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About the Solomon Islands

The Solomon Islands is made up of almost 1000 islands that lie 3286 kilometres to the north-east of Australia. It is about three hours flying time.

There are an estimated 600,000 Solomon Islanders, 94 per cent of whom are Melanesian. While English is the official language few speak it, instead the main spoken language is pidgin English. Location map for the Solomon Islands.

Aitutaki Lagoon

The Spanish were the first Europeans to visit the Solomons in 1568, but it wasn't until the mid-19th century that missionaries arrived.

Alvaro de Mendana led that expedition and named the island group Islas Salomon after the wealthy king in The Bible.


The capital of the Solomons is Honiara, which is on the northern coast of the island of Guadalcanal.

Honiara has a population of about 65,000 people.

Its international airport - formerly known as Henderson Field - was created in World War II by the Japanese before being taken over and completed by the Allies.


Britain made the Solomons a protectorate to stop the nasty trade known as blackbirding.

That saw huge numbers of islanders kidnapped or indentured by force as workers on sugar plantations in Fiji and Queensland.


Rice was introduced to the Solomon Islands by the Japanese during World War II, when the islands became a major sea, air and land battleground between Imperial Japan and the Allies.

- Richard Moore


Copyright 2011 RICHARD MOORE