Rennell and Bellona is a province of the Solomon Islands comprising two inhabited atolls, Rennell and Bellona, and the uninhabited Indispensable Reef. Both islands are well known for their beautiful carvings and weaving, including replicas of spears and war clubs, and fine baskets and mats woven from the pandanus leaf, with intricate patterns using natural dyes.
Places to Visit
Rennell & Bellon Holidays Overview
Rennell Island, locally known as Mungava, is the main island of two inhabited islands. The capital of the Province, Tigoa, is located at the Western end of the island. Rennell Island has a land area of 660 square km. It is the second largest raised coral atoll in the world with the largest lake in the Pacific Lake Tegano. Rennell Island is located 24 km southeast of Bellona Island, and is the southernmost in the Solomon Islands.
During World War II the Battle of Rennell Island was the last major naval battle of the Guadacanal Campaign; it occurred between 29 January 1943 and 30 January 1943 on the easternmost point of the lake at the former airbase Tigoa. Locals claim there are nine aircraft lying at the bottom of the lake, with five visible from a boat.
Bellona Island is about 10 km long, with an average width of 2.5 km. It is almost totally surrounded by 30 to 70 m high cliffs consisting primarily of raised coral limestone. Bellona Island has ten villages that are densely populated, and its interior is lush and fertile.
At 130 sq km, Lake Tengano to the southeast is the South Pacific's largest expanse of fresh water, and seems like an untouched paradise. The lake is the old lagoon floor, and the tall cliffs that surround it are the old reef. Its western end has 200-odd coral islets and swamps. Four villages are found along the shore, including Te'Nggano, the subprovincial headquarters. It's famous for its abundant bird and marine life, including tilapia, giant eels and sea snakes.
Guesthouses at Lake Te'Nggano can organise excursions on the lake for you. Regular stops include Octopus Cave, a spooky cave on the north shore, and a visit to Bird Island, where hundreds of cormorants, boobies and frigates nest year-round. It's a fascinating sight and definitely something to do while visiting this fascinating part of the Solomons.
Rennell & Bellon Hotels
Rennell & Bellon Travel Information
One road, called Copperhead Road, traverses the length of the island from the airstrip to the west to the ports area of the south and a branch heading east towards the vast inland lake. One airfield is available on Rennell Island, in Tigoa; Bellona also has its own airstrip. Solomon Airlines provides twice weekly air service from Honiara – Bellona – Tigoa (Rennell Island) – Bellona – Honiara on Tuesdays and Fridays. Both islands have grass airstrips, but no other aviation infrastructure. The airstrip at Tigoa is maintained by Civil Aviation Division sub-contractors and is mowed by manually slashing with brush knives.