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First Time Traveller

About Honiara

Location

Honiara is located on the northern coast of the island of Guadalcanal and includes a sea port at Point Cruz. The town revolves around the Kukum Highway, which connects Henderson Field in the east of Honiara with the settlement of White River in the west, and passes the National Referral Hospital and the recently burnt down Chinatown. Honiara is located at 9°28' South, 159°49' East (-9.46667, 159.81667). [1]

The climate is tropical, the average daytime temperature is about 28 degrees Celsius, the water temperatures between 26 and 29 degrees. Damper periods are predominantly between November and April. The average amount of precipitation per year is about 2,000 mm and thus somewhat lower than the average on the entire Solomon Islands (3,000 mm).

Economy and Industry

 Honiara is served by the Honiara International Airport, located about 10 kilometers outside the city. The industry is in form of several beverage factories and a cookie factory. Major exports are timber, coconuts, copra and fish. The most  important trade partners are Malaysia, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan.

Tourism

Honiara is the Solomon Islands' springboard for tourism activities. The country's tourist office, the Solomon Islands Visitors Bureau [1], is located on Honiara's main thoroughfare, Mendana Avenue. Situated between the shady Yacht Club and the popular Solomon Kitano Mendana Hotel, its officers provide tourist information and can radio ahead to announce visitors' arrivals to guest houses in the remoter areas. Honiara has a harbour from which ferries depart to the various provinces. The gardens of the National Art Gallery are popular for afternoon strolls, while the reconstructed Government House and the National Museum exist. A botanical garden admits lots of orchids and shrubs. The spectacular Tenaru falls can be found a one hour's drive and a three-hour hike from Henderson International Airport.

Religion

Honiara is predominantly Christian and is served by the headquarters of the Church of the Province of Melanesia (Anglican), the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Honiara, the South Seas Evangelical Church, the United Church, the Seventh-day Adventist Church and other Christian churches. There are many congregations of American and Australian style charismatic and/or evangelical movements. There are also members of the Bahá'í Faith, Buddhist, Jehovah's Witness, Mormon and Muslim religions.

History

What is now Honiara was close to the site of the Guadalcanal Campaign in World War II. It was built to replace the former capital of Tulagi at the end of that war. Honiara officially became the capital of the Solomon Islands in 1952. After violent rebellions in the year 2000, the protection of the population was promised by Australian units, since the Solomon Islands have no military. In 2006, riots broke out following the election of Snyder Rini as Prime Minister, destroying part of Chinatown and displacing more than 1000 Chinese residents. [2] Three National Parliament members, Charles Dausabea, Nelson Ne'e, and Patrick Vahoe, [3] were arrested during or as a result of the riots.

 
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