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,
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
For more information seewww.visitsolomons.com.sb