Western Province (Solomon Islands)

Travel Guide Oceania Melanesia Solomon Islands Western Province

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Introduction

The Solomon Islands' Western Province is the country's tourism drawcard, popular for world-class diving, beautiful islands and great fishing. Sadly, it was struck heavily by a tsunami in February 2007, which destroyed significant infrastructure as well as claiming the lives of many locals. Several resorts were unaffected though and naturally rebuilding has taken place since then to cater to the tourism industry.

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Geography

The Western Province is a collection of islands, covering 5,475 km² in the north western part of the Solomon Islands, bordering Papua New Guinea and Bougainville.

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Towns

  • Gizo is the provincial capital and main hub of the Western Province. It is also the second largest town in the Solomon Islands, with a population of around 6,000.
  • Munda is the largest settlement on New Georgia.
  • Noro

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Sights and Activities

  • Marovo Lagoon
  • Climbing the dormant volcano of Kolombangara island, one of the highest peaks in the Solomons.
  • Diving
  • Fishing

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Events and Festivals

  • Province Day is celebrated on the 7th of December

National public holidays in the Solomon Islands are as follows:

  • New Year's Day - January 1. Most of the celebrations for New Year are around Honiara. However, the resorts around the country, especially beach resorts, generally organize something for tourists. If visitors find themselves along Mendana Avenue in Honiara, they should keep an eye on personal possessions, particularly when a crowd is around.
  • Good Friday to Easter Monday - Easter is an important celebration in most areas of the Solomon Islands, especially in larger cities when Christianity is practiced by the majority of the population. Honiara usually hosts a fun run during this day, and going to Mass is a wonderful way to get involved with the people.
  • Queen's Birthday, June 10
  • Independence Day - This is one of the most important days of the year for locals. Independence Day in the Solomon Islands occurs on July 7 each year. Basically, thousands of natives flock to the capital city, Honiara. Here, a range of parades, performances and celebrations are held. Tourists will need to book a hotel in advance if they are going to travel to the capital during Independence Day celebrations.
  • Christmas Day - On the 25 December, Christmas brings much joy to the people of the Solomon Islands. Most locals will move back to their home towns outside of Honiara, or visit relatives who live in the rural areas. Honiara becomes quiet for a few days. Nevertheless, churches and community halls usually hold an event or gathering on Christmas, so tourists shouldn’t feel left out.
  • National Day of Thanksgiving, December 26

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Weather

Western 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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Getting There

By Plane

Solomon Airlines has daily flights on their Twin Otters from Honiara to Gizo and Munda, taking about an hour to make the journey. [1]

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Getting Around

By Plane

You can travel between Munda and Gizo on Solomon Airlines aircraft. The journey takes about 15 minutes.

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Sleep

PropertyAddressTypePhonePopularity
Leleana LodgeGizohotel60199-
Gelvinas MotelGizohotelPh: 60276-
Nagua MotelGizohotelPh: 60012-
Gizo HotelGizohotelPh: 60199-
Paradise LodgeGizoguesthousePh: 60024-
Green MotelGizohotelPh: 60005-
Harbour View LodgeGizoguesthousePh: 60594-
Motel New GeorgiaGizohotelPh: 60845-
Phoebes Rest HouseGizoguesthousePh: 60336-
Rekona LodgeGizoguesthouse-
Nello's VillaGizoguesthousePh: 60446-
Sanbis ResortBabanga IslandresortPh: 60646-
Fat Boys GizoBabanga IslandresortPh: 60095-
Agnes LodgeMundaguesthouse-
Munda Transit LodgeMundaguesthouse62178-
Zipolo Habu ResortVonaVona Lagoonresort61178-
Tetepare Island Eco-LodgeTetepare Islandresort62163-
Uepi Island ResortMarovo Lagoon (c/o Tropical Paradise Pty, Melbourne Australia)resort(+61) 3 9787 5904-
Charapona Eco-LodgeMarovo Lagoonguesthouse22442-
The Wilderness LodgeMarovo LagoonguesthouseSatellite Phone, from Australia: 0145 125 948, from within the Solomons 00 61 145 125 948)-
Matikuri Ecotourism LodgeMarovo Lagoonguesthouse30135-
Ropiko LodgeMarovo Lagoonguesthouse-
Kopikopara Eco-LodgeMarovo Lagoonguesthouse-
Mavo Eco-LodgeMarovo Lagoonguesthouse24951 / 39337-

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References

  1. 1 Sourced Jun 09, Solomon Airlines Schedule

Contributors

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This is version 13. Last edited at 13:27 on May 29, 19 by Utrecht. 3 articles link to this page.

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