15 Best Things to Do in the Solomon Islands
Travelers pining over the way travel “used” to be will be pleasantly surprised to see that not much has changed for the Solomon Islands. This laidback part of the planet is still as unspoiled as a vacation destination can get. There are a number of World War II relics, some turned tourist attractions like the Bonegi I and II naval vessels sunk by U.S. forces, and Vilu War Museum. It’s the scenery, however, that leaves the greatest impression. Dive Munda takes visitors into a nearly unbelievable realm of unspoiled beauty. Borare River Cascades, Tenaru Falls, and Trenches Creek Falls are feasts for the eyes. These 15 things to do in the Solomon Islands will bring travelers back in time to a simpler, more beautiful world. Photo: andreev-studio.ru/Fotolia
Tenaru Falls is one of the most remote waterfalls in Honiara and as such all hikers will need permission and a guide in order to experience its majestic beauty. This begins with a visit to the Solomon Islands Visitors Bureau, which will assist in directing visitors to the Village Chief Peter who selects a guide to lead them to the falls. The hike itself isn’t a difficult one as the trail is mostly flat, but it does require frequent river crossing. Along the way hikers will enjoy the incredible beauty of the lush surroundings before ending at the stunning falls where they can enjoy a peaceful swim as their much needed reward.
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»Honiara Botanical Gardens
Located in Rove, Honiara, the Honiara Botanical Gardens are housed on a former World War II site that served as a base for both Japanese and American troops. Today it features a series of charming woodland trails surrounded by lush greenery and stately trees. The gardens’ highlight is the beautifully restored Orchid House that showcases the various orchid species that are found all over the islands. It also features a grisly hanging site that was used during the British Colonial rule for capital punishment, giving visitors insight to the area’s history. There are a few private companies that offer guided tours of the area for those who want an in-depth educational experience.
Address: Mendana Avenue, Honiara, Solomon Islands, Phone: +67-72-25-06 Photo: licvin/Fotolia
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»Honiara Central Market
The Honiara Central Market is located near the water’s edge of the Iron Bottom Sound to allow fishing boats to pull in and take their catches straight to market. Established in the 1950s, the market serves as the primary place for national internal trading and is one of only two markets that are owned and operated by the Honiara City Council. The market features a permanent covered building and several side booths around the building. Nearly everything is sold here, including flowers, fish, clothing, vegetables, fruits, local crafts, jewelry, and hair tonics. Shell money (strings of polished shell beads) are also sold here, an important currency to these islands.
Address: Mendana Avenue, Honiara, Solomon Islands, Phone: +67-72-25-06 Photo: Arnaud TAFILET/Fotolia
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»Guadalcanal American Memorial
The Guadalcanal American Memorial was constructed and dedicated in 1992 to the Americans and their allies who lost their lives during the Guadalcanal Campaign of World War II. Its opening marked the 50th anniversary of the Red Beach landings, which was the first major and successful United States Pacific offensive during World War II, but it had a grim cost. There were over 6,000 U.S., Australian, and Japanese service people who lost their lives that day, and this monument was made to honor and respect their incredible sacrifice. The memorial features four wooden boards pointing in the four directions where the battles were fought and five marble plaques featuring the names of ships lost.
Address: Mendana Avenue, Honiara, Solomon Islands, Phone: +67-72-25-06 Photo: sakura/Fotolia
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»Rennell Island & Lake Tegano
Located on Rennell Island, Lake Tegano boasts the largest raised coral reef in the world with an area of over 215,000 acres at an outstanding length of nearly 54 miles and a width of almost 10 miles. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site covering one-third of the island, and it serves as the home for various endemic species including the sea snake. The island itself is known for its rich biodiversity and unique ecology with a lush forest that surrounds the entire lake. This is a popular destination for eco-tourists, snorkelers, and divers as there are roughly 200 islets, unique wildlife, and the sunken remains of numerous Catalina seaplanes from WWII.
Address: Mendana Avenue, Honiara, Solomon Islands, Phone: +67-72-25-06 Photo: Evan/Fotolia
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»Solomon Islands National Museum
Located in the capital city of Honiara, the Solomon Islands National Museum is the only national museum in the entire country.. It first opened in 1969 and serves as a cultural center, ministry, government department, and museum. Its collection consists of over 2,000 items, the majority of which are centered on cultural materials, natural history specimens, and archeological materials. They also house two World War II relics as well as a collection of audio-visual reference books and materials. Entry to the museum is free, and visitors can expect to see art, photography, posters, journals, outdoor sculptures, archeological discoveries, and historic documents.
Address: Mendana Avenue, Honiara, Solomon Islands, Phone: +67-72-48-96 Photo: railwayfx/Fotolia
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»Serah Keu Lagoon Hideaway
The Serah Keu Lagoon Hideaway is a romantic leaf bungalow constructed over the water nestled in the southern end of Langa Langa Lagoon. It is an ideal destination for travelers who have a love for off-the-beaten-path experiences and want to immerse themselves in local culture. While it is situated on the water there are no beaches in this area, it does however feature views of various islands, mangroves, and incredibly colorful sunsets. The highlights of the area are the various immersive cultural experiences visitors can arrange. These include reenactments of warrior attacks from the past as well as demonstrations of bride ceremonies in their custom garb and shell moneymaking.
Address: Langa Langa Lagoon, Malaita, Auki, Solomon Islands, Phone: +67-76-05-26 Photo: ead72/Fotolia
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»Tavanipupu Private Island Resort
Tavanipupu Private Island Resort, a stunning tropical paradise encircled by an expansive turquoise lagoon, features manicured lawns dotted with rows of coconut palms. Located in Marau Sound just 25 miles east via plane from Honiara, this privately owned 5-star island is one of the South Pacific’s best kept secrets. There are eleven bungalows on the island ensuring all who visit will have a quiet and serene experience with an air of exclusivity. They offer numerous activities such as snorkeling, paddle-boarding, and kayaking in the lagoon as well as fishing expeditions and sunset cruises. Visitors can also charter boats to nearby islands and are encouraged to explore the island by foot and bike.
Address: Tavanipupu, Solomon Islands, Phone: +67-73-60-82 Photo: weerayut/Fotolia
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»The World Discoverer
The World Discoverer is both an eerie and remarkable sight to behold. Located in Roderick Bay, this half-sunken vessel has been partially submerged, lying tipped to one side since 2000. Once a world traveling cruise ship, it met its fateful demise with an unchartered reef, officially ending its career for good. While everyone aboard the vessel was safely removed, the ship had to be grounded to avoid completely sinking. Though several attempts have been made to salvage the ship, it still remains in the bay to this day and has become somewhat of a famous tourist attraction, drawing in visitors looking for a good photo op.
Address: The Sandfly Passage, Roderick Bay, Solomon Islands, Phone: +67-72-25-06 Photo: eevl/Fotolia
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»Trenches Creek Falls
Trenches Creek Falls is a beautiful natural attraction that provides avid hikers with the perfect daytrip. The trek to the falls is a moderate to difficult level hike that lasts approximately six hours there and back. Hikers will start the trek at Kakabona Village following the Kakabona River, which begins as an easy walk through a mostly dry creek bed. It gradually becomes more difficult along the way, but the views are worth it. Visitors will pass by gorgeous natural pools surrounded by tree canopies and soaring canyon walls. When the river narrows, it becomes slightly more challenging, requiring hikers to wade through water and clamber over boulders and cascades to reach the falls.
Address: Kakabona, Honiara, Solomon Islands, Phone: +67-72-25-06 Photo: linjerry/Fotolia
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»Vilu War Museum
The Vilu War Museum is located roughly one hour outside of capital city Honiara by car. It’s hidden behind forest coverage a little less than a mile from West Guadalcanal Road. The museum is a prominent attraction for history enthusiasts due to its remarkable collection of American, Japanese, New Zealand, and Australian war relics. Many of these objects are the remnants of the Guadalcanal Campaign in which nearly 30,000 Japanese troops were killed. The outdoor lawns of the museum are equally impressive, featuring an array of unexploded shells, aircraft artillery pieces, aircrafts, and an assortment of monuments dedicated to fallen soldiers.
Address: West Guadalcanal Road, Vilu Village, Honiara, Guadalcanal Island, Solomon Islands, Phone: +67-72-25-06 Photo: Ashton/Fotolia
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»Bonegi I and II
The Bonegi I and II are two naval vessels that the US forces managed to sink during World War II. They are now located off the coast of Bonegi Beach. This is a popular scuba diving and snorkeling site for visitors of all ages as both vessels are within swimming distance of the shoreline. Also known as Hirokawa (Bonegi I) and Kingugawa (Bonegi II), these shipwrecks are 330 feet apart from one another, making it easy for divers to hit both of them in one day. Surrounded by lush underwater plant life and colorful fish, the large wrecks are mostly intact despite tectonic activity and the passage of time.
Address: Mendana Avenue, Honiara, Solomon Islands, Phone: +67-72-25-06 Photo: OliverFoerstner/Fotolia
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»Borare River Cascades
Located west of Honiara near Vura Village, the Borare River Cascades are a majestic natural wonder and an ideal day-trip for hikers and naturalists. The walk to the cascades requires visitors to follow an old logging road that has become wild with vines, turning what would be a relaxing walk into a somewhat challenging hike. It is roughly a one-hour trek each way, so it’s wise to set aside at least three hours when making this trip. It’s well worth the time. The cascades start off with a modest rocky waterfall before flowing down into a long series of cascades, making it an ideal spot to enjoy a swim.
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»Coral Sea Resort & Casino - Boat Charter
The Coral Sea Resort & Casino is a beautiful seaside property just 20 minutes from the Honiara International Airport. They offer a wide variety of amenities, but their boat charters are by far one of their top attractions. Visitors can choose the style of charter they want to book from adventure trips like fishing, snorkeling, and scuba diving to more relaxed options like dolphin watching, island hopping, and sightseeing. Each charter is customizable and can be rented for either half days (4 hours), or full days (8 hours). A prominent boat trip for couples is the Romantic Getaway, an all-inclusive excursion with a picnic basket, sparkling wine, and a personal chef.
Address: Tandai Highway, Town Ground, Honiara, Solomon Islands, Phone: +67-72-62-88 Photo: Voyagerix/Fotolia
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Dive Munda consists of 12 U.S. trained, local dive guides who are committed to protecting their oceans and environment while also providing exceptional adventure excursions to their many incredible dive sites. They are based in the village of Munda in the Western Province of the Solomon Islands on the coast of New Georgia Island. The area is known for its biodiversity and magnificent reefs that remain in pristine condition with lush soft and hard corals and large sea fans. The abundant marine life is also a huge draw with frequent sightings of blacktip, whitetip, and grey sharks, dogtooth tuna, barracuda, and eagle rays.
Address: Coast Road, Munda, Western Province, Solomon Islands, Phone: +67-76-21-56 Photo: Ashton/Fotolia
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15 Best Things to Do in the Solomon Islands
- Tenaru Falls, Photo: Courtesy of matteosan - Fotolia.com
- Honiara Botanical Gardens, Photo: Courtesy of licvin - Fotolia.com
- Honiara Central Market, Photo: Courtesy of Arnaud TAFILET - Fotolia.com
- Guadalcanal American Memorial, Photo: Courtesy of sakura - Fotolia.com
- Rennell Island & Lake Tegano, Photo: Courtesy of Evan - Fotolia.com
- Solomon Islands National Museum, Photo: Courtesy of railwayfx - Fotolia.com
- Serah Keu Lagoon Hideaway, Photo: Courtesy of ead72 - Fotolia.com
- Tavanipupu Private Island Resort, Photo: Courtesy of weerayut - Fotolia.com
- The World Discoverer, Photo: Courtesy of eevl - Fotolia.com
- Trenches Creek Falls, Photo: Courtesy of linjerry - Fotolia.com
- Vilu War Museum, Photo: Courtesy of Ashton - Fotolia.com
- Bonegi I and II, Photo: Courtesy of OliverFoerstner - Fotolia.com
- Borare River Cascades, Photo: Courtesy of photo_journey - Fotolia.com
- Coral Sea Resort & Casino - Boat Charter, Photo: Courtesy of Voyagerix - Fotolia.com
- Dive Munda, Photo: Courtesy of Ashton - Fotolia.com
- Cover Photo: Courtesy of andreev-studio.ru - Fotolia.com
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