If you want to get a taste of rural life and enjoy superb scenery without travelling too far from Auki, make a beeline for Gwaunaru'u. This sweet little village near the airfield, about 10km north of Auki, abuts a huge bay fringed by a 2km-long expanse of volcanic sand. It's at the mouth of a river that offers great swimming opportunities. Be warned: there are plenty of sand flies. Get here by taxi or contact Discover Malaita Tours.
Beyond the river, amid a coconut grove, you'll find the graveyards of two missionaries – very Indiana Jones.