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Munda, Western Province, Solomon Islands

With six larger islands and several hundred smaller ones, working out how to get around the Solomon Islands might seem daunting at first. Luckily we’ve put together a guide for visitors to our island nation below, starting from some of the more popular locations you’d arrive in.

 

Honiara

Honiara is the capital of the Solomon Islands and is located on Guadalcanal Island. Honiara has domestic and international airports and is the jumping point for all of your travel within the Solomons.

From Honiara, there are regular domestic flights to 20 destinations within the Solomons and it is the starting point for many live-aboard tours and boat trips from the harbour at Point Cruz.

If you’re staying in Honiara, the international airport is about 11km from the city area. Your hotel can organise an airport transfer for you or taxi’s are readily available. There aren’t meters in the taxis in Honiara so make sure you agree your price before getting in.

There are lots of things to see and do in Honiara. You can hire a car and drive yourself or there are organised tours that you may prefer. Some highlights in Honiara include:

  • Battlefield tours (visiting Vilu War Museum, the American War Memorial, the Japanese War Memorial and other significant WWII sites such as Bloody Ridge and Red Beach)
  • There are lots of hikes to do from Honiara to waterfalls and jungles (link to Hike section)
  • Bonegi Beach: whether you prefer a picnic or BBQ on the beach or go wreck diving, this beach close to Honiara and is a great place to swim and relax
  • Iron Bottom Sound: the scene of some of WWII’s biggest battles. This channel just off Honiara is the resting place for over 50 warships and fighter planes. Fantastic wreck diving.

 

Western Province

The most popular part of the Solomons for tourist is the Western Province. This is where most travellers snorkel, dive and relax. Key areas in the Western Province are:

 

Munda

Munda is the largest community on the island of New Georgia and is on the southwestern tip. Roviana Lagoon is just offshore and is great primarily for diving & snorkelling.

Solomon Airlines has daily flights from Honiara to Munda and flight time is approximately 1 hour. Any resorts that are not on the mainland will organise boat transfers for you. Taxis and buses are available for travel around Munda.

 

Gizo

Gizo is the capital of the Western Province and is the second largest town in the Solomon Islands. Gizo is on Ghizo Island and is a great destination for relaxing on the beach, snorkelling and diving. If you stay at accommodation near Gizo, your accommodation provider can arrange a boat transfer for you. Boats can be easily hired to get around.

Gizo is approximately 1-2 hours from Munda by boat and about 15 minutes by air. We have daily flights from Honiara to Gizo which take approximately 1 hour and daily flights between Gizo and Munda.

 

Seghe

If you want to travel to the beautiful Morovo Lagoon, then you need to travel to Seghe on the south-eastern tip of New Georgia. Tourists travel to this part of the world to relax, snorkel, dive, kayak, fish and hike. The flight is about 1 hour from Honiara and the airstrip is made of crushed coral. Your accommodation provider will organise your boat transfer to your hotel.

 

Other destinations in the Solomons

Solomon Airlines travels to 20 destinations in the Solomons so we’re sure to be able to get you close to your destination.

Munda, Western Province, Solomon Islands

Location

Munda is the largest community on the island of New Georgia in the Western Province of the Solomon Islands, and is comprised of a number of villages. Munda is located at Munda Point, at the southwestern tip of the western end of New Georgia Island, with the large Roviana Lagoon just offshore. Munda is a 1-2 hour boat journey or 15 minute flight to Gizo and a one hour flight to Honiara with Solomon Airlines.


History

Munda Airport was initially built by the Japanese in 1942. It was taken over by the Americans in 1943 as a precursor to securing Rabaul, the key control base for the Japanese in the region. Air Solomons still use the same airstrip today. Munda Airstrip is the second biggest in the Solomon Islands and has hosted much bigger aircrafts in past years.

Roviana Lavata was once home to the most notorious head hunters in the Solomon Islands. It is also where Alick Wickham, son of one of the first English Traders to set up in the area, perfected the taptapala, a distinct swimming style used in Roviana. Sent to Newington College in Sydney by his Father, admist fears of his son becoming a headhunter, Alick broke many Australian swim records using the unique stroke. This was later perfected and is now known as the Australian Crawl.

Airport Name:

Munda Airport

Province:

Western

Aircraft:

Dash 8 (DH8-102), Twin otter (DH6)

Aircraft Transfer:

Transfers to and from Munda Airport are available through resort operators.

Population:

Western province: 81,214 (2010 census estimates)

Main Industry:

The main industries in Munda are logging, timber milling, and fishing. In Noro town, 20 minutes by road from Munda, is the Soltai Cannery and the shipping port.

Health Care:

Helena Goldie Hospital - Phone: 62112 / Noro Chemist

Police:

Royal Solomon Islands Police & RAMSI Phone: (+677) 61303 / 61304

Main Transport:

Main transport options include by boat or by vehicle on Munda itself. Taxis and bus services are also available.

Taxis:

There are taxis and bus services to and fro Munda and Noro Road

Internet:

Broadband and dial-up services are available on Munda. Mobile phones and Solomon Telekom SIM cards are available from the Telekom office in Munda.

Mobile phones:

There is mobile coverage in Munda

ATMs:

ANZ Bank in Munda has an ATM with Cirrus and Maestro.

Tours and Activities

Snorkelling and Diving at Munda

Snorkelling and Diving at Munda
www.mundadive.com

Munda has beautiful clear water and a variety of marine life to explore, making it perfect for snorkelling and diving. The diving in Munda is phenomenal - possibly some of the best in the world. The seabed is scattered with wrecks from WWII that have developed into gorgeous artificial reefs, with fighter planes, bombers, a Japanese Freighter and a US dump site.

Fishing in Munda

Fishing in Munda

Zipolo Habu resort on nearby Lola Island offers a unique diversity of fishing from saltwater fly, to deep sea fishing. Whether you want to troll for Spanish Mackerel, Sailfish and Marlin or bottom-fish for Coral Trout and Rosy Jobfish, the fishing grounds of the Munda area are unequalled.

Surfing at Munda

Surfing at Munda

The nearest surfing to Munda is at Lola Island in Vona Vona Lagoon. Lola Island is located 11 kms from Munda and has three surf breaks. The best season for surfing near Munda is November to April.

Attractions

World War II

For those interested in war history, the Western Province in general and the Munda area in particular is a goldmine. During WWII Munda was a vital military airfield base and remnants are scattered throughout the region. You can visit two small private museums of WWII relics. One is close to Agnes Lodge and is run by Gordon Beti, and the other is further east along the road, a 20 minute walk from Agnes Lodge.

Skull Island

Located near the mouth of the stunning Vona Vona lagoon, Skull Island is one of the most sacred places in the Munda region. Skull Island features a shrine containing the skulls of Roviana chiefs and warriors from the times when headhunting was considered customary. Skull Island also has an altar to the local fishing gods.

Tetepare Island

www.tetepare.org

Tetepare Island is the largest uninhabited island in the South Pacific covering approximately 118 square kilometres. Tetepare has untouched rainforest, gorgeous coral reefs, captivating cultural sites and unique wildlife. Swim or snorkel in Tetepare’s beautiful lagoons, walk in the rainforest, bird watch, relax on the beaches or visit cultural sites from the island’s renowned head hunting days.