in a fabulous part of the world
McLachlan's Battlefield Tours
By Richard Moore
off the plane at Honiara’s airport the heat of a Solomon
Islands’ day wraps around you like welcoming arms.
pairs well with the warmth of the smiles that meet you,
together with many intonations of “Welkam”, the local
It is a nice way to arrive in a relatively unknown part
of the world, one that lies to the east of Papua New
Guinea and is probably best known as the location of
terrible fighting between Allied and Japanese forces
excellent Solomon Airlines flight from Brisbane took
just under three hours and allowed plenty of time to
read over brief notes about the island group.
are just under 1000 islands within its boundaries, the
main ones being Choiseul in the far north, the New Georgia
Group in the west, Santa Isobel in the centre, Malaita
and San Cristobal in the east and south and the most
famous of them all Guadalcanal.
is a name seared into American minds as a place of bitter
fighting as the Allies launched their first major offensive
against Imperial Japan.
campaign lasted six months from August 7, 1942, to February
9, 1943 and cost more than 7000 Allied and 31,000 Japanese
islands are a trove of battlefields and war relics and
those interested in military history will find a visit
both fascinating and moving.
is the main city on Guadalcanal - and the nation's capital
- and people’s opinions of the city are not high.
is fair to say we could see why few suggest having a
lengthy stay in the country’s capital. It hasn’t recovered
from the ravaging of catastrophic floods and litter
covers the streets, but the people are polite and quick
to return a smile.
And it does have some nice restaurants, although peak-hour
traffic and wandering pedestrians make for some heart-in-the-mouth
we didn’t come to the island group to stay in a city,
we were there to see the real Solomons – explore some
of the islands where you can get away from it all, have
truly terrific seafood and enjoy some spectacular diving