Presented by Solomon Airlines and Tourism Solomons
Sure, we love sitting by the water with a cocktail. But only if we've eked out every last ounce of adventure a place has to offer.
And considering the Solomon Islands have 994 islands in its archipelago—there’s plenty of adventure (and culture, and relaxation) to go around. In fact, we reckon the Sollies is the most epic getaway within a few hours of Australia.
From thick jungle and pristine beaches, to extraordinary underwater reefs and gnarly above water waves, there’s a landscape here to suit every kind of explorer. Plus, the warmest of people with the warmest of welcomes.
To prove our point, we’ve rounded up six of the most extraordinary adventures this paradise has to offer. We bet at least one tickles your travel fancy.
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No sharks, uncrowded waves, and the same swell that hits Hawai’i. Sounds too good to be true, right? Wrong.
Solomon Islands is basically the ideal surf destination. Especially if you’re based in either Australia or the Pacific, where the waves are only a short flight away. The Sollies receive Hawai’i’s swell a week later, which takes the edge of some of the world’s most hectic breaks and makes for more accessible waves.
Where should you go? The eastern region is always good. Toi is one of the premier waves in the Solomons—a big right-hander that will give serious surfers plenty of time in the tube. In the same neck of the woods is Charlie’s Right, a consistent right-hander, while Kofiloco is the perfect longboarder’s wave.
Regular storms mean the November to March period often has the best conditions, but many breaks are surfable year-round.
Where to stay: There are a number of surf camps and operators who can show you the best waves, and one of those includes Vavaghio Guest House (on Santa Isabel Island), where well-equipped bungalows stand back from the beach in the cool of the mangroves. Surfing, diving and fishing are all catered for here, where there is a capacity of just 8 guests.
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Given the country is made up of six major islands and over 900 smaller ones, it is no surprise that there is an abundance of ocean fishing to be found.
As well as this, there is great inland fishing to be had at a number of rivers that weave their way through the islands like arteries.
We recommend heading to Santa Isabel Island for the fishing adventure of a lifetime. You’ll find everything from sail fish, shark, sweet lip, coral trout, cod, job fish, kingfish, trevally, wahoo, mackerel, barracuda, wrasse and snapper. While mangrove jacks, spot tail bass and ox eye herring are catchable inland.
Where to stay: Arguably the best place to base yourself is at Papatura Island Resort. Boats and gear can be hired here, and there are guides to take you to some of the best reefs, atolls, islands and bommies throughout the South Pacific.
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There’s a heap of jungle hiking to experience here. From the impressive curves of Mount Rano to searching for waterfalls just outside of Honiara.
If you’re in the Western Province, get yourself a boat over to Kolombangara Island where you can tackle the 1,770 metre Mount Rano summit. This is no cookie-cutter hike; there’s chopping and cutting tracks, clawing through mud and rivers and scrambling uphill. Once you get there though, you’ll be rewarded with Lord of the Rings-worthy views.
Staying closer to Honiara? Don’t miss a hike (roughly a four-hour return trip) to the incredible Tenaru Falls where you can swim in the cool pools, do a spot of birdwatching and explore the surrounding jungle.
Where to stay: An inland paradise, Paranjiju Mountain Lodge—located in the hills of central Guadalcanal, just an hour from Honiara—offers up breathtaking rainforest and ocean views. The lodge itself is built with sustainable materials and powered by solar energy, and is well-regarded for its commitment to preserving the environment.
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A dive location unlike anywhere else in the world.
Being based in the, aptly named, Coral Triangle, the Sollies boast some of the most active marine life anywhere in the world, with amazing reefs, fish of every variety and super clear waters.
As well as this, it’s been 80 years since the fierce World War II battle for Guadalcanal, where the advance of the Japanese imperial forces across the Pacific was halted by the United States and Allied forces. A number of wrecks from the battle now serve as fascinating dive spots, and important reminders of the past.
Where to stay / dive: In the idyllic village of Munda, Dive Munda offers customised diving experiences based on the needs of each person. Diving, free-diving and snorkelling is also available here. Best of all, Munda is in close proximity to an array of marine life, wreckages, spectacular underwater walls and more.
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There’s wild, and then there’s Tetepare Island.
The largest uninhabited island in the South Pacific, Tetepare is 27 kilometres by seven kilometres of rugged, jungle-filled chaos, unspoilt by tourism or anything else.
Travel companies often offer ‘wild’ eco-resorts, but this is the real deal. Rampant jungle and colourful reef are your playground, the island is yours to take on and conquer. Swim with reef sharks and dugong before breakfast before exploring the island’s other gifts by foot. Take it easy in a hammock in the arvo, then try your chances with giant leatherback turtles at night.
Facilities are basic but functional and wi-fi is non-existent, as are people, more or less. For those that value adventure and relaxation in equal measure, there mightn’t be a better place to stay in the South Pacific.
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Life is different everywhere you go.
Adventures come in all shapes and sizes. In the Solomon Islands, they come on beaches and forests, up volcanos and on reefs. But you can also find adventure in the little villages.
Saeragi is one such village. A little settlement of just over 100 people, it’s just a 20 minute boat trip from Gizo. Alternatively, you can drive from Gizo via a coastal track in a 4WD. The area offers the opportunity to visit several villages where you can experience rural and traditional life, from chewing the fat with village men to making a canoe or watching the Solomons grommets surf. Typically, Saeragi has a long stretch of stunning beach, but it’s the people that make this place truly beautiful.
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In 1943, John F Kennedy was stranded on an island in the Solomons. After a dramatic escape thanks to the help of two locals, that island is now named after the President.