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Discover the Solomon Islands

A Spanish explorer named the islands after the biblical King Solomon because he thought they contained valuable riches… and he wasn’t entirely wrong!

This amazing archipelago is home to almost 1000 islands, over a hundred endemic birds, historic WW2 relics and even a world heritage site.

The main island is Guadalcanal, home to the capital city Honiara and international airport, where Solomon Airlines’ global flight network includes two weekly flights to Brisbane – a breezy three-hours away.

The Solomon Islands reopen for international travel from July 1. Picture: Tourism Solomons

From July 1, the Solomons will be one of the latest Pacific destinations to reopen for international travel and as post-Covid travellers are keen to find out, here are several pointers on what to do and where to stay.

Things to do

Visit WW2 relics

The Solomons provides some of the only accessible world war wreck dives in the Pacific and they’re definitely bucket-list worthy.

Wrecked remains from WW2 at Bonegi Beach. Picture: Tourism Solomons

In the 1940s, this former British Protectorate was the bloodiest site of the Pacific Campaign between Japanese and Allied Forces, leaving extensive wartime relics throughout the islands.

On Guadalcanal, you can check out dive wrecks at Bonegi Beach and Iron Bottom Sound, a grave of sunken ships and planes.

On smaller islands like Tulagi, book in a walking tour and hike to fortification sites, visit fox holes and a memorial honouring the fallen.

Cannons at the Vilu War Museum. Picture: Tourism Solomons

Gizo and Munda also have much to offer for history enthusiasts and you can get in touch with established operators like Dive Munda to book in a fascinating excursion of WW2 dive wrecks.

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The Vilu War Museum is less than an hours-drive from Honiara and provides an open yard of tanks, cannons, planes and artillery and while it’s not a conventional museum, it does offer a rare assembly of these WW2 artefacts.

Graceland Nature Park

Just a half hour drive from Honiara, birdwatching, noni tours, hiking trails, campaign grounds and the scenic Lunga River offer a relaxed approach to wellness at Graceland.

The lookout point. Picture: Graceland Nature Park

The park was reopened in May and includes an onsite coffee bar and menu with a conscious focus on health. You can check out the noni farm and enjoy guided walks.

For panoramic photos, there’s a lookout offering beautiful vistas of the area, which teems with varied birdlife and was once part of a war trail between Japanese and Allied Forces during WW2.

Lake Tegano, the largest inland lake in the Pacific and part of the World Heritage Site listed East Rennell. Picture: Tourism Solomons

Today Graceland is a pristine piece of paradise for visitors wanting an immersive group and family activity, or solo travellers seeking some solitude in nature.

Accommodation

Oravae Cottage

Go west of Guadalcanal to Ghizo Island, where a further 20-minute boat ride brings you to Oravae Cottage, a popular family-run operation with coveted proximity to some great surfing and marine life.

Noni orchards and products at the park. Picture: Tourism Solomons

This self-styled Robinson Crusoe-esque island is intimate and it’s not an easy pick between an overwater bungalow and treehouse accommodation, complimented by a generous spread of decks, a waterslide and crystal-clear sea.

There’s a restaurant and bar and a fun itinerary of fishing, snorkelling, surfing and daytrips to surrounding islands for an authentic experience of Solomons serenity.

Tavanipupu Wellness & Spa Retreat

Go east of Guadalcanal, where a 30-minute flight to Marau Sound and subsequent speed boat will take you to the private sanctuary of Tavanipupu Wellness & Spa Retreat.

The private island of Tavanipupu in Marau Sound. Picture: Tavanipupu Wellness & Spa Retreat

This charming property nestles on a former coconut plantation, with a pier to soak in the vista of surrounding coral reefs and larger islands.

With less than ten bungalows, incredible marine life and locally sourced cuisine paired with international flavours, you can pack an intimate trip with fun activities.

The property is over 50-years old with a colourful guest list that also boasts the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

Landmarks

The Solomon Islands is also home to the world’s largest raised coral atoll, East Rennell Island, which includes a former lagoon known as Lake Tegano.

Bungalows at the private island resort. Picture: Tavanipupu Wellness & Spa Retreat

Listed by UNESCO in 1998, this was also the first natural property with customary ownership and management inscribed as World Heritage.

Its rich ecology hosts much birdlife and other creatures. East Rennell’s remote setting on the southernmost end of the Solomons make it truly “off the beaten path” and if you’re planning a visit, check domestic flight schedules with Solomon Airlines and Rennell accommodation providers like Ever Green Lodge.

From July 1, all inbound travellers must have a negative PCR test within 72 hours before arrival, in addition to a negative RAT test within 12 hours of arrival.

Only travellers who have completed their vaccinations will be allowed to enter the country from overseas, except for children who cannot be vaccinated. Check out Solomon Airlines for flight networks.

Lake Tegano on East Rennell Island is part of the world’s largest raised coral atoll, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Picture: Ever Green Lodge

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