Temotu is the easternmost province of the Solomon Islands. The province was formerly known as Santa Cruz Islands Province. It consists, essentially, of two chains of islands, about twenty in all, which run parallel to each other from the northwest to the southeast and which are inhabited by a mix of Melanesian and Polynesian people. Melanesians primarily occupy the major islands, while the Polynesians occupy the outlying coral islands and atolls.
Beaches on Santa Cruz
Utterly Remote Tipokia
Places to Visit
Temotu Islands Holidays Overview
Geographically, these islands are closer to Vanuatu than the Solomon's capital Honiara. Santa Cruz is the main island of the Province. It is densely wooded with a good network of rivers and crooks. The other islands are of moderate size and some are of volcanic origin. The Santa Cruz Group is the most remote of the major island groups of the Solomons. Tinakula Island has an active volcano; it can be visited, but has been uninhabited since its eruption in 1971 for safety reasons. The provincial capital is Lata, which is also the location of the province's airport.
Before the introduction of money in Solomon Islands, currency came in different forms for each of the nine provinces. One of the most interesting is the famous red feather money from the Santa Cruz Islands of Temotu Province. The red feather money, which is no longer used but can be seen around the island, is five centimetres wide and up to ten metres long, and made of glued fiber feathers from the downy red feathers plucked from the breast, head, and back of a scarlet-coloured tropical forest bird. The money was used mainly for bride price, compensation, and land.
Temotu offers a historical and culturally unique experience for visitors. The French La Perouse wrecks were found here and Spanish explorer Alvaro de Mendana entered the Solomon's archipelago through Temotu, proven by sites of a Spanish village he attempted to build. The country's most active volcano is at Tinakula, located some 40 km from Lata. Tinakula is said to have been active as far back as 1595, when Alvaro de Mendana discovered the Solomons. It is a spectacular sight when seen at night while passing by on a passenger vessel. Access to the Island can be organized from Lata or from Ngarando Islands Resort on the Reef Islands. Ancient and massive Kauri trees grow at Vanikoro and Santa Cruz and if you're surfer perfect curls can be found at Carlise Bay.
Roughly 24 hours by boat from Lata is the remote Polynesian island of Tikopia. It is referred to by certain anthropologists as a true "Utopia" because of its cultural richness and how completely removed the place is from modern civilization. It has been the subject of much anthropological research over the years, because it's unchanged from ancient times. To get here, it's recommended you charter a boat in Lata and take with you everything you might need.
Temotu Islands Hotels
Temotu Islands Travel Information
A visit to Temotu will allow you to see unspoiled and beautiful islands, well worth the difficulty in getting there. But beware that you have to allow plenty of time to get there and back, as flights are often cancelled or delayed without notice. The best way to get around for your sightseeing adventure in Temotu is by open boat. There are not a lot of accommodations here, so consider this an excellent island hopping day trip opportunity, although there is a resort on Pigeon Island. The islands represent a way of life that is rapidly disappearing from our planet.