Solomon Islands - Facts

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  • COVID-19 coronavirus: New restrictions have been introduced for visiting yachts – see biosecurity for details.
  • The Solomon Islands are a double chain of islands in the Western Pacific stretching from Vanuatu to Bougainville. There are over 900 islands, the main ones being Guadalcanal, Choiseul, Malaita, New Georgia and Santa Isabel.
  • The Solomon Islands has a population of 611,000 people and over sixty different languages. English is the official language and pidgin is most often used between people of different language groups.
  • Local currency is the Solomon Island Dollar.
  • Solomon Islands time is UTC +11.
  • The Solomons tend to be hot with high humidity and quite often overcast. January to March is hot and wet while April to November is the season of the SE trades and when most boats visit.  See weather for more information.
  • The Solomons’ culture (kastoms) is rich and varied, from wood-carving to beliefs such as shark-worshipping. Many islanders still live in the traditional way. In many isolated villages one can trade with the locals to obtain fresh produce, fish, carvings and shells.
  • The authorities are making a determined effort to preserve this way of life and they enjoy the full support of the customary chiefs in their endeavours. Visiting yachts are welcomed in most villages, particularly by children who like to trade fruit or shells for ball-point pens, felt-tips or balloons.
  • Some villages will ask for payment for anchoring. Ensure that you are speaking with a village chief before offering payment. If you have an “instant camera” you may suggest taking a picture of the payment being made in case there are further questions.
  • While obtaining spares and marine supplies is very difficult in the Islands, there are a couple of shipyards here that can handle yachts. See Yachting Essentials for more details.

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Solomon Islands was last updated 3 months ago.

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  1. January 7, 2023 at 5:40 AM
    lyndalim says:

    Posted on behalf of Hans on SV Seagoon

    Heard from a yacht in Solomon islands. Good news. They where not charged 25$ p meter on clearing in. S$800 each for three months. Looks like I will be heading that way again after 11 years away.
    Have asked a local mate to find out if its just a one off or these are new rates.



  2. April 27, 2020 at 6:03 AM
    alexrilifia says:

    The Solomon Islands Meteorological page is where you can have access to the weather forecast issued by the National Weather Office in Honiara

  3. June 25, 2019 at 9:30 PM
    janou says:

    Latest update for the fees at SalomonIsland
    we had the clearence at Honiara 25.06.2019
    the charge is 18$ US .. not SBD … per Meter
    for a 12m Boat u pay nearly 1900,00 SBD at the Costums, 200SBD for Quarantine and 1000SBD for the Imigration
    / 500 in .. 500 out /
    if you only want to have a Stop for bunker
    this will make all your shoping very expensive
    contact the Port on VHF Chanel 09, they will contact the Costum …. but !! after 3 Days waiting and talking to them every 2h we been advised to go on shore for the Costum Office, they had pictures of the anchoring Yacht but no Idea to come on Board.
    the Imigration was very angry that we not came on the Day we arrived, after explaining that we trust in the PortControl and that they keep us on Board to wait 3 Day we could get the Visa ….. 1000,00 SBD each …
    not shure what the right way is , if one go immediatly on shore to the costum and immigration they maybe also angry ….
    at all …..
    Honiara (Mbokona Bay) is not a good Place for anchoring u can go with the Dinghy to the YachtClub ,
    the Town is crowded by Betelnut chewing Lokals, the Shops sell all the same cheap useless Products
    Bulkshop at Rove got good groceries but expensive because all from overseas ,
    spare Parts … everyone will laughing about you if you ask -:)

  4. January 19, 2019 at 1:22 AM
    Data Entry5 says:

    On sailing overnight between the Russell Islands & Marovo lagoon, we arrived at Mbili passage in the early morning. Mbili village on Minjanga island opposite Gatokae is home to many talented wood carvers. We anchored just inside the southern tip of Sanihulumu Island.

    It has been recommended that yachts ask the visiting carvers in canoes to view the carvings in one go either at the village community hut or on the beach. This can be organised by Paul John of Sanihulumu or by going to see Lisa at Solomon Dive Adventures (SDA) off the small island of Turupu next to the anchorage.

    Chief Luten & his family live on the northern penisula of Gatokae & they will also show you carvings there. The reason for this is so that all the villagers get a fair chance at selling their work, as some of the canoes can be rather insistent & all seem to come from the same family therefore monopolizing.

    If you are not firm you will get “canoed” all day every day. There are several good dive sites in the area for which there is a Custom fee of SI$25 pp per dive if you have your own gear or you can dive with SDA & it is included.

    Lisa at the Dive Resort was very helpful in explaining that the fee is meant to go into the community fund so I recommend having a chat with her to ascertain who owns which dive site & we gave the fee to her directly as she puts it into an account for the village (rather than it ending up in one person’s pocket).

    Also be careful that you do not get asked for the fee by different people. We tried very hard to please everybody but it seems that there are some politics & greed that marred our time there. Any concerns & talk to Lisa! Equally, I do not want to put anyone off going there because it was a lovely spot & the diving awesome.

    Mbilikiki dive liveaboard visited the same time we were there so the carvers all gathered together for their guests to view their art. Even if you are just looking, some of the carvings were spectacular & in a group setting, there is no pressure to buy like with the canoes.

  5. June 11, 2018 at 2:17 PM
    Data Entry5 says:

    Tikopia, Soloman Islands, Lil Explorers Catamaran, December 2017:

    We arrived in Tikopia after a pleasant two-day sail from the Banks in Vanuatu. We used Google maps to pick out a sandy anchorage where there is a large indent in the Reef. We anchored in about 65 feet of water on sand with good holding.

    Within an hour we had a handful of dugouts offering various fruits and vegetables for trade. We have heard about there being an anchorage fee, so in the hope of avoiding this, we put together a nice gift of a bush knife, rice, shirt, and Raman soup for the chief.

    We met with the chief and had a fantastic visit with him. At the chiefs house, we were introduced to some of the customs and history of the island. There are four chiefs on the island, each managing a section of the island.

    The houses are built on the ground with entryways only big enough to crawl through. Whenever entering a house you must crawl to show respect for the owner, and when departing you must crawl backward never showing your “stern” to the people inside the house.

    Exiting a house was always a fun activity as our five young children backed into each other as they pushed and squirmed to be the first out outside. We were there for Christmas and had a truly delightful time going with the church choir singing carols at many of the houses, and watching the local Christmas dance.

    We had a truly delightful time at Tikopia, with a very secure anchorage, an easy dingy pass through the reef, soft sandy beaches, and wonderful people. We were not asked for an anchorage fee, though some of the people asked if we had been asked for a fee. Even when we visited Anuta later we were asked if Tikopia had collected a fee from us.

  6. June 29, 2017 at 1:24 AM
    Data Entry5 says:

    Hambere Village, Kolombangara. We had children board the boat in the middle of the day while we were away snorkeling. In plain view of the village and another boat, the children broke the lock and entered the boat stealing several items.

    The adults in the village did not want to hear about it and told us to “get lost”. An incident that marred an otherwise fantastic time cruising the Solomon Islands.

  7. July 7, 2016 at 1:58 PM
    Data Entry5 says:

    Posted on behalf of SY Yawana:

    Noro (New Georgia) is now the preferred port of entry into the Western Province of the Solomons, as Gizo has been experiencing reports of theft, and the Immigration officer is extremely uncooperative and is rarely available.

  8. December 8, 2015 at 5:46 PM
    Data Entry5 says:

    Read about SY INTI’s project to distribute donated school supplies to remote areas in PNG and the Solomons adjacent, under “related news”. If you are planning on cruising this part of the South Pacific, you can help.

  9. December 8, 2015 at 5:42 PM
    Data Entry5 says:

    Posted on behalf of Graeme Ward, SY INTI:

    Our experiences through the Solomons were all good, it was quiet with few yachts and not much tourism. It is difficult to know where to avoid, but we read noonsite reports, asked the locals and stayed away from larger centres.

    Anywhere we were unsure, we still felt it OK if we didn’t stay more than 1 night, especially south of Honiara on Guadalcanal. The Santa Cruz area was very friendly. Utupua Island love yachts, trade for mud crabs and huge oysters! They all sail their canoes and old sails/ tarps are gold.

    We only have good things to say about Liapari, close to Ghizo. Noel and Rose offer a very well priced service with a safe, secure and lovely anchorage, we had no problems leaving the yacht there. The Western Province has much to see although Ghizo itself is not pretty.

    Mono island, closer to Bougainville, had some trouble with loggers, but Falami village is safe and they were careful to keep yachts happy. The Solomons is definitely the poor cousin to Vanuatu, it’s very underdeveloped with regards to tourism, infrastructure and aid.

    The places we visited appreciate yachts, the locals have few ways of making income, to the point some of the kids wear barely rags. It’s moving to see how much it means when they can trade food from their gardens for something that really helps them.

    It is a pity a few bad incidents have made a beautiful unspoiled destination so challenging to cruisers!

  10. November 23, 2015 at 7:32 PM
    Data Entry5 says:

    Posted on behalf of Philip and Leslie of SV Carina:

    For those looking for a genuine Solomon Islands’ cultural experience, please visit Roderick Bay in Nggela Sule Island. Chief John Ruka and his clan have announced the dates for their 2016 Bonina Vale ni Vaka Seloga – festival of sailing yachts – for June 24 – 26, 2016.

    Please spread the word. This is an intimate affair and you will quickly be enveloped in their warmth and benefit from their sincere generosity. For more information, photos and navigation tips visit their webpage at:

  11. March 18, 2015 at 6:35 PM
    Data Entry5 says:

    Anyone interested in cruising in the Temotu area please feel free to contact me. I have spent 5 seasons helping the lovely people there with OceansWatch. [email protected]

  12. February 8, 2015 at 12:07 PM
    Data Entry5 says:

    We sailed briefly through the Solomons with our three kids aged 9,7 and 6 in Sept 2014. It was fantastic, like being in a national geographic magazine, with beautiful scenery and interesting people. We had no difficulties.

    Please note we stopped at very few places due to time pressures. We avoided Guadalcanal, Malaita, Florida and Choiseul Islands on advise of some cruisers who had spent a hurricane season in the Solomons.

    Their advice for safe anchoring was to *always introduce yourself to the village chief, *to say what you would like to trade for, *to ask places that it was ok to go and where not to go, and *tell them that they had great kids who were traders not beggars.

    We followed this and it was great as then the locals knew what we were interested in trading for, generally fresh fruit. It was fascinating being shown around and people were curious and friendly.

    We cleared in in Noro which was straight forward once we found the office. There is a hefty fee charged per metre for any vessel, it seems yachts are treated the same as a commercial boat. The official was quite apologetic about having to apply it to us.

    We approached Noro from the south through the lagoon and the Diamond Straits, absolutely beautiful, and the Navionics charts were pretty accurate. Entrance to anchorage near the fresh food market was marked by two sticks.

    Local long boats zipped in and out through there like buses. Noel and Rosie run a great boatyard in Liapari. We cleared out from Ghizo. We didn’t anchor off the town but off a nearby island in the harbour.

    In all anchorages we took precautions, diesel cans were locked up, nothing left loose on deck and took the dinghy up each night. Either we were in the right places or we were lucky but we never had any cause for concern at night.

    There were so many places that were recommended to us that we skipped that we are keen to return to the Pacific back through the Solomons and spend much longer there.