Malaita Province is one of the largest provinces of the Solomon Islands. It is named after its largest island, Malaita (also known as "Big Malaita" or "Maramapaina"). Other islands include South Malaita Island (also called "Small Malaita" or "Maramasike"), Sikaiana Island, and Ontong Java Atoll. Britain defined its area of interest in the Solomons, including Malaita, and central government control of Malaita began in 1893, when Captain Gibson R.N., of HMS Curacoa, declared the southern Solomon Islands as a British Protectorate with the proclamation of the British Solomon Islands Protectorate.
The provincial capital and largest urban center is Auki, which was established as the administrative center for Malaita Provence in 1909. Tourism is largely underdeveloped in Malaita; Auki is near to the Langa Langa Lagoon, which provides opportunities for snorkeling, and the villagers provide shell making demonstrations.
The area of the province is 4,225 km2. The Melanesian population of Malaita has unique cultural traditions in social aspects of life. Brideprice is a tradition which is unique to Malaita compared to the other islands of the Solomon Islands. In this practice the groom's parents present customary money of shells and food to the bride's parents.
Malaita Province has a tropical climate with temperatures averaging 28 °C in coastal areas. May to November tends to be the drier time of the year with June to August being the coolest months of the year. The northwest monsoon season is from November to March, bringing with it warmer and wetter weather and occasional cyclones. The annual average amount of precipitation is around 3,000 mm, though locally places can get much wetter.
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