Solomon Islands Travel Destination
Guadalcanal is the main island, and where the capital, Honiara, is located. Honiara the best place in the Solomon Islands to eat out and buy souvenirs, especially at the bustling Central Market. The town has a handful of decent hotels which make a good base for exploring north-west of Guadalcanal which is the most interesting to visitors. Here you'll find WWII historical sites and museums and several great snorkelling lagoons. Just inland from Honiara are two great waterfalls as well as some excellent hiking trails.
A 1-hr boat ride east of Honiara is the Central Islands, home to historical Tulagi town, the old capital and Mbike with its fantastic wreck dives. On Savoa Island you can hike to the summit of an active volcano, walking alongside streams of hot water that run from the craters. You'll see hot springs, hot mud pools, and lots of steam and smell strong wafts sulphur.
The most alluring destination in the Solomon Islands for holiday-makers is definitely the Western Province. The main town of the region is Gizo with a bustling waterfront full of small boats and canoes bringing in locals from the surrounding islands and a fantastic food market. In the distance is Kolombangara, a soaring symmetrical volcano which can be climbed in a full day but also with a hut near the summit for a more casual 2-day trek. The lagoon offshore of Gizo has fantastic dive sites and lots of small islands with beautiful white sand beaches and tiny resorts with thatch huts. You can also visit Kennedy Island where JFK was stranded after being shipwrecked during WWII. A little further east is the small town of Munda, with an international airport no less (weekly flight to Brisbane) and a couple of hotels and guest-houses. This is another good base for scuba diving, to visit the gruesome head-hunter shrines of Skull Island, or to explore the conservation island of Tetepare rich in wildlife and walking trails.
The Western Province is also home to Marovo Lagoon, the biggest salt-water lagoon in the world with exceptional snorkelling and diving but watch for salt-water crocodiles! Littered with tiny islets, the lagoon is also a magnet for sailing and small boat cruises. If you're lucky you might also see Kavachi volcano, a submarine volcano that erupts at least once each year to form small, temporary islands of lava.
The Northern flank of the Solomons is a chain of large volcanic islands. Choiseul in the far north almost reaches Papua New Guinea, and the long thin island of Santa Isabel are seldom visited by tourists - both have remote villages renowned for its traditional dance performances. The most popular island for travellers is Malaita which is home to many prominent Solomon Island politicians and business people. It is the most populated island in the Solomons where you o view centuries-old man-made islands, and try using the local shell currency. Experience traditional island life here, by watching tribal dances and trying your hand at spear-fishing.
South of Guadalcanal is Rennell Island where you can see the region's largest inland lake, beautiful Lake Te Nggano. Tinakula Volcano, located in the easternmost province of the Solomons, the Temotu province, is more active and emits clouds of smoke and steam every day; sometimes, without any warning, it will suddenly erupt for one or two or even more days.