Honiara is the Capital city of Solomon Islands, administered as a Provincial City on the northwestern coast of Guadalcanal Province. As of 2009 it had a population of 64,609 people. The city is served by Honiara International Airport (formerly known as the Henderson Airport) and the sea port of Point Cruz, and lies along the Kukum Highway.
The airport area is situated within the Guadalcanal Provincial boundaries which is adjacent to the boundaries of the Honiara City.
Honiara contains the majority of the major government buildings and institutions of Solomon Islands. The National Parliament of Solomon Islands, the National Museum, the Solomon Islands National University, University of Papua New Guinea Open Campus, University of Goroka Solomon Islands and the University of South Pacific Solomon Islands are located in Honiara.
Politically Honiara is divided into three parliamentary constituencies, East Honiara, Central Honiara and West Honiara, electing three of the 50 members of National Parliament.
Honiara is predominantly Christian and is served by the headquarter of the Church of the Province of Melanesian (Anglican), the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Honiara, the South Seas Evangelic Church, the United Church, the Seventh-day Adventist Church and other Christian churches.
What to do in Honiara
Honiara has a wealth of history and numerous events through the year. Some of the most brutal World War II battles took place on the northern face of Guadalcanal. This includes historical sites of Bloody Ridge, Red Beach, the Vilu War Museum, the American War Memorial, The Thin Red Line, and the Japanese War Memorial (Mt Austen).
This includes diving and snorkeling at numerous coral reefs and some of the best WWII wrecks in the Solomon Islands, all very close to the Capital City.
There are numerous walks, including the botanical gardens and longer hikes such as the spectacular Mataniko and Tenaru waterfall walks.
Honiara waterfront is home to a number of eye catching modern buildings and is home to a number of World War II relics.
Situated along Honiara waterfront is the Heritage Park Hotel, the Mendana Hotel, Iron Bottom Sounds Hotel, the Point Cruz Yatch Club, Break Water Cafe, Kokonut Cafe, Hyundai Mall, Sea King Restaurant, Pacific Casino Hotel and the Point Cruz Sea Port.
You can also find a number of World War II relics along the shores of Honiara waterfront that are open for divers or interested personnel to discover.
Honiara and the surrounding area of Guadalcanal was host to one of the bloodiest battles of WWII, as US and Japanese forces wrestled for control of the Guadalcanal.
Honiara officially became the capital of the British Protectorate of Solomon Islands in 1952. The infrastructure developed by the United States during the war encouraged the British Government to shift the capital to Honiara.
Government buildings opened in Honiara from early January 1952. The town grew significantly after Honiara became the capital city, with high concentrations of the country’s economic and infrastructural development through the 1960s and 70s.
In the decades following Independence in 1978, Honiara has become a large thriving Capital City, operating as the economic, financial and administrative centre of the Solomon Islands. As the multicultural capital of the Solomon Islands, Honiara’s principal language is Pijin English.
Honiara hosts a number of International and Diplomatic Offices.
Honiara as the Capital city of Solomon Islands hosts or is home to the office of the Australian High Commission, the New Zealand High Commission, British High Commission, Japan Embassy, Taiwanese Embassy, United States Consulate, Papua New Guinea High Commission, Israel Consulate, Save the Children International, Australian Volunteer International, Oxfam International, Solomon Islands Red Cross (International), JICA and many other agencies which are directly or indirectly connected to the Solomon Islands Government, Provincial Government and the Honiara City Council.
Honiara has developed economically at a faster rate than other parts of Solomon Islands, having a high concentration of the Solomon Islands’ and international businesses within it’s boundary.
Honiara is Solomon Islands’ springboard for tourism activities. The country’s tourist office, Solomon Islands Visitors Bureau, is on Honiara’s main thoroughfare, Mendana Avenue. Situated between the Yacht Club and the popular Solomon Kitano Mendana Hotel.
Honiara has a tropical type climate, more specifically a tropical rainforest climate, with an average daytime temperature of about 28 °C (82 °F). The water temperatures range between 26 °C (79 °F) and 29 °C (84 °F).
Damper periods are predominant between November and April. The average amount of rain is lower than the average on the Solomon Islands as a whole, but Honiara is also subject to monsoon weather.