The Solomons New Georgia
group of islands, also refered too as the Western Province,
are an approximate one hour flight north west of
Honiara, and comprise of over fourteen islands, big and small.
They are the quintessential Pacific islands, of white sand
beaches, waving palm trees and warm, clear water over colourful
coral reefs teeming with life.
For a long time, it was just
the island of Gizo that offered accommodation and extensive scuba
diving activities to attract the traveller, plus it was the access
point from which to visit Kennedy Island, the small island in
the lagoon where US President John F Kennedy and this boat
crew from the sunken patrol boat PT109, hid from the Japanese
naval patrols searching for them. They survived for 10
days with no food and limited water, until they were found by local
spotters working for the resistance.
However, this region of the
Solomons has seen the country's largest development of
Eco tourism, with over a dozen resorts having opened within the
last decade, offering the full range of accommodation from the
basic sand between your toes, to a slightly more luxurious
lodging experience. They are all small properties
mostly catering for less then twenty guests, and they all
have the same concept of being at one with nature, and
not impacting too much on their natural surroundings.
This area is not for those looking
for a 5 Star resort property with marble bath rooms and lots
of pampering etc. but if you are good with your own company and
enjoy reading a good book, enjoying the water sports, and relaxing
in an environment close to nature, then the islands of
New Georgia are an ideal spot for you.
The Solomon Islanders, being spread
around a collection of lots of smaller inhabited islands, don't
always find it easy to get basic supplies or little luxuries, and
really appreciate it when visitors bring small gifts with them.
The children are always pleased to receive school supplies,
t-shirts, dresses, small toys and sweets, and the communities are
always grateful for school supplies, practical adult clothing,
reading glasses and basic medical supplies, (pain killers, insect
bite cream/spray, plasters, bandages, gauze, adhesive dressing
tape, Steristrips, antiseptic wash, antihistamines, electrolyte
drink powder (for diarrhoea) disposable gloves, antibiotics, etc).
If you do take some village gifts with you, this will leave
some space in your suitcase to take some traditional wood carvings
and souvenirs home with you, thereby also helping the
communities being self-sustaining.