Air port Honiara International Airport is your getaway into the Solomon Islands. It used to be named Henderson Airfield after a World War Two US Airforce pilot.
With Solomon Airlines serving over 20 airfields around the county, island-hopping by air is a great way to get around. Schedules can be checked with your travel agent or Solomon Airlines' offices.
Entry Requirements Citizens of the (British) Commonwealth, United States and most European countries do not need visas. If you have a valid passport and a return or onward ticket, you can acquire a visitor's permit valid for three months on arrival. Check with the Immigration Service on (677) 22856 or 28841 if not sure.
Dry season is late May to early December. Rainfall average: 2250mm. Average temperature: 29C.
Lightweight (cotton) and casual clothing and comfortable footwear is the usual dress worn. Occassionally, a light sweater may be handy for those rare cool nights. Bikini and other beachwear acceptable at hotels/resorts but not when out shopping in towns or visiting villages.
There are three main commercial banks: Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd, National Bank of Solomon Islands and Westpac. A11 prominently located on Honiara's main Mendana Avenue with branches in Auki (Malaita) and Gizo (Western). National Bank has branches in other centres around the country. ANZ and Westpac operate ATMS in selected oints in Honiara. Solomon Islands Dollar (SBD) is the base currency. Notes available in $50, $20, $10, $5 and $2. Coins in $1, 50c, 20c, 10c, 5c, 2, Ic. Solomon Post mans a currency booth at Honiara International Airport. A11 commercial banks in Honiara, Auki and Gizo handle exchange transactions.ss
Mini-buses and taxis are general modes of public transport in Honiara, Auki(Malaita) and Gizo and Munda (Western). Other centres, a four-wheel drive vehicle or truck will do. Mini-buses operate during business hours with charges ranging from S$3 a trip. Taxis are not metered so ask for the charge before the start ofjourney. Current rate, Iate 2005, is $5 per kilometre. Taxi fare from Honiara International Airport to downtown Honiara is around S$50. A number of rental car firms operate in Honiara.
Sea travel is the mainstay of local island trade and transport, but can be unpredictable for visitors. Timetables are rare. While there are larger passenger-oriented vessels, cargo boats may have room for travellers. There are a couple of tourist-oriented boats available for hire in Honiara.
Eleven hours ahead of Greenwich mean time. One hour ahead of Brisbane, and one hour behind Auckland (at non-daylight savnings time).
Tip is not required, not recommended.
Each province has their own emergency numbers but for Honiara, these are the easy dials.
220-240 volts is the standard. For 110 volts, ask or buy a voltage converter.
TELECARDS: Solomon Telekom offers public telephones around Honiara and major centres around the provinces. Telecards are retailed around the country. Solomon Telekom also has mobile phones which can be rented on arrival.
INTERNET: Honiara now hosts several good internet cafes, and ports are provided in some hotel rooms. In Gizo, there is one or two cafes in town. One of the first cafes to open was Pfnet, short for People First Network, Iaunched with international funding. Apart from its main cafe at the Anthony Saru Building in Honiara, Pfnet has established internet centres in remote and far-fiung islands in the entire nine provinces. For email addresses of these email centres, check Pfnet's website, www.peoplefirst.net.s
Main public hospital is in Honiara with smaller facilities in major provincial centres. Private clinics are also found in Honiara. Malaria medication is recommended; insect repellent and sleeping under a mosquito net highly recommended, especiallY in remote areas. Don't drink tap water should be the general rule. Boil it first Bottled water is also available.