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A volcano erupted on White Island, New Zealand on 9 December 2019. Follow the instructions of local authorities. Updates are available from the New Zealand Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management.
Call 1300 555 135
Call +61 2 6261 3305
text +61 421 269 080
Exercise normal safety precautions in Solomon Islands.
Full travel advice: Safety
Full travel advice: Health
Full travel advice: Local laws
Full travel advice: Travel
Crimes that might affect you in the Solomon Islands include:
Verbal harassment, intimidation and assault can also happen at nightclubs or bars.
Women alone in public places are at the most risk.
Harassment and assaults have occurred at popular tourist sites including Mbonege Beach.
There have been reports of youths blocking roads in the suburbs and on the outskirts of Honiara, under the guise of collecting fees for road maintenance.
Crime usually increases:
To protect yourself from crimes:
Keep your money and phone secure at all times.
Avoid being alone in remote and unfamiliar places.
Don't walk, jog or cycle after dark or in the early hours of the morning.
Avoid demonstartions and protests.
Public protests and events that draw large groups of people can turn violent.
Political tension can rise with little notice.
Unrest can happen during:
To stay safe during periods of unrest:
Terrorism is a threat worldwide.
Transport and tour operators don't always follow safety and maintenance standards. This includes adventure activities, such as scuba diving.
If you plan to do a tour or adventure activity:
If proper safety equipment isn't available, use another provider.
Around Honiara, street dogs roam freely, sometimes in packs. Some packs and individual dogs attack people walking, running or cycling.
Freshwater and saltwater crocodiles and sharks are common. Sometimes they come close to Honiara, including near Mbonege Beach.
Ask for local advice before entering waters.
The Solomon Islands Government provides advice about natural disasters through:
To protect yourself if a natural disaster is approaching:
The cyclone season is from November to May. Tropical storms and cyclones may also occur in other months.
The direction and strength of cyclones can change with little warning.
Flooding and landslides can also happen. Services can be disrupted.
If there's a cyclone or severe tropical storm:
To protect yourself if a cyclone is approaching:
Solomon Islands is in an earthquake zone. Volcanic eruptions and tsunamis can also happen.
On 9 December 2016, a magnitude 7.8 earthquake struck 70km south-west of the island of Makira, 187km from Honiara.
The earthquake set off a small tsunami. Aftershocks continued for weeks. Public infrastructure and 100s of homes in the area were damaged.
The island of Savo, 35km north west of Honiara, is an active volcano. It last erupted between 1835 and 1847.
To protect yourself if there's an earthquake:
If you're near the coast or a low-lying area, move to higher ground.
For real-time information on earthquakes, check the US Geological Service.
To receive tsunami alerts, register with the Global Disaster Alert and Co-ordination System.
Get comprehensive travel insurance before you leave. Your policy needs to cover all overseas medical costs, including medical evacuation. The Australian Government won’t pay for these costs.
If you can't afford travel insurance, you can't afford to travel. This applies to everyone, no matter how healthy and fit you are.
If you're not insured, you may have to pay many 1000s of dollars up-front for medical care.
Consider your physical and mental health before you travel, especially if you have an existing medical condition.
See your doctor or travel clinic to:
Do this at least 8 weeks before you leave.
Not all medication available over the counter or by prescription in Australia is available in other countries. Some may even be considered illegal or a controlled substance, even if prescribed by an Australian doctor.
If you intend to bring medication, check if it's legal in Solomon Islands. Take enough legal medication for your trip.
Carry a copy of your prescription or a letter from your doctor stating:
A dengue outbreak occurred from October 2016 to April 2017. The Solomon Islands Public Health Emergency and Surveillance Unit continues to monitor for more outbreaks.
Malaria is found in most areas of Solomon Islands and occurs throughout the year.
Zika virus is also found in Solomon Islands. There's no vaccination for Zika virus.
The Australian Department of Health's Zika virus bulletin includes advice on how to minimise Zika virus risks.
If you're pregnant, the Australian Department of Health recommends that you:
To protect yourself from disease:
Consider taking medication to prevent malaria.
Solomon Islands has experienced outbreaks of rotavirus that have caused deaths, particularly among children.
Rotavirus is highly contagious and spreads through:
A rotavirus vaccine for infants up to 6 months of age is available under the Australian National Immunisation Program.
You can stop the spread of rotavirus.
To protect yourself from rotavirus, wash your hands thoroughly for 10 seconds using soap and water and dry with a clean towel:
If children show signs of diarrhoea, seek medical attention.
Foodborne, waterborne, parasitic and other infectious diseases occur in Solomon Islands. These include:
To reduce your risk of illness:
Get medical advice if you suspect poisoning or have a fever or diarrhoea.
Eating reef fish can result in ciguatera poisoning. Ciguatera is a naturally occurring seafood toxin.
Medical facilities, rescue and emergency services throughout Solomon Islands are very limited.
If you become seriously ill or injured, you'll need to be evacuated to Australia. Medical evacuation can be very expensive. Make sure your travel insurance provides cover for medical evacuations.
There's one hyperbaric chamber in Honiara and registered dive operators can provide advice on the access arrangements. Ensure you have appropriate insurance cover if you plan to undertake risky activities like diving.
You're subject to all local laws and penalties, including those that may appear harsh by Australian standards. Research local laws before travelling.
If you're arrested or jailed, the Australian Government will do what it can to help you under our Consular Services Charter. But we can't get you out of trouble or out of jail.
Same-sex sexual activity is illegal. Penalties include jail sentences.
It's illegal to import or possess pornographic material.
Solomon Islands law does not recognise same sex relationships. It is a criminal offence to engage in same-sex sexual activity. Penalties include jail sentences.
Some Australian criminal laws still apply when you’re overseas. If you break these laws, you may face prosecution in Australia.
Standards of dress and behaviour are conservative in Solomon Islands.
Avoid public displays of affection and swearing as these may offend locals.
Every country or territory decides who can enter or exit through its borders.
Make sure you meet all entry and exit conditions. If you don't, the Australian Government can’t help you.
Get a visitor visas on arrival for stays of up to 90 days.
Entry and exit conditions can change at short notice. Contact an embassy or consulate of Solomon Islands for details about visas, currency, customs and quarantine rules.
Solomon Islands like many other countries won’t let you enter unless your passport is valid for 6 months after you plan to leave that country. It can apply even if you’re just transiting or stopping over.
Some foreign governments and airlines apply the rule inconsistently. Travellers can receive conflicting advice from different sources.
You can end up stranded if your passport is not valid for more than 6 months.
The Australian Government does not set these rules. Check your passport’s expiry date before you travel. If you’re not sure it’ll be valid for long enough, consider getting a new passport.
Your passport is a valuable document. It's attractive to people who may try to use your identity to commit crimes.
Some people may try to trick you into giving them your passport. Always keep it in a safe place.
If your passport is lost or stolen, tell the Australian Government as soon as possible.
The local currency is Solomon Islands Dollar (SBD).
You need to declare all amounts over SBD50,000 or foreign currency equivalent on arrival or departure. This covers all forms of currency, not only cash.
International credit cards are accepted at hotels and resorts in major centres. Credit card facilities are rarely available elsewhere.
You can change currency and access ATMs at the airport and commercial banks in Honiara and other major centres.
Remnants of war are still presentwidely throughout Solomon Islands.
Areas affected by war include:
The condition and stability of the weapons is unknown.
Get local advice before you travel to these areas. Take care when hiking, boating or diving.
If you're planning to travel outside Honiara or Gizo, seek local advice on the availability of services and amenities for tourists in that area.
Many parts of Solomon Islands are remote from medical and other emergency services.
To drive in Solomon Islands you'll need both:
Driving without an IDP can void your travel and vehicle insurance.
After 3 months, you'll need to get a local driver's licence.
Most roads in Solomon Islands are in a very poor state of repair.
Large potholes are common. Local drivers swerve or slow suddenly to avoid potholes, including on the main road in Honiara.
Vehicles are generally poorly maintained.
Traffic lanes and road rules are often ignored, particularly at roundabouts and other intersections.
Off the main highway, pedestrians often walk on roads, seemingly unaware of traffic.
Traffic jams are common in Honiara.
If you plan to drive:
If rocks are thrown at your car, leave the area as quickly and safely as possible.
Check with your travel insurer whether your policy covers you when riding a motorbike.
Always wear a helmet.
Only use registered taxis and authorised limousines. Arrange these through your hotel.
There's no formal public transport system in Solomon Islands. Privately owned passenger vans, small buses and trucks provide transport in most areas with roads.
A limited minibus system operates in Honiara.
Take care of your belongings due to petty theft.
Travel by boat in Solomon Islands can be dangerous.
Passenger ferry services are subject to disruption at short notice.
Overcrowding of passenger ferries is common.
Consider flying to your destination rather than taking a passenger ferry.
There are limited marine search-and-rescue services in Solomon Islands.
To protect yourself when travelling by boat:
Domestic flights are often cancelled or rescheduled at short notice.
DFAT doesn't provide information on the safety of individual commercial airlines or flight paths.
Check Solomon Island's air safety profile with the Aviation Safety Network.
Depending on what you need, contact your:
Call 911 or go to the hospital.
Always get a police report when you report a crime.
Your insurer should have a 24-hour emergency number.
Contact your provider with any complaints about tourist services or products.
Read the Consular Services Charter for what the Australian Government can and can't do to help you overseas.
For consular assistance, contact the Australian High Commission in Honiara.
Check the Australian High Commission website for details about opening hours and any temporary closures.
In a consular emergency, if you can't contact an embassy, call the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on:
Be the first to know official government advice when travelling.