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.
There 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.
Base yourself at Oravae Cottage in Gizo: www.oravae.com.au
More photos of the hike are on Facebook