Visale, Solomon Islands.
To Do

View from Visale

on
August 30, 2018

Visale is a great day trip out of Honiara.

From Honiara Central Market it is 39 km heading west. When we first visited a year ago, the road to Visale was as smooth as an early season mango and took 40 minutes to get there by car. The west road has since corroded with meteoric potholes and now will take just over an hour to drive there (it is also possible to catch a bus to Visale but we don’t know how many days this takes). 

Visale is a colourful Catholic nunnery that someone went to town painting and is hard to miss. Look for this on the right-hand side.

Past the entrance and following the road to the right, the beach at Visale is the cleanest you’ll find nearest to Honiara and safe because it’s manned by nuns. A nice spot for snorkeling, picnicking, and camping.

Like all beaches in Honiara there is a kastom fee, and the nuns will collect your SBD 50 per carload on your way out. 

The other thing you can do at Visale is climb it.  

Visale peak is steep as. Like, really steep. There is no shelter all the way up so if you’re considering doing it, you need to do it early in the morning or late in the afternoon when the sun isn’t at its hottest.

There probably is a kastom fee but because we started out quite early, no one followed us up or came to collect when we came back down. There is probably a guide fee as well, but since one of our group already knew the way up and down we didn’t bother to ask for one.

There are two ways to do it.

  1. Climb up, then come back the same way.
    Going up is about 30 minutes hard work, but coming down is harder and will probably take longer cos you’ll have no choice but to look down while you’re sliding down on your bum. If you can find the entrance from the road you can get away without a guide.
  2. Climb up, return the long way through the bush.
    This will take you up the hill, and around and behind the peak through the bush avoiding any bum sliding. You’ll need a guide because you’ll get lost in the bush if you haven’t done it before. This will take around an hour, a little longer than coming straight down the hill.
    (You could also go up the long way and come back down the hill but that’s a dumb idea – what you want to avoid is coming down the hill because that’s harder than going up.)

The first half of the peak is hard work but manageable for most in around 10-15 minutes. I know that doesn’t sound like long but it’s still a sweaty bang for your buck. These first set of hills level out and the view is quite lovely from here. If you don’t have a reasonable level of fitness or you’re scared of heights, settle for admiring the view from this point and head back down.

For the daring, the second half should take somewhere between 10-15 minutes and is mostly climbing almost vertical and clinging to the side of the mountain by tufts of grass. The aim here is not looking down and trying your best to stay stuck to the mountainside.

At the top is a nice flat area where you can regather your composure, soak in the view, and figure out how you’re going to get back down. Everyone told us it was steep but no one told us it was scary!

Going the long way means you’ll probably see horn bills, eagles, and some interesting crops. Less exciting than going back the same way but easier on the nerves. 

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Dan and Nid
Honiara, Solomon Islands

Kia ora. We are Dan and Nid. Exploring the Solomon Islands for the next two years.

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