Honiara is located in the Guadalcanal Province. It is the capital of the Solomon Islands and the gateway for international visitors to the rest of this beautiful tropical island nation.
Before the Second World War, Honiara did not exist as the town we know today. This bustling municipality was developed around U.S. military headquarters established during the Second World War. U.S. presence in the area boosted Honiara’s infrastructure, which triggered the British Government to name it the country’s capital after the war in 1952. The Solomon Islands was a protectorate of Britain from 1893 until independence was declared in 1975. This elected urban centre still thrives and is considered the primary hub for business and commerce for the whole country.
During WWII and the U.S. occupation of the area, American and Japanese troops clashed in Honiara during the Guadalcanal Campaign and the Battle of Henderson Field. America emerged as victorious and subsequently set up base in the area for the rest of the war. As a result, the area hosts a swathe of WWII sites, including abandoned military equipment and war machines both above and below the surface.
Honiara has a tropical climate with a wet and dry season.
It’s warmer and wetter from December through to April. (20°C – 29ºC)
The climate is drier and cooler from May to November. (16°C – 26ºC)
Although there are a couple of dive sites to enjoy from Honiara, most divers travelling to the Solomon Islands use the town as a base before and after embarking on a liveaboard. The most popular sites in the area are a pair of WWII wrecks off Bonegi beach that are accessed from the shore. You will come across similar marine species as you would find in the rest of the country, including colourful corals, reef fish of all shapes and sizes and perhaps the odd pelagic or two, such as rays, turtles and sharks.
27°C – 31ºC, 3mm wetsuit or rashie
Hirokawa Maru" (Bonegi I)
A Japanese transport ship of 6860 tons, with an overall length of 508 feet. An excellent dive starting at 3m plunging to 55m.
"Kinugawa Maru" (Bonegi II)
This 133m (436 foot) long Japanese transport ship still rests partly above water, with the stern in 27m of water. Excellent for snorkelers and divers.
U.S.S. John Penn
An advanced dive available only when conditions permit. This American troop/cargo ship lies in 36m to 55m of water, off Henderson field.
While transiting through Honiara, make sure you take the opportunity to learn more about the history and culture of the Solomon Islands. Immerse yourself in WWII history and visit some of the relics left behind, visit a village and experience life as a local, or jump on a small boat and island-hop to nearby islands.
If you enjoy jungle treks, then a guided trip to the Mataniko Falls and caves is highly recommended. The tour is a leisurely 4-5 hour round trip. It offers different routes, allowing the return trip to be either on foot or to swim or float back down the river on a rubber tube. There is also Tenaru Falls if you want to get up into the hills. Please ensure you get a local guide as these hikes are quite remote, and conditions can change quickly depending on the weather. Guides available through tourist information.
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