Guadalcanal is the largest of the Solomon Islands and the site of the national capital Honiara. The Battle of Guadalcanal in 1943 was a turning point of World War Two, as Allied soldiers, sailors, and airmen forced the Japanese to halt their advance toward Australia. Numerous relics of the Guadalcanal Campaign still litter the plains east of Honiara.
In recent years, Guadalcanal Island has again been a flashpoint as gangs of indigenous youths forced immigrant workers from nearby Malaita Island to flee from the plantations of northern Guadalcanal. In 2003 an Australian-led "Regional Assistance Mission" intervened in the fighting, and peace has again returned to the Happy Isles.
The only international airport in the Solomon Islands is just east of Honiara, so current tourism focuses on Guadalcanal. This is unfortunate as Honiara is a dusty, crowded city with few attractions for the average tourist. Resort areas like the Morovo Lagoon, Munda, and Gizo in Western Province have far more to offer visitors, yet one must transit Honiara to get there and the domestic services of Solomon Airlines leave a lot to be desired.
For those who stay, several medium-sized Honiara hotels provide adequate accommodations, including the Mendana Kitano Hotel, the King Solomon Hotel, the Honiara Hotel, and Quality Motel. The Point Cruz Yacht Club is a favorite drinking venue, and the weekly panpipe performances at the Mendana Kitano Hotel are outstanding. These diversions should keep you occupied until you can manage to get on a flight to Gizo.