of Fatboys Resort
it is the mark of a great place to stay when you walk
into your room and just go “Wow.”
isn't it even better when your second impression is
“Wow, oh wow!”
That was my reaction to my over-the-water room at Fatboys
Resort on the island of Mbabanga, about 15 minutes by
boat from Gizo in the Solomon Islands.
is legendary with wonderful water’s-edge bungalows,
an end-of-the-pier restaurant and bar, clear waters
and an outlook over the lagoon to the volcanic island
it is the perfect place to base yourself for sightseeing
around the Gizo region.
can visit nearby Kennedy
Island where the future US president,
John F Kennedy, ended up after his motor torpedo boat
PT-109 was sliced in half by the Japanese destroyer
Amagiri on August 2, 1943. Read
about Kennedy's WW2 adventures in the Solomons.
minutes away by boat is another WWII survival story
where a junior lieutenant, one Richard Moore (no relation),
crash-landed his Hellcat fighter after being hit by
friendly fire during a September 1943 dogfight and was
forced to ditch.
got out of the cockpit, inflated his rubber raft and
paddled to the relative safety of a tiny nearby island.
That night local natives rescued him by dugout canoe
and took him back to Gizo.
Hellcat is in excellent condition (click
for image) and lies in between 7 and
10 metres of water. It can be seen clearly from the
surface, depending upon water conditions.
you feel like having a big day out from Fatboys - other
than taking recommended fishing expeditions - then you
can head across the Vonavona Lagoon to Munda, the largest
town on New Georgia and one that offers plenty to tourists.
are some beautiful diving spots, a lively market and,
for WWII buffs, some easy-to-get-to sites.
The main one would be the Peter
Joseph Museum, named for a soldier whose
military dogtags were found on a local battlefield.
by Barney Paulsen, the museum is a trove of battlefield
relics - including machine guns, grenades, helmets,
bullet and shell casings. It is a fascinating glimpse
of war and the weapons used.
far away is an astounding spot where cut up landing
craft have been left to rust away. They
were bulldozed off the nearby beach by US forces and
are now covered in creepers and trees.
a wet and dark day they were very eerie to come across
in their jungle resting place.
the way back to Fatboys Resort we were lucky enough
to be taken into an inlet and on to the island of Tahitu.
ashore across a shallow rocky shoreline we walked up
a track to be greeted by Hudson, who led us through
the verdant ferns and trees to a clearing in which sat
a small Allied Stuart tank.
A very different outing from Fatboys was a 20-minute
trek through towering coconut palms to Mbabanga,
where you will get to witness everyday Solomons village
We had a delightful greeting and encounter with children
from the small kindergarten and were given a personal
tour that included seeing traditional mats being woven
and being given the honour of seeing how they live traditionally.
impressions of Fatboys Resort were eye-catching to say
the least. Stepping off the small fibreglass commuter
long boat which, in pijin English is … fibreglass boat
… we were given a welcoming drink at the pier restaurant.
our bags were taken to our various lodgings we got the
chance to look at the surroundings. From the restaurant
there is a long pier and very pretty bungalows among
the trees on the shore.
Seeing one my instant thought was “who's the lucky devil
who gets to stay there?”
out it was me. I suspect it was the resort's honeymoon
suite but, despite my lady not being with me, I wasn't
going to turn it down. It consisted of one huge room,
an ensuite shower and loo and a great little deck perfect
for having an early cup of tea or late brandy enjoying
bare, dark-wood floors were gorgeous, although the pink
mosquito netting hanging over the bed was a little too
much for my tastes.
travelling companions popped in to check out the accommodation
and said “Wow.”
“Wow, oh wow!” I couldn't have put it better myself
a day touring around the relaxed atmosphere of the island
bar was welcome.
was the buffet meal that included a huge local snapper
and chilli lobster. After that we adjourned to my balcony
and proceeded to yak the night away listening to the
gentle sounds or the waves rolling in underneath us.
was tough to leave Fatboys Resort, which was a marvellous
place to either chill out and get away from the world,
or use as a base to explore the area.
that view across to the Kolombangara volcano will stay
in my mind for many a year.