Solomon Islands Travel Guide
A pair of strong earthquakes slammed the Solomon Islands yesterday. No deaths have been confirmed, but The New York Times is reporting that the quake duo caused landslides and damaged villages.
The bigger 7.2-magnitude earthquake happened at 9:36 a.m. local time. It struck 64 miles south-southeast of Gizo. The smaller quake, which had a magnitude of 6.5, hit the archipelago about 50 minutes beforehand.
Now where are the Soloman Islands, you ask?...
Forget roller coasters. We get our kicks on scary-as-hell runways. So we're about ready to schedule a trip to the South Pacific after tipster Paul Sloan of Tahiti Expeditions sent along word of Gizo Airport (GZO) in the Solomon Islands. Is it us, or does this runway look like it just shouldn't work? Apparently it does!
For the record, there are several dozen other airports scattered throughout the Solomon Islands, including the comparatively giant Honiara International Airport, where you can even catch a flight on Virgin Blue.
Needless to say, if you're Soloman Islands-bound and not to Honiara, you'll needs to board a tiny Solomon Airlines jet to reach this little beaut of a runway. Nailbiting landing are part of the exotic fun, don't you know.
· At Least The Juana Azurduy Airport Has a Paved Runway [Jaunted]
· World's Most Dangerous Airports [Jaunted]
· Island Travel: Budget Airlines Hit Solomon Islands [Jaunted]
We get excited whenever a low-cost airline launches flights to a new and exotic destination, and the start of Pacific Blue flights from Brisbane to the Solomon Islands sounds like something to jump up and down about.
We admit to knowing little about the Solomon Islands (although we know they sometimes get tsunamis), but anywhere in Melanesia with a thousand islands has got to have something attractive. But we're not so sure that Pacific Blue's new flights are actually cheap: A return flight from Brisbane will cost you A$498 ($347) at first, soon rising to A$758 ($529).
On the other hand, if you fit some very specific criteria and promise to fly on a Tuesday, the national carrier Solomon Airlines will get you to Brisbane and back for A$436. Unfortunately it's only for locals and Aussie tourists, but it's a whole lot cheaper than the "budget" airline.
[Photo: Graham Crumb]
Sydney beaches have been cleared after an earthquake off the Solomon Islands triggered a tsunami warning. Beaches all along the East Coast of Australia were closed earlier today, but have since been reopened for normal activity. Still in trouble is the beach resort of Gizo in the Solomon Islands. Possibly affected is the Gizo Hotel, among other lodging options. The New York Times reports, via communications with local hotel staffers, that the damage in Gizo is significant, and some fatalities have already been confirmed there. The Islands' only international airport is in the capital of Honiara on Guadalcanal Island. Solomon Airlines operates most international flights out of Honiara.
[Photo: Peter Rae/SMH]
· Sydney all clear after tsunami warning [SMJ]
· Tsunami Swamps South Pacific Islands [NYT]