Gizo is the hub around which the Western Province revolves. Sprawled along the waterfront with its steep hills behind, the town is not devoid of appeal, although the architecture is charmless. Apart from the bustling market on the waterfront, there are no specific sights, but there are some appealing lodgings a short boat ride away.
On New Georgia’s eastern side, Marovo Lagoon is the world’s finest double-barrier-enclosed lagoon, bordered by the large New Georgia and Vangunu Islands on one side and a double line of long barrier islands on the other. It contains hundreds of beautiful small islands, most of which are covered by coconut palms and rainforest and surrounded by coral.
Auki & Around
Curled around a wonderfully shaped bay and surrounded by jungle-clad hills, Auki is the Solomons’ third-largest town. It’s a nondescript little port town, with a few low-slung buildings and a smattering of houses on stilts. Everything moves slowly except at the lively market and the bustling wharf, at the town’s southern end.
Islands Around Ghizo
Natural attractions and a few war relics are the main drawcards of the islands surrounding Ghizo. Tourist infrastructure is minimal but all islands offer accommodation in the form of village stays. The islands around Ghizo have no regular boat services. Your best bet is to find a shared ride at Gizo market. Dive Gizo can arrange excursions to Simbo and Kolombangara islands.
Florida (Nggela) Islands
The Floridas’ main draws? Diving, snorkelling, surfing and an ultra-chilled atmosphere. The two main islands, Tulagi and Nggela Sule, have rugged interiors, long white-sand beaches and mangrove swamps. In the middle of the Floridas, Tulagi was the Solomons’ former capital; it was also a Japanese base during WWII.
Around West New Georgia
Fancy a dip? Head to the 10m Holupuru Falls, east of Munda. If you’ve got itchy feet, you can hike up Mt Bau, about 9km inland. You’ll need a guide to show you the way (ask at Agnes Lodge). In Baeroko Bay you’ll see the Casi Maru, a sunken Japanese freighter near the shore (and a dive site). Its rusty masts protrude from the water.
Though lying just 14km north of Guadalcanal, Savo is a world away from the capital. Imagine an active volcano with a pair of dormant craters, coconut groves, a narrow strip of grey-sand beach and a few hot springs that are accessible by foot. The island also features a megapode field where hundreds of female birds lay their eggs in holes scratched into the hot sand.