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BNE September/October 2016 |


before the rain hits and the screens are pulled down in the bar.

From Fatboys it’s less than 10 minutes by boat to Gizo township where

there are shops, hotels, dive shops, and small villages to visit on the way.


Like many of the Solomon Islands, Kennedy Island is uninhabited but

it’s a popular picnic spot, made famous by John F. Kennedy who hid

out here after his boat was gunned down inWorldWar II. There was

an heroic rescue – he swam to another island and a message scraped on

a coconut alerted the navy base on Rendova to where they were hiding.

Emboldened Polycrafters now, we navigate our own way there and join

the others for a barbecue lunch and an afternoon of storytelling and

snorkelling around old jetty pillars.

On our last night at Fatboys, we celebrate new friends with a local

tradition called the ‘wine down’ and the esky is packed, folding chairs

stacked and wine chilled in the boat for a cruise out to another sand cay,

Simbu-Batu, to watch the sunset. Beautiful.


Guadalcanal is the first and last island for travellers from Brisbane, home

to the capital city Honiara and international airport. It has all the city

trappings – luxury hotels like the Heritage Park, hot showers, day spas,

busy streets and traffic jams – but it’s also the place to learn about the role

the Solomon Islands played inWorldWar II.

The Guadalcanal American Memorial on Skyline Drive not only

tells the story of the Allied offensive on huge granite tablets, it provides

a magnificent aerial view of Honiara. Another place to see war relics is

Vilu Museum on the western side of Honiara. It would be impossible to

find without a tour guide as it’s camouflaged in the bush but it shelters

some hidden treasures, from both sides of the war, including cannons and

remnants of aircraft such as a Japanese Betty Bomber and a Wildcat with

its signature folding wings (still working). Tours can be booked from the

Heritage Park Hotel.

With more than 900 islands to

choose from in the Solomon

Islands, it’s hard to stop at just one,


Heather McWhinnie


Main image: Almost all accommodation is waterfront. This page

from top: Tangiri bungalow can accommodate up to four people

and has direct access to the beach at Fatboys resort, a short

boat ride from Gizo township; Munda is a base for exceptional

diving; crayfish served fresh and three meals a day if you want

it at Fatboys; steering the boat through shallow reef waters is a

challenge; boats are the only way to travel. Image opposite page

by Kirkland Photography; this page, Heather McWhinnie and

bottom, Solomon Island Visitors Bureau.

Fly direct from Brisbane to Honiara with Solomon

Airlines four times a week, with local island

connections. See

For more information see