|Near Tenaru Falls, Guadalcanal.
The Solomon Islands may be poor, in some cases, desperately so. And they may also be surprisingly expensive too. Then there’s the not insignificant matter of the civil unrest from the turn of the century. But none of this means you shouldn’t go, nor does it mean there aren’t some very real attractions for this very beautiful country to shout from the rooftops. I’d love to go back and if you are searching for adventure in a largely untouched tropical destination – particularly of the WW2, underwater or jungle-swashbuckling variety – the Solomon’s could be just for you.
In an upcoming pair of articles for New Zealand’s number one travel mag, Let’s Travel, I’ll explain my time in the Solomon Islands from August this year. With eight nights in the provinces / islands of Guadalcanal and Malaita, I had experiences like snorkeling in serene lagoons as well as in the waves of a WW2 shipwreck. I trekked through arguably the finest jungle in the South Pacific (the Solomon’s still have more than 75% of their original forest cover and it is wild, oversized and truly stunning) and saw trees growing out of abandoned war tanks. I climbed a volcanic island, went dolphin spotting, met missionaries in a remote village and felt humbled witnessing cultural performances on a man-made island built centuries ago.
Indeed, everywhere we went we found ourselves welcomed into villages – often times with food, song and dance. And I should note that the accommodation at the Heritage Park Hotel in Honiara was excellent with the dishes at the restaurant (or brought to you by the pool) even better.
Split over two Roxborogh Report photo essays will be my favourite pictures from the expedition with the first lot of photos below. These images include the two Guadalcanal cultural villages we visited with one being traditionally Melanesian (Lumatapopoho) and the other traditionally Polynesian (Sikainana). Hope you like them – my top 50 Guadalcanal photos (with the Malaita photos to come):