7 days exploring Western Province of the Solomon Islands


Martin Debanks, captain of New Zealand Yachts 34.1 metre trimaran Spirit, shares a seven day itinerary exploring the extraordinary Western Province of the Solomon Islands, taking in some of the rarer spots in the South Pacific.

Day 1: Gizo

After collection from the nearby Nusatupe airport to meet Spirit, head to Kennedy Island, a small, unspoiled spot now ideal for snorkelling and diving, where US President Kennedy and the crew of the PT109 were shipwrecked during World War II.

Lunch will be prepared by your chef, Joanna, before the short journey south to Narua Island for more water sports. Alternatively simply relax on deck with a cocktail.

Lemba Bay

After a leisurely breakfast, cruise to Lemba Bay, from which a tender can take you to the wreck dive site of Toa Maru. Toa Maru is a Japanese transport ship lying on its starboard side. The dive of this historical site starts at seven metres descends to a maximum of 37 metres.

After lunch head to Njari Island to dive the so-called "Grand Central Station" site, where you will swim with myriad exotic fish and sharks. Known for having the second highest fish count in the world, divers can often spy more than 270 different species in a single trip beneath the waves.

In the afternoon visit the Saeraghi Village, before strolling along Gizo's scenic coastline, making stops at the traditional villages of Gilbertese and Melanesian on route.

Picture courtesy of Facebook.com / Fish of the Day

New Georgia Island

The yacht will move during the early hours to New Georgia Island. Enjoy breakfast on the way, before opting for an morning dive and snorkelling, potentially alongside resident hammerhead sharks.

Picture courtesy of Shutterstock.com / Oliver Foerstner (stock image)

Marovo Lagoon

After a leisurely breakfast travel south to the Marovo Lagoon. Cruise through a stunning complex of reefs and islands at the Lumalihe Passage, which is home to a huge variety of soft coral covered walls and caves.

During the evening the local carvers can visit the yacht to create a pop-up shop on the swimming platform. They are famous for their craftsmanship and for creating diverse artefacts. Enjoy cocktails at sunset, followed by a barbecue.

Picture courtesy of Shutterstock.com / Janos Rautonen

Nono Lagoon

Start the day by snorkelling or paddleboarding through pristine turquoise waters, or simply relax on deck, all of which can be followed by a leisurely brunch.

Cruise slowly between the pristine reefs of the Marovo Lagoon. Enjoy the view from the large flybridge on Spirit with a cocktail. Afterwards, head south west, to spend the rest of the day at Nono Lagoon, a must-visit scuba diving spot that features the extraordinary upright wreck of an old tuna fishing vessel.

Rendova Island

After breakfast, head north west to Rendova Harbour on Rendova Island, Where you can snorkel and dive the wrecks of two World War II fighter planes.

In the afternoon there is plenty of time to explore this picturesque, protected natural harbour and make use of Spirit's vast collection of water toys.

In the evening the local villagers will be invited on board to play their pan style pipes and treat us to a traditional display of local dancing on the swim platform. Indulge in a fresh seafood buffet for dinner, which can be served under the stars.

Picture courtesy of Shutterstock.com / Christophe Rouziou


The final day sees the yacht head back towards Gizo for departure, with breakfast served on route.

The passage will take you over the Munda Bar reef and through the beautiful Diamond Narrows, a winding marine channel that offers stunning views.

Enjoy a final swim at anchor, or go to Gizo Town for a spot of last minute shopping before returning to your plane to depart the Solomon Islands.

Spirit is managed for charter by Ocean Independence and is available in Australia and the South Pacific with weekly rates starting from $90,000.

Picture courtesy of Shutterstock.com / Gizo

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