Artificial Islands

Lonely Planet review

One of Malaita's features is the large number of artificial islands, particularly in Langa Langa and Lau Lagoons. Some of these islands date from the 1550s and new ones are built each year. Stones and dead corals from the lagoons are piled on a sand bar or reef, then sand is spread around, houses are built and coconut palms are planted. The islands serve a dual purpose: protection from head-hunters and freedom from mosquitoes.

The largest islands exceed 1 sq km in size and can be very crowded; some are surrounded by a coral wall. Most, however, are tiny.