Kolombangara, Solomon Islands

Gizo, Solomon Islands

Kolombangara is an almost perfectly round volcano arising from the waters of the South Pacific, and the third highest mountain in the Solomon Islands, topping out at around 1779m. Having last erupted about 10,000 years ago, its flanks have long been covered in a dense blanket of thick forest making it a decent challenge for hikers wanting to climb its peak.

Moonrise over KolombangaraThere are many ways to enjoy Kolombangara but I opted for a two-day hike from Hambere Village, on the western shore just a 30 minute boat trip from my accommodation in Gizo, to the top of Mt Rano, one of the volcano’s peaks.

It took a total of 17 hot and sweaty hours to climb to the top and back over two days, stopping to overnight at Professors Camp a few hours shy of the top.

The trail is very overgrown and you need a guide or two with a machete to clear the way.  Flora and fauna will dazzle you and the many cool streams crossed provide a welcome relief from the heat and humidity.

Getting there:

Base yourself at Oravae Cottage in Gizo: www.oravae.com.au

My two day trek was arranged through Dive Gizo (www.divegizo.com) or a range of alternative itineraries can be booked through KIBCA (www.kolombangara.org)

More photos of the hike are on Facebook

DSC05528              DSC05467     Spiderwebs at Professors Camp              DSC05452

2 thoughts on “Kolombangara, Solomon Islands

  1. Nice story. I’ve done this hike a number of times, 5 to be exact, and never grow tired of the moss forests on the crater rim. I’ve never been up from Hambere, but through iriri and Vavanga. Interesting how all these trails meet to climb up to Professors camp. Did you know that professors camp was named after Jared Diamond, who did his PhD research in Solomon Islands. Nice blog, and stay well on the trail wantok. Cheers from Solomon Islands. Patrick

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    • Thanks Patrick. I hear there are many different routes up there, some probably more scenic than the way I went but it was a good challenge anyway! Would have been nice to have a view of the crater rim at the top – another time. Cheers, Laura

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