Experiences in the Solomon Islands

The Amazon of the oceans
Dive into an underwater treasure chest of vibrant marine life and sunken wrecks, kayak turquoise lagoons, surf uncrowded waves. The ecological diversity is astounding, the water is warm and the clarity is amazing. If you want to see extraordinary sea life, come here.

It’s not just about the beaches
The Solomons have mountains too! Trek through the humming tropical jungle teeming with colourful birdlife not seen anywhere else in the world. Tread quietly amongst mosses and wild orchids high in the cloud forest. Cool off under a thundering waterfall.

A true eco-adventure
Stay at community owned eco lodges and you’ll experience ancient traditional rituals, contemporary village life and a warm local welcome. These people care deeply about their environment and will help make your stay in the Solomons incredibly rich and special.

Birdwatching – Explore some of nature’s exquisite birds in Solomons.

Birdwatching In the Solomon Islands
Wishing to get a glimpse of as many of the Solomon’s endemics, you may need to venture off the beaten tracks, which includes traveling in boats or small planes. Intrepid birders who are filled with the enthusiasm to explore Solomon’s unique birding destinations are up for an adventure, and are advised to be prepared as some of the treks into the interior mountains may involve hiking along challenging trails and requires a good level of fitness. These areas include the mountain of Guadalcanal, the higher altitude on Kolombangara and parts of Makira, Malaita and Isabel.


Perfect for Nature Lovers
One of the many islands in the Western Province. Gizo is the main point where birders set out from to the key birding areas of Kolombangara, Ranonga and, Vella Lavella. Gizo itself is home to Splendid White-eye. About a 20 minute drive inland from Ronggi Cove, you can find a lodge at the Imbu Rano that is purposely built with a large viewing deck perfect for nature lovers. And if you are an intrepid birding enthusiast, a journey around the island and through the inland valleys is a must to view more species.


Variety of Bird Species
The high degree of endemism includes many species found only on just one island, and these can be a mere few miles apart despite the uniqueness of their birds. Many more birds are Melanesian endemics, only found on a handful of islands in this South Seas idyll.

Areas around the capital you can find White-billed Crow, Chestnut-bellied Monarch, Duchess Lorikeet, Cardnial Lory, Yellow-bibbed Lory, Ultramarine Kingfisher, Black headed Myzomela and White-winged Fantail.The high interior mountains have Woodford’s Rail, an eponymous Boobook, Hooded whistler, San Christobal Thrush, Guadalcanal Honeyeater, Guadalcanal Thicketbird, Brown Fantail and if you are extremely lucky, the almost unknown Moustached Kingfisher.

Rennell – the largest raised atoll in the world – is home to 43 species of breeding bird. Among these are six endemics, all of which can be seen in close proximity to the airfield by walking along the logging tracks. Mount Austen has such delights as Ultramarine Kingfisher, Duchess Lorikeet and White-billed Crow among its highlights.

A visit to Santa Isabel offers the chance to see the iconic Black-faced Pitta, Fearful Owl and the Solomon Frogmouth, while Guadalcanal has Woodford’s Rail, as well as an eponymous Boobook, Moustached and Dwarf Kingfishers, Drongo, Thrush, Honeyeater and Hooded Whistler. Other major islands such as Makira, Malaita, Kolombangara, New Georgia and Santa Cruz have a similar heady array of rails, warblers, flycatchers, fantails, myzomelas, monarchs, starlings, white-eyes and flowerpeckers which can only be seen on tours across the islands.

Experience firsthand, the culture and traditions of the Solomons

Step back in time
Visit the villages in the outer islands and step back in time. Experience life much as it was a hundred years ago. No electricity, no internet, no running water supply, no shops, few roads. And no noise – except for the sound of the waves!

Arts and crafts
The Solomon Islands is known for its finely made, intricately designed handcrafts. Beautiful traditional style carvings, baskets and jewellery as well as modern paintings can be purchased at markets and villages throughout the Solomons and viewed at the National Art Gallery in Honiara.

Skull shrines
The Solomon Islands are dotted with archaeological monuments including ancient ceremonial shrines. For the curious adventurers there are opportunities to visit and learn about ancient hillforts high on the mountains, headhunting or skull shrines and other sites of important legends.

Stunned Mullet
The Great Western Fishing Tournament annually held at the Zipolo Habu Resort in the magnificent Vonavona lagoon. A great weekend of Fishing, Fun and Festivities.

Wagosia Festival
Wagosia is a remnant of ancient culture originated and practiced by the people of East Makira. This is a traditional Spear fighting and yam harvesting festival.

Lagoon Festival
A cultural festival of the people of Roviana Lagoon. People from all over Roviana Lagoon gather in Munda for this event of festivity and celebration.

Dive Festival
The annual Dive Festival is a celebration of the magnificent experiences Solomon Islands has to offer to the local and international Dive Community.

Shell Money Festival
A cultural celebration of the traditional uses of Shell Money as once a Solomon Islands Traditional Currency. Still used today in modern society for settling disputes, bride price and gifts. Don’t miss 3 days of cultural displays, demonstrations and entertainment performed by the people of Langalanga Lagoon.

Surfing Competition
Western Solomon Islands Surfing Association is hosting a surfing competition on December. The competition will take place at the Western Province surfing hot spots – Paelonge and Titiana, Gizo. The competition will involve local youths and overseas visitors to participate.

WWII Commemoration
Solomon Islands gift to the world is Freedom! Remembering the Solomon Islands coast watchers that helped Americans stop Japan from invading the Pacific that led to Freedom – on this land Guadalcanal! 77 years on, the country will commemorate those who lost their lives during the battle.

Solomon Islands, the last frontier in adventure sport fishing

Solomon Islands Adventure Sports Fishing
If you have a passion for next level adventure fishing in remote and unspoilt locations then the Solomon’s is a must do fishing destination for you. A hidden gem in the Pacific, many parts of the Solomon’s still remain undiscovered by mainstream tourism, preserving the natural charm, culture and magnificent sport fishing opportunities.

Situated in the Coral Sea between Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu in an area boasting the highest marine biodiversity on the planet, the waters surrounding the Solomon’s are literally teeming with fish. With favourable weather conditions throughout the majority of the year and over 900 coral reef fringed islands and atolls in the archipelago to choose from, the fishing options are endless.

World Class Sport Fishing
Cast poppers and stick baits along the crystal clear shallow reef flats for trevally, mackerel, coral trout, red bass and many other species. Troll for big Spanish mackerel, wahoo, yellowfin and dogtooth tuna around the reef edges. Drop soft plastics or bait to tangle with big coral trout, green job fish, saddle tail snapper, big reef jacks and red emperors. Cast to prolific schools of surface feeding tuna in the blue water and around the many FADs and seamounts where you can also troll for billfish, yellowfin tuna and mahi mahi. Solomon Islands, the last frontier in adventure sport fishing.

Jungle River Fishing
River fishing include Spottail Bass, Mangrove Jack, Perch, Archerfish, Trevally, Sleepy Cod, and more. For a memorable adventure experience book through any of the popular fishing Resorts or Fishing operators.

The endless pristine coral reefs and lagoons provide world class surface fishing for monster giant trevally on poppers and stickbaits. Other species commonly encountered are big dogtooth tuna, bluefi n trevally, red bass, coral trout, Maori wrasse, plus many more. The surface action is something to behold with fish smashing surface lures so regularly and aggressively that every cast is made with intense anticipation.

Scuba Diving
Solomon Islands are one of the world’s top diving destinations

Island-hopping or dive resort
When you come diving in the Solomons you can choose between island-hopping on a live aboard boat or staying at one of the idyllic resorts specifically catering for divers. Get more dives in more destinations more quickly or enjoy the luxury of a home base.

Dive the Western Province
Dive into one of Oceania’s natural wonders. The Solomon Islands are one of the world’s top diving destinations. Dive amid the coral, starfish and swirling masses of colourful fish on spectacular reefs. Do you want to see dugongs, turtles, sharks? Come here!

Wreck diving
Diving in the Solomon Islands is an opportunity to explore an extraordinary array of ships, aircraft, even submarines. The sea floor in some areas is strewn with these remains from World War II, many now forming new artificial reefs, teeming with marine life.

Amble along some of the nature’s best scenery in Solomon Islands

Choose a relaxed pace
There are walks to suit all fitness levels and timeframes. Just a short excursion from Honiara can take you along trails to exotic beaches and local villages. Or for something completely different, enjoy a sedate stroll with a club and ball at the beautiful Honiara Golf course.

Scale a volcano
Climb Kolombangara, a perfect cone-shaped volcano, 1770m high. Located in the Western Province, this two day trek will take you from gentle coastal plains up steep escarpments to the awe inspiring crater rim. Camp overnight deep in the rainforest.

Spectacular waterfalls
Among the many waterfall walks are the popular and magnificent Mataniko Falls. They cascade over boulders and into pools before thundering down into a hidden cave. Take a guide, explore the incredible WWII history and float all the way back to the village.

WWII History
Solomon Islands were the scene of fierce fighting in World War II

Museum and memorials
The Solomon Islands were the scene of fierce fighting in World War II. Local guides offer memorable and moving tours to the WW II museum and other significant sites including the American memorial at Skyline Ridge and the Japanese Solomons Peace memorial.

On land
Many of the battle sites remain virtually untouched and you can still find artefacts strewn about from rusting jeeps, tanks and amphibious vehicles lying buried in the jungle to foxholes and caves that were used as Japanese observation points and hiding places.

Under water
Many of the WWII relics remaining in the Solomons lie submerged, some deep under water and include oil tankers, seaplanes and submarines. A few can be snorkelled, just a short distance from shore while others are only accessible by experienced divers.

Surfing gold in the Solomon Islands

While the Solomon Islands has a reputation for world class diving, from the months of November to April when the northern Pacific swells sweep in having done their dash with Hawaii, the destination’s extensive reefs and north-western facing islands come alive with some of the most perfect – and best of all uncrowded – waves to be found anywhere on the planet.

While the two best-known regions are currently Gizo in the Western Province and Santa Isabel Province, and to a lesser extent, the Florida Islands and North Malaita – there are still literally dozens of secret spots throughout this archipelago of 992 islands, the locations of which are closely guarded by a handful of hard travelling board riders.

Perhaps the most easily reached region is Gizo with daily Solomon Airlines’ Dash-8 and Twin Otter flights from Honiara to the Nusa Tupe airstrip. The area offers surfers a good choice of accommodation from village homestays to eco-lodges, hotels and resorts. The Hotel Gizo is also a popular hang for surfers.

Across the water from Gizo lie Fatboys and Sanbis Resort, perfect for those seeking a touch of real comfort complete with hot water, ensuites, a gourmet kitchen, a fantastic bar – even Wi-Fi.

As for the waves, a few minutes by boat from Gizo township is Palonggi, a long, shallow right that’s well exposed to swell. It works best on bigger swells when the wave’s sections join up and it can get hollow. Palonggi breaks in front of a village where a handful of friendly local surfers reside and have helped set up a beachside home stay.

But surfers beware of the reef – many an unwary surfer has come a cropper at Palonggi with many departing the country wearing what the locals laughingly call a ‘Palonggi tattoo’ aka nasty coral cuts.

For those who like to go left, nearby Titiana’s is a goofy’s paradise, again a long shallow ride which when showing a bit of size allows surfers to loop through section after section with an easy paddle back. Truth be told Gizo is not the best place for beginners – you need to know what you are doing.

One of the best kept secret ‘no name’ breaks lies just behind the idyllic Oravei Cottages, a 20-minute boat ride from Gizo and the only people who ever seem to surf it are the cottage’s owners and their guests.

While Gizo area offers some great breaks – and when the swell is running breaks pop up all over the area – a great place to visit, stay and surf is Zipolo Habu on remote Lola Island in the heart of the Vono Vono Lagoon. The name means ‘good luck fishing’.

Nearby Skull Island, which living up to its name is the resting place for ancient warrior chiefs’ skulls and those of their vanquished foes, has the Solomon Islands’ longest right hander. ‘Desperates’, a very shallow but fickle, hollow right hander is also here. Ask Kelly Slater and he’ll tell you how good it was.

Lola Island is a 40-minute boat ride from Munda Station which Solomon Airlines services twice every day with its Dash 8 aircraft, so plenty of room for boards but packing a Mal can pose a few problems.

The great thing about surfing in the West is that many of the waves just waiting to be ridden have no name – and with reefs abounding all it takes is a slightly different wind direction, a shift in tide and suddenly a world class break will begin to pump.

But sometimes you just have to be there on the day. Or as surfers are renowned for saying “you should have been here yesterday.”

To Malaita and the Solwata surf camp located in the heart of spectacular Lau lagoon and home to a dozen world class reef set ups offering opportunity for all surfing levels and styles.

Maravagi, in the Florida islands and an hour’s boat ride from Honiara, is home to an isolated small and very clean A-frame, the original name of which has been lost in time and is now known simply as ‘Spikey’s’ after the last ‘Manepura’ (white man) to surf this area two years ago – yes, the Solomon Islands is actually one of the few places on the planet where you still have naming rights.

To the jewel in the crown, Santa Isabel and Papatura Island Retreat, one of the best surfing set-ups to be found anywhere in the South Pacific.

Managed by Australian expats Pete and Margie Blanche, Papatura sits on a beautiful sandy beach facing the main island of Santa Isabel, and is protected from the ocean winds. On the seaward side of the island sit several good surf breaks including Anchovies, PT’s, Kumma’s, Zoli’s, Donuts and Tarzan’s, the latter offering a perfect A-frame with barrels going in both directions. There are several more breaks around the reef directly outside Papatura and each one will have its day depending on winds, swell direction and tides.

The journey to Papatura is worth the effort – Twin Otter flights to the grass strip at Suavanao and a five-minute boat ride to Papatura Faa Island and the retreat.

Mal riders be advised getting anything over 7’ on a twin Otter is difficult but don’t worry, the retreat offers its guests a huge range of surfboards from stubby nosed fish and a good selection of standard boards through to rhino chasers and a selection of Mals.

Best of all, Papatura Island retreat limits the number of boardriders to a max of 14 at any one time – so with more than 20 different breaks to choose from, you’re guaranteed an uncrowded surf.

With just 25,000 international visitors a year, and literally only a couple of hundred of that number being surfers, the Solomon Islands is a very long way from being discovered by the crowds – inevitably as the word slowly gets out, things will change but so far they haven’t.

So now is definitely the time to go.

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