Only a 90 minute flight from Honiara, Gizo is a tropical treasure trove blessed with sun-drenched lagoons, volcanic islands and pristine waters. As the capital of the Western Province and the second largest town in the Solomon Islands, Gizo evokes vivid memories of the heavy fighting of World War II. Stories abound about the rescue of John F. Kennedy, who later became President of the United States, the PT 109 crew as well as the fierce aerial battles over Vella Lavella. It is one of the most visited regions in the Solomon Islands.
Although not large, Ghizo Island is your traditional South Pacific island. The main street of Gizo town runs along the waterfront lined with small stores, restaurants and an open-air market. This is a great base to explore the Solomon Islands on active adventure trips like scuba diving, snorkelling, sea kayaking, mountain biking, trekking and more.
Gizo is located on Ghizo Island in the Western Province, approximately 380 kilometres west-northwest of Honiara and just southwest of the larger island of Kolombangara.
Flights to Gizo depart Honiara daily and take approximately 90 minutes. Gizo Domestic Airport is a small landing strip on the nearby island of Nusatupe to the northeast of town which is a 5 minute boat ride from the away.
Diving: The reef and wreck diving around Gizo is considered some of the best in the world.
Snorkelling & Beaches: There are a number of great beaches and picnic spots.
Surfing: All surf breaks in Western Province break on coral and most require a boat to get to them. The best time to surf is November through to April.
Fishing: Reef and deep-sea fishing are available with dedicated guides.
Island Tours: Full or half day Island trips and cultural trips are available. Bush walk, climb the volcanic crater, kayak, snorkel, beach comb, visit cultural shrines and villages.
World War II tours: Visit a Japanese gun fort, see an American tank and partially submerged wrecks. Visit Kennedy Island where US President JF Kennedy was shipwrecked during WW II.
The equatorial climate is relatively consistent and humid year round. The average daytime temperature is 28˚C and the water temperature is about 29˚C. Although seasons are not pronounced, June through to August is the cooler period. The north-westerly winds of November through to April bring more frequent rainfall, however it is rare to get more than 2-3 days of rain in a row. A gentle south east trade wind prevails from April to October. November has the least amount of wind.
The best time for surfing is November to April.
Mbabanga Island (8-12 minute boat ride from Gizo)
Onsite Shop: No
Onsite Dive Centre: No
Located on the waterfront - town centre
Onsite Shop: Yes
Onsite Dive Centre: No
On Mbabanga Island (13 minute boat ride from Gizo)
Beach/ Beachfront: Yes
Onsite Shop: No
Onsite Dive Centre: Yes
Gizo is renowned for having the most diverse and exciting diving to be found anywhere in the world, from World War II wrecks to numerous offshore reefs, spectacular coral formations, plummeting walls, manta rays and an abundance of marine life.
Water temperature averages 28C and visibility is usually 20 metres plus and troublesome currents are rare. Depending on the dive sites you stay out for lunch at one of the many islands such as Kennedy Island.
A 135m Japanese ship lying on her starboard side. Sitting in 10-37m of water, this dive site is worth several visits as you can explore the ship's holds containing ammunition, saki bottles and even a two-man tank.
Historically interesting as the late U.S. President, John F Kennedy and his crew of the PT 109 were shipwrecked here.
If its underwater action you need then this is the place. The most northwestern tip of the Gizo islands is the merge point for oceanic currents and its here where the fish life, big and small, is at it's best. Large soft corals and fans adorn the walls while sharks; trevally and batfish patrol the waters. A relatively easy dive for all levels of experience and there is no need to go deep to see all the activity.
This small pinnacle, one of our discoveries in 1995, comes up to 5m from the oceans depths of 300-400m. On the swing of the tide, pelagic's come into feed on the shoals of bait fish that congregate in and around this off-shore dive site. It is also the home of the most interesting pink iridescent anemone.
The pilot of this plane crashed into the sea at great speed and the aircraft is in five recognisable large pieces around the 27-metre level. However the attraction is not only the wreck but also the fantastic marine life on or around it. The reef slope back to the boat is interesting and has its own attraction in a bommie called clown fish city at the safety stop level.