guide From North Head to South Head by Clem and Therese Gorman

Sydney, Insight Compact Guide by Leslie Thelander

Sydney, Insight Guide

Sydney, Let's Go Map Guide

Sydney: Insight Map. Published by Insight Guides

Sydney, National Geographic Traveler by Evan McHugh

Sydney, Insight Pocket Guides by John Borthwick and David McGonigal

Sydney, National Geographic Traveler by Evan McHugh

Sydney,This is by Wendy Moore

Tahiti and French Polynesia by Tony Wheeler and Jean-Bernard Carillet

Tahiti Handbook: Including Easter Island and the Cooks by David Stanley

Tasmania by Lyn McGaurr

Tasmania Handy Map

The Backpackers Guide to Hawai’i by Stuart Ball

The Island of The Colorblind by Oliver Sacks

Tonga by Nancy Keller and Deanna Swaney

Tonga~Samoa Handbook by David Stanley

Top Walking Tracks of the Wellington Region by Geoffrey Churchman

Tramping in New Zealand by Jim DuFresne

Untamed Coast ...Auckland's Waitakere Ranges and West Coast Beaches by Bob Harvey

Vanuatu by Denis O’Byrne and David Harcombe

Visitor’s Guide New Zealand: Itineraries for Routing & Exploring by Grant Bourne and Sabine Körner-Bourne

Walking the Milford Track by Rosalind Harker

Walking Sydney: Over 20 Original Walks In and Around Sydney by Jeff Toghill

Wellington: A Capital Century by David McGill

Western Australia by Jeff Williams

Western Samoa. Map

Westland Foothills & Forests: A Walking and Tramping Guide by Pat Barrett

Wild at Heart ... the South Island's West Coast by Paddy Ryan

Wild Walks: Sixty Short North Island Walks by Mark Pickering

Wild Walks: Sixty Short South Island Walks by Mark Pickering

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Last modified on Monday, 26 December, 2010