Honiara is the capital city of the Solomon Islands, administered as a provincial town on the northwestern coast of Guadalcanal Island. As of 2009 it had a population of 64,609 people. The city is served by Honiara International Airport and the sea port of Point Cruz, and lies along the Kukum Highway.
The airport area to the east of Honiara was the battle site between the United States and Japanese during the Guadalcanal Campaign in World War II, the Battle of Henderson Field of 1942, of which America emerged victorious. Honiara became the new capital of the British Protectorate of the Solomon Islands from 1952 and most of the town began to grow up after this. Since the late 1990s, Honiara has suffered a turbulent history of ethnic violence and political unrest and is scarred by rioting. A coup attempt in June 2000 resulted in violent rebellions and fighting between the ethnic Malaitans of the Malaita Eagle Force (MEF) and the Guadalcanal natives of the Istabu Freedom Movement (IFM). Violence was prevalent in the streets of Honiara, and although a peace agreement was made in October 2000, violence ensued in March 2002 when two diplomats from New Zealand and numerous others were murdered. Conditions became so bad in Honiara that in July 2003 Australian military and police units moved in the country to restore order. In 2006, riots broke out following the election of Snyder Rini as Prime Minister, destroying part of Chinatown and displacing more than 1000 Chinese residents. The commercial heart of Honiara was virtually reduced to rubble and ashes, devastating the town. As a result tourism in the city and islands has been severely affected.
Today it contains the majority of the major government buildings and institutions of the Solomon Islands. The National Parliament of the Solomon Islands, Honiara Solomon Islands College of Higher Education, International School in Honiara and University of the South Pacific Solomon Islands are located in Honiara as is the national museum, and Honiara Market. Politically Honiara is divided into three parliamentary constituencies, electing three of the fifty Members of the National Parliament. These constituencies (East Honiara, Central Honiara and West Honiara) are three of only six constituencies in the country to have an electorate of over 10,000. Honiara is predominantly Christian and is served by the headquarters of the Church of the Province of Melanesia (Anglican), the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Honiara, the South Seas Evangelical Church, the United Church, the Seventh-day Adventist Church and other Christian churches.
The name Honiara derives from nagho ni ara which roughly translates as "place of the east wind" or "facing the southeast wind" in one of the Guadalcanal languages. The town has not been extensively documented and little detailed material exists on the town. It is also mentioned that the indigenous name for Point Cruz is naho-i-ara meaning "facing the east and southeast trade winds,” was claimed for Spain by Mendana, the European explorer of the Solomons, in 1568 by fixing a holy cross at Honiara.
Henderson Field on Guadalcanal in late August 1942, soon after Allied aircraft began operating out of the airfield
What is now Honiara was close to the site of the Guadalcanal Campaign in World War II. The Battle of Henderson Field was held in what is now the airport area in 1942. The battle was the last of the three major land offensives conducted by the Japanese during the Guadalcanal campaign. In the battle, U.S. Marine and Army forces, under the overall command of Major General Alexander Vandegrift, repulsed an attack by the Japanese 17th Army, under the command of Japanese Lieutenant General Harukichi Hyakutake. The U.S. forces were defending the Lunga River perimeter, which guarded Henderson Field on Guadalcanal, that had been captured from the Japanese by the Allies in landings on Guadalcanal on 7 August 1942. Hyakutake's force was sent to Guadalcanal in response to the Allied landings with the mission of recapturing the airfield and driving the Allied forces off of the island. The Japanese initially landed with 3,500 troops but it soon grew to over 20,000 personnel in total, roughly equal with America's 23,000; both sides had about 13,000 troops.
From the top of the Mount Austin at 410 m elevation panoramic views of the north coastal plains and also Savo and Florida islands, and the battle fields of WWII can be seen. Japanese had held this hill top in the second half of 1942 and showered artillery fire on American troops at the Henderson airport located below the hill. Eventually the hill was captured but the Japanese held on to the ridges like the Gifu, Sea Horse, and Galloping horse for about a month. Most of the Japanese died out of starvation, banzai assaults or direct killing.
Hyakutake's soldiers conducted numerous assaults over three days at various locations around the Lunga perimeter. Along the Matanikau River, the principal river flowing through what is now central Honiara, tanks attacked in pairs across the sandbar at the mouth of the river behind a barrage of artillery. Marine 37 mm (1.46 in) anti-tank guns and artillery quickly destroyed all nine tanks. At the same time, four battalions of Marine artillery, totaling 40 howitzers, fired over 6,000 rounds into the area between Point Cruz and the Matanikau, causing heavy casualties in Nomasu Nakaguma's infantry battalions as they tried to approach the Marine lines. Both sides incurred heavy losses during the events of the overall battle, especially the Japanese attackers. After an attempt to deliver further reinforcements failed during the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal in November 1942, Japan conceded defeat in the struggle for the island and evacuated many of its remaining forces by the first week of February 1943. The Quanset house built by the Americans can still be seen in the back lanes of the town and numerous memorials give testament to the war, today.
Honiara officially became the capital of the British Protectorate of the Solomon Islands in 1952. The infrastructure had been fairly well developed by the US during the war which dictated the decision of the British Government to shift the capital to Honiara. Government buildings opened in Honiara from early January in 1952. Sir Robert Stanley was based at Honiara during his time as High Commissioner of the British Solomon Islands, the Condominium of New Hebrides (Vanuatu) and the Gilbert and Ellice Islands colony. Macu Salato arrived in Honiara in early August 1954 and was based in the town, conducting surveys all across the islands and investigating leprosy. He departed and returned to Fiji in late March 1955.
The town grew significantly after Honiara became the capital city, receiving 2/3 of the investment into economic development in the country in the 1960s and 1970s which developed the infrastructure of Honiara. However, population growth was very slow and only about 5% of Solomon Islanders were living in the city. However, the Bellonese population significantly increased; they established permanent and semi-permanent houses in the Honiara vicinity, typically along the banks of the White River. The town was affected by creolization. In the 1960s, Pijin became the principal language of the city, and the mother tongue of a generation of young urban adults and children. Through Honiara the language spread and has since become the main language spoken in the islands. In 1966, students began attending the King George VI high school in Honiara.
Rhys Richards, a New Zealand historian and former New Zealand High Commissioner of the Solomon Islands spent many years in Honiara. In 1979 Honiara was still a relatively small town in terms of population, especially for a capital city, with 18,346 people, of which 10,870 were men, and 7,476 were women. In July 1978, Honiara became the new capital of the independent Solomon Islands.)
The International Express Mail Agreement and regulations were signed between the United States and Solomon Islands governments in Honiara and Washington, D.C. on April 19 and June 27, 1991, which came into effect on August 1, 1991. On November 6, 1998, a peace agreement was signed in Honiara between the United States and Solomon Islands governments. However, since the late 1990s, Honiara has been the center of ethnic violence and political unrest in the country. Tension has resulted in numerous outbursts of violence and crime in and around the capital of Honiara. A coup attempt occurred in June 2000 which resulted in violent rebellions and fighting between the ethnic Malaitans of the Malaita Eagle Force (MEF) and the Guadalcanal natives of the Istabu Freedom Movement (IFM). Violence was prevalent in the streets of Honiara, and although a peace agreement was made in October 2000, violence ensued in March 2002 when two diplomats from New Zealand and numerous others were murdered. Conditions became so bad in Honiara that in July 2003 Australian military and police units moved in the country to suppress the shenanigans and increase security and rebuild the damaged city and its shattered economic, political and legal institutions. The area around the Honiara was the battle ground of rival factions during the unrest that prevailed between 1988 and 2003, because of the dominance of more aggressive Malaitans who were outsiders and the local mild Guadalcanal islanders; in fact the island nation had become bankrupt and Australia intervened to save the situation with 16 Pacific Forum Countries support.
In 2006, riots broke out following the election of Snyder Rini as Prime Minister, destroying part of Chinatown and displacing more than 1000 Chinese residents; the large Pacific Casino Hotel was also totally gutted. The commercial heart of Honiara was virtually reduced to rubble and ashes, devastating the town. Three National Parliament members, Charles Dausabea, Nelson Ne'e, and Patrick Vahoe, were arrested during or as a result of the riots. The Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI)( the16-country Pacific Islands Forum initiative set up in 2003 with assistance from Australia), intervened additional police and army, and brought the situation under control. A vote of no confidence was passed against the Prime minister and after his resignation a five-party Grand Coalition for Change Government was formed in May 2006 with Manasseh Sogavare as Prime Minister to quell the riots and run the government. Following this, the army part of RAMSI was removed and rebuilding took shape.
Geography and climate
Honiara is located on the northwestern coast of the island of Guadalcanal and includes a sea port at Point Cruz. The Matanikau River flows through the town, past Chinatown, badly affected by the 2006 riot. The town revolves around the Kukum Highway, which connects it with the Honiara International Airport (former known as Henderson Field) about 11 kilometres (6.8 mi) to the east of Honiara across the Lunga River. To the west of the town centre is the suburbs of White River and Tanaghai.
The climate is tropical, the average daytime temperature is about 28 °C (82 °F), the water temperatures between 26 °C (79 °F) and 29 °C (84 °F). Damper periods are predominantly between November and April. The average amount of precipitation per year is about 2,000 millimetres (79 in) and thus somewhat lower than the average on the entire Solomon Islands (3,000 millimetres (120 in)). However, Honiara is subject to monsoons.
|Climate data for Honiara|
|Average high °C (°F)||31 |
|Average low °C (°F)||23 |
|Precipitation mm (inches)||274 |
|Source: Weatherbase |
Honiara is divided into three parliamentary constituencies, electing three of the fifty Members of the National Parliament. These constituencies (East Honiara, Central Honiara and West Honiara) are three of only six constituencies in the country to have an electorate of over 10,000. East Honiara, with an electorate of 30,049 in 2006, is the only constituency in the country to consist more than 20,000 voters. Following the 2006 general election, the city's representatives are:
|East Honiara||30,049||Douglas Ete (Reformed Democratic Party)||National Election 4 August 2010|
|Central Honiara||19,539||Moffat Fugui (Independent)||National Election 4 August 2010|
|West Honiara||13,128||Namson Tran (Independent)||National Election 4 August 2010|
Honiara developed economically at a much faster rate than other parts of the Solomon Islands. During the 1960s and 1970s some 2/3 of the investment into economic development in the country went into developing the infrastructure of Honiara, despite the fact that at the time only some 5% of Solomon Islanders actually lived there. Like Tulagi, the town didn't grow substantially as a result of industrialization. As Trevor Sofield says, "The shops and businesses in these centers served the needs of the government officials and expatriate businessmen, planters and traders. Honiara, like many other ex-colonial cities, still reflects the political, economic and cultural structure of its former metropolitan mentor much more than it does the national traits of Solomon Islands society. As the capital city of the Solomon Islands with both airport and port, Honiara is the hub of trading in the islands. Major exports are timber, coconuts, copra and fish. Numerous shops sell clothes, cheap radios and basic foods such as vegetables, fruits and canned tuna. The industry is in the form of several beverage factories and a cookie factory. Llunga Power Station lies to the east towards the river and airport. The most important trade partners are Malaysia, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan.
Honiara is the Solomon Islands' springboard for tourism activities. The country's tourist office, the Solomon Islands Visitors Bureau, is located on Honiara's main thoroughfare, Mendana Avenue. Situated between the Yacht Club and the popular Solomon Kitano Mendana Hotel, its officers provide tourist information and can radio ahead to announce visitors' arrivals to guest houses in the remoter areas. Honiara contains several banks including the Westpac Bank, the ANZ Bank and the National Bank. Honiara has a harbour from which ferries depart to the various provinces. The violence which has plagued Honiara and the islands since the late 1990s has a devastating impact upon the economy due to the fact that virtually all tourist organizations around the world specifically warned tourists wishing to visit the islands to stay away from it, especially in 2002 and 2003 at the peak of the troubles. In 1998 the country earned around $13 million from tourism and just $629,000 in 1999, equating to an average spend per visit of only US$254 (about US$35/day). In 1999, tourism in the city and nation accounted for just 4.38% of the total GDP.
As the capital of the Solomon Islands, Honiara contains the majority of the major government buildings and institutions. Many institutions have buildings in Honiara, such as Honiara Lauru Land Conference, Honiara Solomon Islands College of Higher Education, International School in Honiara, University of the South Pacific Solomon Islands, Honiara Solomon Islands Ports Authority, etc.,. These centres are involved in marine research in the Solomon Islands. The Dodo Creek Research Station of the Ministry of Agriculture and Lands is based in Honiara. Honiara Central Market is the centre of trading activity in the islands and contains many market stalls selling a wide range of goods. East of the mouth of the Mataniko River is the beach where, in the shallow waters of the sea, wrecks of a Japanese ship destroyed on 23 October 1942 by American artillery and small arms can be seen. At the back of the beach there is settlement called the Lord Howe Settlement of a big community of Polynesians from Ongtong Java in the Western Provinces]. The China town, which is called the prettiest part of the town, has buildings with high porches which looks like a Wild Asian West is located in next to the river bank. For Philatelic enthusiasts for nice stamps and first day covers, the Philatelic Bureau, next to the post office would be the right venue while coin collectors can get commemorative coins from the Central Bank. The National Museum has a handicraft shop and also in the open bazaar which opens to sell handicrafts in the open backyard of the Museum when ships arrive at the port; some of the well known Handicraft shops are the King Solomon Art and Handicraft centre near Solomon Airlines office and the Melanasian Handicrafts 
Honiara Children’s Park is a property of the Honiara Beautification Committee. The park, the only children’s recreation area in Honiara is located along the eastern coastal line of Honiara town as all other areas in the region are private property. The park is provided with children’s play equipments. According to a study, the park is in danger and needs to be protected since the coast line is subject to erosion; the erosion is recorded to be about 6–8 metres (20–26 ft) between the old coastline and the eroded coastline. This erosion needs to be checked by building a retaining wall.
War memorial and peace park
The Guadalcanal American Memorial is a significant attraction. It was built at the initiative of Robert F Reynolds, Chief of Valors Tours Ltd. To mark the 50th anniversary of the Red Beach landings, the U.S. War Memorial was dedicated on 7 August 1992. An account of this is also inscribed on red marble tablets inside the monument compound. The Solomons Peace Memorial Park built by the Japanese war veterans in memory of all those who were killed in WWII, which is about 3.5 kilometres (2.2 mi) on the coastal road, provides excellent vistas of Honaira, Savo and Niggalas. There are numerous other relics in and around Honiara from World War II, described by Lonely Planet as "spooky". Also seen is the memorial erected in honour of Sergent Major Jacob Vouza, a highly decorated war hero who escaped after Japanese tortured him and lived to tell his story.
National Parliament and Government House
The National Parliament house, located on the hill above Hibiscus Ave, built with American aid, is a concrete structure of conical-shape, which was inaugurated in 1993. The dome of this building has exquisite tapestry, frescoes in arch shape and also traditional art work. The session is held for about 3 to 4 weeks, bimonthly during March/April, July/August, and November/December. The proceedings can be watched by the public from the public gallery which has accommodation for 600 visitors. Parliament building was built at a cost of US$5 million in honour of the 450 US soldiers and 1200 marines who died during the Guadalcanal operations during the war (ironically it was built by a Japanese firm).
The gardens of the National Art Gallery are popular for afternoon strolls, while the National Museum also exists. A botanical garden admits lots of orchids and shrubs. An Anthropology Museum is also located in Honiara, which has exhibits of recent origin.
The National Museum, located opposite to the Mendana Hotel, has exhibits of traditional handicrafts and historical artefacts, particularly exhibits on archeology, currencies, arms, languages, ornaments worn by people, traditional music and dance, agricultural implements, life and natural environs of the country, fishing tools and tackles, and many publications and handicrafts. The Cultural Center of the museum has display of eight traditional houses, built in 1981, of the nine provinces of Solomon Islands. The museum hosted the first Melanesian Arts and Crafts festival in 1998 and also organizes dances on the festival stage situated opposite to the museum. There is also a (155 millimetres (6.1 in) Japanese howitzer on display between the Museum and the police station, which is called “Pistol Pete” that was used for bombarding the Henderson Airport during the Guadalcanal fighting. To the opposite side of the police station is the Central Bank, which has display of traditional currency, also has some exquisite art pieces of wood carvings of Rennellese and paintings. The Cultural Centre at the backside of the museum has exhibits of several traditional architectural styles of the Solomon Islands. The National Art Gallery arranges painting exhibitions at the Old Government house, former residence of the Governor General. A large collection of historical importance can be seen at the National Archives which is open to the public.
The Botanical Gardens houses a herbarium, a lily studded waterbody, well laid out walkways, the Watapamu village (representing a typical village of the islands) named after the water pump located near by. 
Some the prominent educational institutions in Honirara are: Honiara Solomon Islands College of Higher Education (SICHE); The Woodford International School; and the University of the South Pacific (USP) Solomon Islands Campus.
The Honiara Solomon Islands College of Higher Education (SICHE) in Honiara is a university in technical and Vocational learning/education. Recognized locally, regionally and internationally, it has achieved the onerous task of putting together many training institutions run by concerned ministries of the government of Solomon Islands. A 1984 Act of Parliament, the Solomon Islands College of Higher Education Act, enabled this change. The government appoints the Council Chairs for governing the college with members comprise drawn from government as “appointees representing different fields of studies from public and private sectors and “elected members from SICHE - Heads of Schools, lecturers, non-academic staff and students.” SICHE has set guidelines for running the college with the Academic Board overseeing all academic decisions and plans from schools’ Board of Studies and seeking the approval of Council.
The Woodford International School, also called the International School, in Honiara, was initially started in the mid 1950s with about a dozen students. It was expanded under the Solomon Islands National Development Plan, in the 1970s, to introduce a “primary educational system offering a curriculum meeting international standards”. This objective was proposed with intent to attract investment and expertise into the country. In 1979, following independence in 1978 from British rule, with British aid, new school buildings were built. The school has gone through name changes, known as Honiara International School in September 1989 and as Woodford International School since the 1990s. Now a fully recognised independent education authority, the government of Solomon Islands is involved in a minor way only in the form of a grant to the school. Since 2007, the management has started an ambitious programme of enhancing the building and other infrastructure facilities of the school to seek recognition as an “IB World School”.
The University of the South Pacific (USP) Solomon Islands Campus at Honiara provides education to students of the South Pacific. Some of the major disciplines which are offered on semester basis are the Arts and Law and Education, Business and Economics, Science, Technology and Environment and other disciplines with a gamut of subjects in each discipline. The duration of courses varies from 10 to 32 hours of teaching spread over a number of weeks. The relevant texts to learn and teach are prepared in the Laucala Campus in Fiji and adopted in the campuses of all USPs.
Libraries and books
The Public Library is located on the Belan Avenue, between China town and the market place, while the National Library is situated just behind the Public Library. Books authored by Solomon Islanders are available at the University of the South Pacific Centre, which is behind the National Gymnasium to the east of Chinatown. Books are also on sale at Riley's Pocket Bookstore in the lobby of the Honiara Hotel and features books by the likes of John Saunana and Julian Maka'a, among others. Another bookstore opened in 2010 called the Save Senta; it is located at Point Cruz in Honiara. Australian Newspapers are available at the news paper stalls in the Anthony Saru building. The Solomon Islands Development Trust in New China town publishes a quarterly journal titled “Link” on issues of local concern and environmental issues. The daily news paper is Solomon Star whereas Solomon Times and Solomon Voice are weekly publications.
National Referral Hospital
The National Referral Hospital of Honiara (NRH), also known as the Central Referral Hospital, is the main hospital in Honiara, and the largest in the Solomon Islands. It is located opposite the Honiara Hotel. As of July 2012 the hospital, which suffers from problems of overcrowding, had 300 to 400 beds with 50 doctors. In 2008 its accident and emergency department served 55,234 patients and its general surgery department operated on 1,971 patients.
Another hospital is the Central Hospital, called the Nambanaen, war time hospital built by the Americans then called the “Ninth Station”, was substantially enlarged with assistance of the Government of Taiwan, in 1993. 
Hotels and restaurants
Honiara has several hotels and restaurants. Honiara Hotel is a traditional hotel and features a dance show on Friday nights. The King Solomon Hotel, Solomon Kitano Mendana Hotel, Solomon City Motel and Quality Inn, Honiara are also of note is the Pacific Casino Hotel, $20 million Chinese hotel and casino in Honiara which replaced the former hotel which was gutted during the 2006 riots. Restaurants of note include the Capitana Restaurant of the Mendana Hotel (serving Japanese cuisine), the Le Rendezvous Restaurant of the King Solomon Hotel (serving Oriental cuisine), Club Havanah of Honiara Hotel, Raintree Cafe, Ning's Coffee Shop, and Hong Kong Palace, located in a "blood-red pagoda on Hibuscus Avenue". The Lime Lounge and the Point Cruz Yacht Club are also trendy drinking and eating spots; the Lime Lounge is decorated with the work of local artists.
The eastern side of Honiara is a built up area while the western side along the coast line is well developed. Gifu, about 3.5 kilometres (2.2 mi) south of Honiara, named after a Japanese district, was the scene of fierce battle between Japanese and American Soldiers, when the Americans starved the Japanese soldiers (of their Forward Command who were trying to capture the Henderson airport) to death by surrounding them. Mt. Austen (Elevation 410 metres (1,350 ft) is 1.5 kilometres (0.93 mi) to the south of Gifu, which was during the war a Japanese observation post. The Tenaru Falls can be found a one hour's drive and a three-hour hike from Henderson International Airport. There are also skull caves in the area and across the Solomons, which contain the remains of warriors and chiefs of the islands.
The Melanaisna Arts and Crafts Festival was held for the first time in Honaria in 1998 when five Melanaisan Countries participated.
In 1974, Polynesian Dances of Bellona (Mungiki), which included suahongi form, forbidden to be performed by the Christian missionaries, was revived and recorded in Honiara. Suahongi is performed at the conclusion of the ritual of sharing in a ceremony called manga’e, (performed by men) of the surplus harvest of fishing and garden crops. The dance is performed to songs which are in the form of “feature call and response, speech–song” and highly rhythmic; music notes included the short history of the island of Bellona.
However, the present rage in dancing style among the youth of the Islands, in Honiara also, is the “freestyle dancing” which has become integral to the night life and entertainment scene. These dance forms with no resemblance to the traditional dance forms of Solomon Island, are copied from the 'You Got Served', 'Step Up 1 and 2' and 'Stomp the Yard'. Panpipe performances are held at the Mendana Hotel in Honiara every week. The famous Panpipe band is the Narasirato from Are’are in south Maleta. The Mao dancers from Kawara’ae, the Wasi Ka Nanara Pan Pipers, Tamure dancing and Batikama Adventist bamboo band are other well known groups. Gilbertese dancing is also popular along with Panpipe music groups. Most of these dances are performed in many leading hotels of Honiara.
Honiara is predominantly Christian and is served by the headquarters of the Church of the Province of Melanesia (Anglican), the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Honiara, the South Seas Evangelical Church, the United Church, the Seventh-day Adventist Church and other Christian churches. There are many congregations of American and Australian style charismatic and evangelical movements. There are also members of the Bahá'í Faith, Buddhist, Jehovah's Witness, Mormon and Muslim such as the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community.
The Church of Melanesia, an offshoot of the Anglican Church, was established in 1849 by George Augustus Selwyn of New Zealand. Initially, it was the Church of the Province of New Zealand which subsequently, in 1975, got established as a ecclesiastical Province covering Solomon Islands, the Republic of Vanuatu and the French Territory of New Caledonia in the South Western Pacific. The Most Revd David Vunagi has been archbishop of Melanesia since May 2009, when he formally took over the post at the Cathedral Church of St Barnabas, Honiara.
The Church of Melanesia in Honiara operates three missions, the Melanesian Board of Mission, the Melanesian Brotherhood and the Mission to Seafarers Society from Honoria. The Melanesian Board of Mission, with the Revd Canon Sam Sahu, as mission secretary, oversees the Home Mission and the mission in other countries. It primarily takes care of the working and welfare of missionaries of the Church of Melanesia who are deputed from the Church and those who come to work in the Church. Its responsibility, covering East Asia, Pacific, Europe involves “the Renewal and Evangelism, Youth ministry, Communications and Newsletter, Women's Desk, the Melanesian brotherhood, Franciscan Friars, the Community of the Sisters of the Church and the Community of the Sisters of Melanesia.”
The Melanesian Brotherhood also with its offices in Honiara, operates in East Asia, Australia and Pacific, Europe and has 96 Brothers in Active mission work. It is a Religious Community of the Anglican Communion, similar to other Religious Communities, religious and evangelistic in its objectives who are committed to “vows of celibacy, obedience and poverty”. Ini Kopuria from Solomon Islands established this brotherhood Community on 28 October 1925, initially in the Pacific and now spread to Asia and Europe. It trains young men into religious pursuits and evangelism.
The Mission to Seafarers Society, also with its offices in Honiara, with its network of chaplain, honorary chaplain, staff and helpers, communicates with seafarers in Port of Honiara and many ports of the world with the specific objective of spiritual and practical welfare of seafarers belonging to many races and creeds, and their families.
In September 2006, the Solomon Islands Football Federation announced the revival of the nationwide S-League. The Honiara FA League is divided into the Premier league, the division one and division two. Football teams based in Honiara include Hana FC, Koloale FC Honiara, Kossa FC, Makuru FC, Malaita Kingz FC, Marist Fire FC, Rangers, Real Kakamora FC Solomon Warriors FC, Western United FC. Honiara has three main stadiums, the largest of which is Lawson Tama Stadium, considered to be the national stadium of the Solomon Islands. The stadium, funded by FIFA, is unique as the stand is built into the hillside so there is no official capacity but it is cited as roughly 10,000 people. The stadium hosted the 2012 OFC Nations Cup. Yachting is also popular in Honiara and it contains the Point Cruz Yacht Club on the harbor. The yacht club also serves as a major social venue in the town. Honiara Let's Go Diving Ltd. is also based in Honiara and runs a diving school. Scuba and snorkeling facilties are offered by the Island Dive Services which is operating since 1982. Honiara Golf Club lies on the eastern side of the town, not far from the Lunga River, near the King George VI High School (between Honaria and the airport) was initially 9 hole course on a flat land which was earlier an airstrip. Now it is a 18 tee 11-hole golf course is located on the site of the airfield of the original airports in the 1940s (airstrip which was built during the war for “Fighter two”), and has existed since at least the late 1960s, as has Honiara Cricket Club. Boxing, rugby, athletics, basketball, netball and volleyball are also practiced. Netball leagues are organized in Honiara for girls and is well-organized in surrounding larger villages, usually by women's clubs. Rugby is played at the Lawson Tama stadium. The Squash Club, located in China town, has two courts.
The city lies on the Kukum Highway and is served by Honiara International Airport. The road network in Honiara underwent improvements with the result that roads in the city are now good. The airport has been improved to receive large aircraft. However, Solomon Airlines, the state owned airline, had to discontinue its operation for some time due to political unrest and fighting near Honaria amongst the rival groups. In the past, many politicians including one of the Prime Ministers were involved with corrupt practices, murder and creating chaos and unrest. The old Henderson Airport is 13 kilometres (8.1 mi) from Honiara, and the International Airport was also built (with Japanese funding) here in 1998; the old airport built by the Japanese was destroyed by the Americans in 1942. The airport is connected by mini buses (identified by “CDC 123”) but taxi service is more reliable. The airport has a bar and a duty free shop. World War II historic sites, near the domestic wing of the airport are: The American War Memorial and a Japanese AA Gun; and a dilapidated steel control tower which overlooks the runway.
Solomon Airlines now operates on international routes and has code share agreement with Qantas, Air Vanuatu, Air Niugini and Air Pacific. Flights reach Honiara from Brisbane by two main airlines, Solomon Airlines four times a week and Pacific Blue twice a week. Air Pacific connects Nadi with Honiara once a week, and Air Niugini twice a week. The sea port of Point Cruz is the main port of entry into the Solomon Islands. Many international shipping companies operate as the port has facility to handle 20-foot containers Passenger boats services operate from Honiara’s main wharf at Point Cruz and many shipping companies provide these services. The companies known for their reliability (though a slow process of travel) are the MV Pelican Express and MV Solomon Express and they offer services once week to Malaita and western provincial cities of Mbunikalo, Seghe, Noro, and Gizo. The 26 hour boat trip to Gizo is said to be one of the most scenic of the Pacific. The main mode of transport around the city is by car or taxi. The main sea ports at Honiara and Noro are proficient in handling and are serviced by a number of international shipping companies.
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