The Solomon Islands is made up of nine provinces: Central, Choiseul, Guadalcanal, Malaita, Makira & Ulawa, Rennell & Bellona, Temotu, Western and Ysabel. Honiara, the capital of the Solomon Islands, is located on Guadalcanal Island. Boasting a population of over 64,000 people, Honiara is a great base from which to explore the region. Over four thousand years ago, the Solomon Islands was settled by Melanesians, which is why the region boasts such a rich and colourful culture today. English and Pidgin are the official languages of the region; however, no less than ninety local languages are spoken here. World War II had a major impact on the region with the Battle of Guadalcanal being fought over a six month period with 38,000 men losing their lives. The region is still littered with war remnants and, today, visitors can check out the battlefields to see just how the final battle played out.
Things to see and do
For a cultural fix, check out the National Museum and Cultural Centre on Mendana Avenue in Honiara. The centre is home to cultural artefacts, imagery and costumes particular to the Solomon’s. Visit the US War Memorial which commemorates the many lives lost during the Guadalcanal campaign. If you’re a history buff, there are plenty of war history tours on offer in the region which range from two hours to a week long. Take a leisurely drive to Bonegi Beach to swim, snorkel and dive. Make sure you check out the two Japanese war wrecks here – Kinugawa and Hirokawa. Tulagi is also popular for diving. Try USS Aaron Ward, USS Kanawha and HMNZS Moa all in proximity to Tulagi. Alternatively, take a one hour flight to Gizo for some of the best diving in the Solomon’s. The island also boasts great surfing, fishing and trekking. Get up close with nature and trek one of the active volcanoes in the region. The region also boasts some beautiful waterfalls which include Mataniko Waterfall, Tenaru Waterfuall, Barare Cascade and Kahove Waterfall. Fringed by bio-diverse reefs, Tetepare Island is an eco-paradise just waiting to be explored. Species inhabiting the region include hornbills, pygmy parrots, dugongs and dolphins. Fishing enthusiasts are spoilt for choice in the Solomon’s with reef, game, beach, wreck and estuary fishing all available here. Those up for some serious game fishing have the opportunity to catch yellow fin tuna, striped marlin and Pacific sailfish.
Other attractions worth checking out
- Honiara Botanical Gardens
- The Monument
- Manmade islands on Langa Langa Lagoon and Lau Lagoon
- Honiara Central Market
- Skull Island
Useful Pidgin Phrases
- THANK YOU – Tanggio
- YES – Yia
- NO – Nomoa
- GOOD / EXCELLENT – Gud tumas / nambawan
- I AM PLEASED TO MEET YOU – Mi hapi tumas fo lukim yu
- WHAT IS YOUR NAME? – Wanem blo yu?
- WHERE DO YOU COME FROM? – Yu blo wea?
- WHERE ARE YOU GOING? – Yu go we?
- HELP! – Helpem mi!
- HOW ARE YOU? – Yu hao?
Annual Festivals & Shows
- Choiseul Province Second Appointed Day, February
- Easter Celebrations, April
- Kolombangara BioDiversity & Cultural Festival, June
- Wogosia Spear Festival, June
- Lagoon Festival, October
- Annual Stunned Mullet Competition, November