Escape for the Weekend

Explore our collection of weekend

Solomon Islands

What to see in the Solomon Islands? Kavachi volcano; Marovo Lagoon; Tetepare Island reserve; Arawon Island; Tegano Lake; East Rennell atoll.

Melanesians are considered to have been inhabiting the Solomon Islands for several thousand years. It can surprise that during such a long period of time this territory has not reached the same level of development as in Europe, cannot it? However do not forget that pacific countries are the most isolated region in the world. The Solomon Islands are a state situated in Melanesia eastward from Papua New Guinea. It consists of 992 islands, but only 347 of them are inhabited. The country got independence from Great Britain only in 1978. The northern part of the Solomon Islands Archipelago (including Bougainville Island, Buka Island, Nissan Island and range of atolls) belongs to Papua New Guinea. The capital of the Solomon Islands – Honiara – is situated on the largest island of the country – Guadalcanal. The official language is English, though only 2% of the population can speak it. At the same time Melanesian people widely use Melanesian “pidgin” (which is, in fact, Creole language), and 120 other languages. The national currency is Solomon Islands dollar (SBD). The main line of industry is fishing. Tuna from the Solomon Islands is exported to all over the Europe. The cultural image of this region is pretty much the same as many years ago. Nearly all the houses are traditional: rectangular huts with wicker walls and gabble roof made of palm leaves. But in large towns you can easily find buildings of European type. Melanesians prefer modern clothes, few if any wear waistcloths. The climate is subequatorial, very humid. The average temperature is 26-28 degrees Celsius and it hardly ever changes throughout the year. The most comfortable period is from May to October, during this time it is relatively dry and not hot. The hottest and the most humid period continues from December to March. It is highly recommended to get vaccinated against malaria, typhus, hepatitis B and jungle fever if you are going to visit this region. The Solomon Islands undoubtedly merit divers’ attention with their incredibly bright underwater world and enormous number of sunken ships and crashed airplanes of the Second World War. Generally the depth in diving spots is from 20 to 45 meters and water temperature is about 25-30 degrees Celsius.

On the Solomon Islands there is an active underwater volcano Kavachi, belonging to the New Georgia Islands. On New Georgia Island there is the world’s biggest saltwater lagoon – Marovo Lagoon. There you can find volcanic islands with active volcanoes. They are too small so their activity poses no danger. However here you can explore complex volcanic bottom configuration, forming various grottos, caves, walls and tunnels inhabited by very interesting creatures.

The biggest island of the lagoon is Tetepare Island. It is a reserve of international importance, where you can meet endangered leather turtles and particular species of sea cows. Arawon Island, which is called Turtle Island, is inhabited by rare species of hawksbill turtles. The territory of the Solomon Islands includes East Rennell – the world’s largest raised coral atoll. Also on Rennell Island there is the biggest freshwater lake in the southern part of the Pacific Ocean with more than 200 islands and diverse flora and fauna – Tegano Lake.

You can get to the Solomon Islands from Darwin, Melbourne, Brisbane, Sydney, Oakland and some other cities of Australia and New Zealand. There are 40 airports on the Solomon Islands and one of them is international:

  • Honiara International Airport (HIR)

The biggest island of the lagoon is Tetepare Island. It is a reserve of international importance, where you can meet endangered leather turtles and particular species of sea cows. Arawon Island, which is called Turtle Island, is inhabited by rare species of hawksbill turtles. The territory of the Solomon Islands includes East Rennell – the world’s largest raised coral atoll. Also on Rennell Island there is the biggest freshwater lake in the southern part of the Pacific Ocean with more than 200 islands and diverse flora and fauna – Tegano Lake.

Guadalcanal is surrounded by fifty-odd war ships, and many of them, which were driven ashore due to injuries, remain on the same place. About twenty more ships sunk among Savo Island and capes Tessafaronga and Esperance, which can be easily seen due to water transparency though they are situated on the depth exceeding scuba-diving limits.

To the north of Guadalcanal Island, on the bottom, there are tens of Japanese, American and English fighters. Many crash sites have been covered with marine sediments but the most popular ones are regularly cleared by divers themselves.

>