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First Visit to Solomon Islands - Trip Report

Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
72 posts
19 reviews
First Visit to Solomon Islands - Trip Report

We visited the Solomons in Oct/Nov this year - we've been home a little over a week. We spent a week in Ghizo (well Mbabanga Island actually) and a week in Uepi. Our International flights were with Pacific Blue and flight times were a bit tight so (having heard how often Solomon Air changed flight times) we decided to play safe which unfortunately meant staying one night either end in Honiara. I will post reviews for all our accomodation but we really got the wrong place in Honiara (Pacfic Casino)!!

The flight to Ghizo was spectacular - the Solomons ae just so pictuesque (especially from the air). Having had a bad first impression our resort really had some work to do and I have to say it won us over at first sight. We stayed at Sanbis which is a fantastic place - the room was just great and the food was wonderful (especially the wood fired pizzas and the nightly Crayfish). We really didn't want to leave at the end of the week but we tore ourselves away and headed for Uepi Island Resort. Again, a brilliant flight followed by a bit of a bumpy boat ride (I'm a wuss when it comes to the sea!). Uepi was different but in it's way just as good as Sanbis. Hubby, who's a diver, preferred Uepi because the diving had so much more wow factor - I couldn't decide which was my favorite!! The lagoon at Uepi is brilliant for a non diver - the fish just come to you.

Anyway, we will be back for more, but will endevour to avoid Honiara next time around!

Sunshine Coast
14 posts
1. Re: First Visit to Solomon Islands - Trip Report

Hi there, just a quick question for you - you mentioned that you'll bypass Honiara when you go back to the Solomons - what's so bad about Honiara? Are there any good points about it? We are thinking of moving over there for a year or so for my husbands work and would love to hear any comments you have.

Thanks

Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
72 posts
19 reviews
2. Re: First Visit to Solomon Islands - Trip Report

Please understand that I am talking about Honiara from a tourist point of view. Our trip was to visit Ghizo and Uepi and as such Honiara was a waste of a day at each end of the holiday. Maybe if we'd chosen a different hotel we would have felt differently, but from a tourist point of view there doesn't seem to be much to see in Honiara itself and we didn't have enough time to see any thing else in Guadalcanal. I would prefer to do all our travel in one day next time so we can have more time at our final destination. As a place to live I couldn't comment, but I have to say I certainly didn't feel threatened or uneasy while there.

Sunshine Coast
14 posts
3. Re: First Visit to Solomon Islands - Trip Report

Thanks for your comments - Greatly appreciated.

Nottingham, United...
Level Contributor
3 posts
161 reviews
4. Re: First Visit to Solomon Islands - Trip Report

Honiara as a resident is probably much more appealing than Honiara as a tourist. I have been there a couple of Years and really enjoyed it

Auckland Central...
Level Contributor
32 posts
5. Re: First Visit to Solomon Islands - Trip Report

LorryBrisbane is being very fair on their impressions of Honiara. We have been to the Solomons twice now and is now our first choice of destination. Yes Honiara is a culture shock first time around. We by passed 2nd time round we visited but this time we are making the time to spend there and see a bit of Guadacanal.

As far as living in the Solomons, I would love to be in your shoes! The islands you will have access to are truely amazing!! But best of all, the Solomon Island people are something else!! The place and the people get under your skin, and into your heart! I hate leaving and can't wait to get back!!!

My advise is to do as much homework/research as you can before you go. (But don't believe everything you read) If you get a chance to visit before you decide to live there, take it. Be realistic and open minded, take things as they come ( and that could well be in island time!!! :o) .

Good luck and any questions, send email message

Cheers

Happy Seasider

Bourke, Australia
Level Contributor
200 posts
178 reviews
6. Re: First Visit to Solomon Islands - Trip Report

There is a huge difference between living in Honiara, and visiting as a tourist. There is also a difference between living there as an expat on a high expat salary, and living there with the locals on a local salary.

I have done both the tourist and resident (local salary).

I would recommend taking what opportunities you have to visit islands other than Guadalcanal and the very tourist -oriented Western Province, to get a real feel for the country.

Solomon Islands is very safe, provided you respect local custom, don't flaunt money or possessions, and take the normal precautions you would at home.

Incidentally, the Pacific Casino Hotel would not be on my recommended list for a number of reasons.

Brisbane, Australia
1 post
7. Re: First Visit to Solomon Islands - Trip Report

Hi HappySeasider,

I'm going to Solomons Islands for 5 nights with my wife and 2 small children (6 and 4 years old), we just want to relax on the beach mainly, is there a better resort/island to go to???

Solomon Islands
Level Contributor
43 posts
8. Re: First Visit to Solomon Islands - Trip Report

Hi Scott,

For relaxing on the beach type holiday, I would recomend somewhere like Fatboys Resort up in the western province. They have some whiute sandy beaches plus other basic activities for kids (kayaks, snorkelling, pool table). See http://www.fatboysgizo.com/

You will need to fly there domestic from Honiara up to Gizo. Price is normally around $1500SBD - $2500SBD which is around $250AUD return.

For more of a basic island experience which can be accessed from Honiara, you could look somewhere like Maravagi. Experiences vary greatly when going here which is sometimes the island way. I've had great times there but have had friends that it hasn't turned out too well, but then again, they had fun stories to tell afterwards. See welkamsolomons.com/places/…index.html for more info. They also have some white beaches and nice to relax. It is about a 1.5hr boat ride from Honiara.

If you want further info, I can get someone to post you our Solomon Islands Information guide that we produce if you want from our Queensland office. It's a free mag and has plenty of information. We're sponsored by SI Visitors Bureau and Industry so we don't actually sell anything from it, we just promote all their tourism companies. (jsut send us a private message with address if you want a copy)

Cheers.. Gregg

Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
56 posts
145 reviews
9. Re: First Visit to Solomon Islands - Trip Report

Living in Honiara is great once you get used to the heat, grubbiness and frequent inconveniences. The people are great, the country is beautiful and you have excellent snorkelling just about 10 km out of Honiara. There are also quite a few nice places to eat and some decent resorts mostly in western province. Visiting the other provinces and staying in village stays is really interesting, especially if you enjoy outboard motor canoes! On the down side, housing is expensive, as are power and telecommunications. Tourist accommodation is not a strong point but I think the Heritage Park Hotel (the newest, smartest hotel in town - most of the others are pretty tired) has packages with Solomon Airlines.

Bourke, Australia
Level Contributor
200 posts
178 reviews
10. Re: First Visit to Solomon Islands - Trip Report

If you are only going to be in the country for 5 days, it probably isn't worth spending a good part of two of them travelling to the Western province. Maravagi is basic by Australian standards, but has great food and environment. If you are there during the local school term, you could ask them to take ou to visit a local school. Snorkelling is great.