Recommendations in the Solomon Islands?
April 18, 2005 10:40 AM   Subscribe

I'm thinking of spending a couple weeks in the Solomon Islands diving this summer, and am looking for suggestions and recommendations of places to go, things to do, and people to see.

I've got ~3 weeks for this little tropical jaunt. As a WWII history buff, I've been fascinated with these islands since I was a kid, and would like to go wreck diving in Iron Bottom sound (otherwise I'd be going to Micronesia). If you have any experiences with dive operators out there, that would be appreciated. The concept of living in an island village also tugs at my soul--any stories?

I'm very curious about interisland transport, as well as getting to Papua New Guinea from there.
posted by soda pop to Travel & Transportation around Solomon Islands (2 answers total)
just wanted to recommend vanuatu over solomon islands. my brother is in the peace corp there and it is the greatest place, despite the fact that survivor used it. on the island of santo you can dive the SS Coolidge, the largest accessible shipwreck in the world...its pretty amazing.
solomon islands reputation is that it has more development and development related issues (strife). course i've never been there, maybe its just as great.
Also, there's an article in last week's new yorker about travel to papa new guinea you might like. I can't find a link to it.
posted by alkupe at 11:36 AM on April 18, 2005

I was just reading in the Guardian Weekly (not available on web?) about the recent archaeological projects on Vanikoro, the southernmost of the Santa Cruz Islands, SE Solomons. The great French explorer Count Jean Francois de Gaalup de LaPerouse (also)was sent on a voyage of exploration in 1785, intended to rival or surpass Captain Cook's voyages. He sailed in two ships which contained the cream of French science. The expedition wintered in Sydney Harbour, then set off into the Pacific and was never heard from again, apart from some letters which were sent from an Asian landfall via Siberia. In 1828 one of the ships was found on a reef off southern Vanikoro, and recently the other ship was found a mile away. In 1999, a camp (French site) was found on shore, validating local history that some surviving crew members made it ashore and built a boat. The LaPerouse expedition is one of the great stories and mysteries of the age of discovery.

Vanikoro is closer to New Caledonia than other major centres, and the "Salomon Club" in Noumea has been working with the archaeologists to recover remains from these fairly shallow wrecks. Some of the collection is at the Museum of Maritime History in Noumea. I imagine the museum could hook you up with the Salomon dive club and who knows? Anyway, it struck me as about the most perfect dive holiday one could imagine. If googling, La Perouse and LaPerouse are interchangeable on the web, it seems, so search for both. Here is a site in French which mentions the club's activities.
posted by Rumple at 2:25 PM on April 18, 2005

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