The Hapi Isles

The Solomon Islands is an exotic archipelago of 992 magical islands of varied landscapes, rich in cultural and biological diversity. Untouched by 20th century development and tourism, the Solomon Islands offer visitors a feast of unique experiences and adventures. Comprising nine main island groups, this pristine paradise of unspoiled natural beauty is one of the Pacific’s best kept secrets and is considered to be the eco-tourism destination of the South Pacific.

This is the ideal holiday destination for travellers with an adventurous spirit looking to get off the beaten path.

During World War II the Solomons became a key turning point in the desperate struggle by the Allied forces to repel the Japanese advance in the South Pacific. Most of the heavy fighting was concentrated in the Guadalcanal area, with one of the fiercest encounters in naval history taking place on 13th November 1942. The “Battle of Guadalcanal” extracted heavy losses on both sides. Hundreds of ships and aircraft litter the ocean floor around the Solomons, providing snorkelers and divers with a wide range of wrecks to explore. World War II history is apparent on land as well. Battlefield Tours to WWII memorial sites and museums is a highlight and also a fitting reminder of days gone by.

Solomon Islands Geographical Information

The Solomon Islands are located 1,860 kilometres to the north-east of Australia, just a short 3 hour flight from Brisbane, Australia to the capital of Honiara. The archipelago lies between Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu and consists of 992 islands shaped by earthquakes and volcanic activity thousands of years ago. The islands range in size from tiny, low-lying coral atolls to larger landmasses.

There are nine provinces in the Solomon Islands, each made up of islands and atolls with their own unique characteristics, customs and attractions. The main islands are surprisingly rugged, covered in tropical jungles and lush rainforests with steep river valleys, waterfalls, picturesque beaches, and two smouldering volcanoes. The outer islands are coral atolls lined with coconut palms and surrounded by healthy coral reefs.

The international airport at Honiara in Guadalcanal Province is the gateway to the Solomon Islands.

Solomon Islands Activities

The Solomon Islands is renowned for having some of the best diving and snorkelling in the world. Crystal clear water with temperatures ranging between 27-30° C, provide a plethora of other water based activities. Kayaking, canoeing, sailing, surfing and big game fishing can all be enjoyed.

Land based activities include a range of unique cultural, ecological and historical tours. Visit custom villages, cultural shrines, historical WWII sites, view arts and crafts, take rainforest treks to waterfalls, do some bird spotting or even visit a volcano.

If you are looking for somewhere to completely check out from the daily grind, then come and visit the Solomon Islands.

When to Travel to the Solomon Islands

The Solomon Islands has an equatorial climate, meaning it is usually hot and humid all year round. The islands have an average temperature of about 27˚C with only very small changes from season to season.

Seasons are not clearly defined however November to April are the wetter months. Cyclones aren’t common but they can occur over this time. May to October is when rainfall, humidity and temperature are at their lowest, however cooling sea breezes help moderate temperatures on the coast all year round.

Solomon Islands Location Guide

General Details
Situated to the south east of Papua New Guinea and only 3 hours by air from Australia. The Solomon Islands is one of the most peaceful and beautiful areas of the Pacific. The Solomon Islands comprise 992 islands, of which 147 are inhabited. The international country code for the Solomon Islands is 677. The Solomon Islands are 11 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).

Entry & Visa Requirements
U.S. , British, Commonwealth and E.E.C visitors do not need to obtain a visa before arrival (subject to change).

Medical & Health Requirements
Dental, doctors and hospital services are available in major centres. There is a recompression chamber in Honiara. Malaria is a problem in the Solomon Islands. Anti-malarial precautions are highly recommended. Remember that some medications can make you sun sensitive, so extra care must be taken to ensure that skin is protected from sun burn. Please check with your physician for the best precautions to be taken. (For further details contact Travel Vax on 1300 360 164).

Currency
The currency of the Solomon Islands is the Solomon Dollar. Major credit cards are accepted at most hotels but not at all.

1 AUD = approximately 5.90 Solomon Dollars (February 2018)

Baggage (International economy flights ex Australia)
Solomon Airlines – 30kg
Virgin Australia – 23kg (except Go fares – Nil baggage)
Domestic carriers are often restricted to 16kg.
(subject to change without notice)

Duty Free
The allowance is 200 cigarettes or 250g of tobacco and 2 litres of spirits or equivalent.

Weather
The Solomon Islands enjoy a tropical climate with daytime temperatures averaging 29C and evening temperatures averaging 19C. April to November is the most popular time to visit as the climate is very pleasant with little rain but the Solomon Islands are definitely considered a year round destination.

Clothing
The emphasis is on light and casual clothing but not too brief in public places. Swimwear is not permitted in the public areas of hotels, a light throw over is appropriate. Remember to cover up with light cotton clothing at dusk and dawn to prevent mosquito bites. Sun protection is absolutely essential.

Electricity
240 volts AC, Plug I – same as Australia. Electricity is not available on all islands though and supply may be erratic.

For further details refer to  www.iec.ch/worldplugs/

Banking
Trading banks are ANZ, Westpac and National Bank of Solomon Islands. If traveling to the remote outer islands, it is best to acquire some Solomon Dollars in advance. Some tourist facilities charge a 5% surcharge for credit card payments. There are banks in Honiara and Gizo, currency exchange services at Honiara Airport and ATM machines in Honiara and an ATM at Munda Post Office. Banking hours on the mainland are 8.30am to 3.00pm Monday to Friday.

Language
Predominately English speaking throughout although Melanesian pidgin is spoken by locals.

Religion
Local traditional beliefs and ceremonies are maintained in remote areas but Christian influence is predominant.

Water
Do not drink the tap water. A jug of drinking water will be supplied by most hotels and bottled water is sold everywhere. In the tropics it is important to drink plenty of non-alcoholic fluids to avoid dehydration.

Shopping
Shops in Honiara are open 8.00am to 12noon and 1.00pm to 4.30pm Monday to Friday. Shops and some offices open 8.00am to 12noon on Saturdays. High quality craftwork including wood carvings, mother of pearl items, shell jewellery and baskets can be bought direct from craftsmen in the outer islands or from craft and souvenir shops in Honiara. Local markets operate most days offering flowers, fruit, vegetables and handicrafts.

Tipping & Bargaining
Tipping is discouraged throughout the Solomon Islands but feel free to bargain with craftsmen.

Departure Tax
There is currently no locally paid departure taxes for the Solomon Islands.

Geographical Information

Solomon Islands Geographical Information

The Solomon Islands are located 1,860 kilometres to the north-east of Australia, just a short 3 hour flight from Brisbane, Australia to the capital of Honiara. The archipelago lies between Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu and consists of 992 islands shaped by earthquakes and volcanic activity thousands of years ago. The islands range in size from tiny, low-lying coral atolls to larger landmasses.

There are nine provinces in the Solomon Islands, each made up of islands and atolls with their own unique characteristics, customs and attractions. The main islands are surprisingly rugged, covered in tropical jungles and lush rainforests with steep river valleys, waterfalls, picturesque beaches, and two smouldering volcanoes. The outer islands are coral atolls lined with coconut palms and surrounded by healthy coral reefs.

The international airport at Honiara in Guadalcanal Province is the gateway to the Solomon Islands.

Activities

Solomon Islands Activities

The Solomon Islands is renowned for having some of the best diving and snorkelling in the world. Crystal clear water with temperatures ranging between 27-30° C, provide a plethora of other water based activities. Kayaking, canoeing, sailing, surfing and big game fishing can all be enjoyed.

Land based activities include a range of unique cultural, ecological and historical tours. Visit custom villages, cultural shrines, historical WWII sites, view arts and crafts, take rainforest treks to waterfalls, do some bird spotting or even visit a volcano.

If you are looking for somewhere to completely check out from the daily grind, then come and visit the Solomon Islands.

When to Travel

When to Travel to the Solomon Islands

The Solomon Islands has an equatorial climate, meaning it is usually hot and humid all year round. The islands have an average temperature of about 27˚C with only very small changes from season to season.

Seasons are not clearly defined however November to April are the wetter months. Cyclones aren’t common but they can occur over this time. May to October is when rainfall, humidity and temperature are at their lowest, however cooling sea breezes help moderate temperatures on the coast all year round.

Location Guide

Solomon Islands Location Guide

General Details
Situated to the south east of Papua New Guinea and only 3 hours by air from Australia. The Solomon Islands is one of the most peaceful and beautiful areas of the Pacific. The Solomon Islands comprise 992 islands, of which 147 are inhabited. The international country code for the Solomon Islands is 677. The Solomon Islands are 11 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).

Entry & Visa Requirements
U.S. , British, Commonwealth and E.E.C visitors do not need to obtain a visa before arrival (subject to change).

Medical & Health Requirements
Dental, doctors and hospital services are available in major centres. There is a recompression chamber in Honiara. Malaria is a problem in the Solomon Islands. Anti-malarial precautions are highly recommended. Remember that some medications can make you sun sensitive, so extra care must be taken to ensure that skin is protected from sun burn. Please check with your physician for the best precautions to be taken. (For further details contact Travel Vax on 1300 360 164).

Currency
The currency of the Solomon Islands is the Solomon Dollar. Major credit cards are accepted at most hotels but not at all.

1 AUD = approximately 5.90 Solomon Dollars (February 2018)

Baggage (International economy flights ex Australia)
Solomon Airlines – 30kg
Virgin Australia – 23kg (except Go fares – Nil baggage)
Domestic carriers are often restricted to 16kg.
(subject to change without notice)

Duty Free
The allowance is 200 cigarettes or 250g of tobacco and 2 litres of spirits or equivalent.

Weather
The Solomon Islands enjoy a tropical climate with daytime temperatures averaging 29C and evening temperatures averaging 19C. April to November is the most popular time to visit as the climate is very pleasant with little rain but the Solomon Islands are definitely considered a year round destination.

Clothing
The emphasis is on light and casual clothing but not too brief in public places. Swimwear is not permitted in the public areas of hotels, a light throw over is appropriate. Remember to cover up with light cotton clothing at dusk and dawn to prevent mosquito bites. Sun protection is absolutely essential.

Electricity
240 volts AC, Plug I – same as Australia. Electricity is not available on all islands though and supply may be erratic.

For further details refer to  www.iec.ch/worldplugs/

Banking
Trading banks are ANZ, Westpac and National Bank of Solomon Islands. If traveling to the remote outer islands, it is best to acquire some Solomon Dollars in advance. Some tourist facilities charge a 5% surcharge for credit card payments. There are banks in Honiara and Gizo, currency exchange services at Honiara Airport and ATM machines in Honiara and an ATM at Munda Post Office. Banking hours on the mainland are 8.30am to 3.00pm Monday to Friday.

Language
Predominately English speaking throughout although Melanesian pidgin is spoken by locals.

Religion
Local traditional beliefs and ceremonies are maintained in remote areas but Christian influence is predominant.

Water
Do not drink the tap water. A jug of drinking water will be supplied by most hotels and bottled water is sold everywhere. In the tropics it is important to drink plenty of non-alcoholic fluids to avoid dehydration.

Shopping
Shops in Honiara are open 8.00am to 12noon and 1.00pm to 4.30pm Monday to Friday. Shops and some offices open 8.00am to 12noon on Saturdays. High quality craftwork including wood carvings, mother of pearl items, shell jewellery and baskets can be bought direct from craftsmen in the outer islands or from craft and souvenir shops in Honiara. Local markets operate most days offering flowers, fruit, vegetables and handicrafts.

Tipping & Bargaining
Tipping is discouraged throughout the Solomon Islands but feel free to bargain with craftsmen.

Departure Tax
There is currently no locally paid departure taxes for the Solomon Islands.