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WINTER 2012I sea&iI75reefs, blue holes and underground caverns elsewhere promisemore scenic experiences. The more beach-minded among yourgroup should head to the main island of Efate, which isbecoming known as the gourmet capital of the South Pacific.BESTFOR. adventure, culture, friendly localsDON'TMISS. diving down to spot the SS President Coolidge wreckoff Espiritu Santo; abseiling down the Mele Cascades waterfallin the tropical forests of Vanuatu; driving a buggy across theisland; hand-feeding tropical fish and enjoying a beach barbecueSOLOMON ISLANDSWith almost 1,000 islands in this South Pacific archipelago, thereis an endless choice of things to see and do. In the west-ern province is the Marovo Lagoon, the world's largest salt-water lagoon and home to an amazing diversity of marine life.On many of the other islands you can trek to the top of waterfallsand volcanoes. There are also botanical gardens and a nationalart gallery and museum to add a little culture to your trip. Honiara,in particular, saw some of the most dramatic fighting of theSecond World War and you can take tours to sites of interest andvisit the US and Japanese memorials here. Certainly worth a visitis Tetepare Island, which, uninhabited for 150 years, has recentlyearned international renown for its conservation and archaeo-logical significance. This pristine wilderness is home to anincredible variety of plants and animals, such as three species ofturtle (including the endangeredleatherback) and pygmy parrots.Ecotourism activitiesinclude rainforest walks, picnics, moonlitcoconut crab walks, village visits and turtle tagging with rangers.BESTFOR. history, culture, surfing, watersportsDON'TMISS. dolphins playing in the coves of Savo at sunrise;Honiara market - the perfect place to stock up on fresh fruit,vegetables and fish for your cruise; swimming with reef fish inthe turquoise lagoon of Tetepare.nDue to the distances between islands, and limited accessibility/facilities in some areas, it is not possible to visit all the islands mentioned during a charter, but they could be incorporated as part of an extended trip.Depending how much time you can devote to the islands, your Camper &Nicholsons charter broker, see page 6, can recommend a realistic itinerary

76Isea&iIWINTER 2012