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Located in Melanesia and situated just northeast of Australia and close to Papua New Guinea, these Australasian destinations hold grand opportunities for the perfect island getaway. With over 990 islands to explore, you can ‘island-hop’ by plane or boat, and choose from a wide range of Solomon Island hotels and villas to stay at.
The Solomon Islands are tropical paradise with warm days for lying on the beach and cool nights for a comfortable moonlight stroll. The best time to visit is between April and November when the incidence of rain is replaced by inviting, cool winds. For those who want to learn as much as they can about the islands, guide hire is highly recommended, or for the more independent and adventurous, a local minivan or taxi charter is also a great option.
The Solomon Islands - Culture & Heritage
The main capital of the Solomon Islands is Honiara, with a lively wharf, dozens of souvenir shops, and the Melanesian National Museum. Honiara is one of the bigger islands, and is located in the Southeast. This is indicated by its name which comes from the Guadalcanal phrase Nago ni ara which means ‘facing the southeast wind’.
Honiara is also one of the main islands in which travellers can view World War II relics, since it was close to the site of the Guadalcanal Campaign during the war. If you are visiting on a Sunday, stop by St. Barnabas Cathedral in the morning to enjoy the lovely, choral tunes of the island chorus. For a scrumptious lunch, visit Honiara’s local version of Chinatown, and don’t forget to try the Solomon Islands’ two local delicacies – tapioca pudding, and taro roots with taro leaves. Yum!
For a true, cultural experience, head to the Western province of New Georgia and the bone-chilling attraction, ‘Skull Island’. Here, tourists can explore the skull shrines of former headhunters and island cannibals. These shrines are of the villages’ enemies, with heads mounted on the walls like bounty! (don’t worry, yours is safe). Don’t forget, though, that these places are still sacred, and you are required to be escorted by the village chief.
Nature & Outdoor Activities on the Solomon Islands
The Solomon Islands were formed by volcanic activity, which continues today and still shapes many of the islands. Savo Island, for example, is a popular yet dormant volcanic island, and is safe to visit. It last erupted in the mid-18th century, and according to expert volcanists, it only becomes active every 200 years on average.
As a great collection of islands with many amazing beaches and colourful reefs, it’s no surprise that the Solomon Islands are great for diving and snorkelling. For those interested in modern history, a dive or snorkel to the underwater World War II Japanese shipwrecks is also a must. These ships, although dilapidated and a little dismantled, can be explored as barracuda and rainbow runner fish dart and swim around you. The best places to explore the wrecks are at Ghizo Island (Toa Maru) and Kokumbona near Honiara (Hirokawa Maru and Kinugawa Maru).
Like all islands, the Solomon Islands are also known for water activities and kayaking and swimming are also common, especially given the crystal blue lagoons. The most attractive include Rovinana lagoon (Munda Island), Marovo Lagoon (Uepi Island) and the Langa Langa Lagoon (Auki in the Malaita Province). Surfing and fishing is also popular in these areas. Many Solomon Island hotels and luxury resorts are situated near these lagoons, offering spectacular views and a chance to settle into the beautiful, natural scenery.
The lagoons are calling! If you can see the Solomon Islands in the back of your mind, contact one of our travel agents at Travellers Choice to organise your holiday today.