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Surfing in the Solomon Islands

Situated just east of Papua New Guinea, it is continuously growing as an adventurous surf destination. New waves are regularly discovered, this a trip for those keen to explore uncharted waters.

A newcomer on the surf travel scene, the Solomon Islands has much in common with many of it’s South Pacific neighbours – excellent waves, a friendly and hospitable culture and crystal clear lagoons and spectacular coral reefs.

A scattered archipelago of about 1,000 mountainous islands and low-lying coral atolls, the Solomon Islands lie east of Papua New Guinea and northeast of Australia in the south Pacific. The islands include Guadalcanal, Malaita, Santa Isabel, San Cristóbal, Choiseul, New Georgia, and the Santa Cruz group. Perfect destination for those who want uncrowded surf to catch some perfect challenging waves!

The perfect time for a surfing holiday in the North Shore of Solomon islands is October to April, when the North Pacific awakens and surf breaks come alive. Long period ground swells regularly hit exposed north facing coast including Malaita, Ysabel and Makira. The same swells which hit the North Shore of Hawaii reach the Solomons some days later – at reduced size and very long period. Swell is usually 3 to 6 feet but can be bigger.

The Uncrowded surfs, crystal clear waters, colourful living reefs, incredible scenery, excellent fishing, tropical rainforest and tribal societies is some of the amazement of these beautiful islands. The beauty of the people and their traditional tribal culture and rich marine variety of plant and animal life add to the already attractive mix.

Be one of the lucky few people to visit places isolated and untouched by modern tourism elsewhere. No doubt you will find your own chunk of uncrowded surfing paradise at Solomon Islands.

INFORMATION + MAP (click to open/close)

MONEY

Banks: South Pacific, Central Bank of Solomon Island, ANZ, BSP Bank, Westpac

ATMs: There are ATMs at the ANZ, Bank South Pacific (BSP) and Westpac banks in Honiara, as well as in Auki, Munda and Gizo.

Credit cards: The main tourist-oriented businesses, the Honiara branch of Solomon Airlines, a few dive shops and most upmarket hotels and resorts accept credit cards (usually with a 5% surcharge), but elsewhere it’s strictly cash.

Currency: The local currency is the Solomon Islands’ dollar (S$). A supply of coins and small-denomination notes will come in handy in rural areas, at markets, and for bus and boat rides.

There are coins of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, and 50 cents and 1 dollar, and notes of 2, 5, 10, 20, and 50 dollars.

Moneychangers: The Bank South Pacific, Westpac and ANZ will change money in most major currencies.

VISAS

New Zealand Citizens visiting the Solomon Islands are not required to apply for a visa in advance. Visas are issued at the port upon arrival in Solomon Island subject to traveller meeting the immigration requirements.

  • Must be in possession of a valid passport (at least 6 months of intended travel) or other valid travel documents.
  • An onward air ticket which can be used to travel from Solomon Islands to other countries which the visitor will be ask to enter.
  • Must have sufficient funds to sustain himself/herself whilst in Solomon Islands.
  • Must have valid visas to enter other countries (where required) from Solomon Islands.

If the above requirements are met, visitors will be granted a visitors permit upon arrival in Solomon Islands.

CLIMATE

The climate is tropical. From December to March, northwest equatorial winds bring hot weather and heavy rainfall; from April to November, the islands are cooled by drier southeast trade winds. Damaging cyclones occasionally strike during the rainy season. The annual average temperature is 27°c (81°f); annual rainfall averages 305 cm (120 in), and humidity is about 80%.

LANGUAGE

English is the official language but is only spoken by approximately 1–2% of the population. Melanesian pidgin is the native language. Some 120 indigenous languages and dialects are spoken, each within a very restricted geographical area.

RELIGION

Christianity is the principal organized religion. The primary denominations are Anglican, Roman Catholic, Methodist, and Seventh-Day Adventist. Indigenous churches that are offshoots of other established Christian churches are attended by about 2% of the population. Other groups represented are Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormons, and Baha'is. The most recent census reported 12 Muslims in the country.

HEALTH/MEDICAL FACILITIES

You should be up to date on routine vaccinations while traveling to any destination. Some vaccines may also be required for travel. Vaccines suggested – Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Typhoid, Tetanus, Pertussis & Diphtheria. We strongly recommend travellers seek an appointment with a doctor trained in travel health prior to departure. There are medical centres available. We recommend you bring your own prescribed medicine and first aid kit as medical help is not very accessible.

WATER

Tap water is generally safe - however, it is highly recommended to boil water prior to drinking. Bottled water also accessible for purchase in some places.