Food and Drink in Gizo
Cuisine in the Solomon Islands is typical of any Pacific destinations -- lots of fresh fruit, seafood, salads and an array of vegetables. Fish is the staple meat in local cuisine. Usually any meat is cooked and served with sweet potatoes, rice, taro roots or leaves, cassava and many other vegetables. Food is mostly locally sourced and never will you find fresher seafood as it's plucked straight from the ocean to the kitchen.
This is a top spot for lunch, not only for its food, but for its location. Overlooking the main street in Gizo and out to the port, you can enjoy a meal here and watch the city below. Lunch is a typical bar menu of fish and chips with salad, burgers and sandwiches. The beers are cold, though, and that is what matters most.
Fatboys is an exclusive resort on Babanga Island, with the restaurant and bar literally over the water. It's a 15-minute boat ride (about AUD25 per person return) from Gizo, but probably one of the best-known places to grab a bite to eat and beer in the Solomon Islands. Cruise passengers visiting Fatboys can access a lunch menu valued from AUD30 to AUD40 per person, offering a choice of fish and chips with salad, crispy calamari with chips and salad, or the famous grill crayfish tail with chips and salad. To wash it all down, there is a cocktail menu featuring a Fatboys sunrise, Fatboys sea breeze and a Long island iced tea. After lunch, cruisers can jump straight over the side of the restaurant and snorkel for as far as the eye can see. The visit includes a trip over to the WWII historical Kennedy Island where J.F.K was left stranded.
Beaches in Gizo
Best for a Half-Day Visit
Saeragi Beach is the perfect place for a relaxing swim and wander around the beach. A boat ride from Gizo town will set you back SBD150 per person.
Best for Active Types
Kennedy Island is just 20 minutes from Gizo or 5 minutes from Fatboys Resort. Here you can explore the WWII history of the area and step foot on the very island where J.F.K was left stranded. The beach is protected and the island even has a bar for refreshments.
Best Secluded Beach
Nusa Batu Island is a 20-minute boat ride from Gizo, but you will feel like you are miles from anywhere on this remote beauty of a beach. There are no facilities so take your own water, but the isolation is well worth the views.
Don't Miss in Gizo
The main hall acts as a passenger terminal and is the first point of call stepping off the ship. It's worth spending some time here as there are traditional dancers providing entertainment throughout the day. An emcee will also point out places of interest down the main street. There are a few fascinating stalls in this area, including Plasticwise Gizo, where the ladies explain how they've made bags and other souvenirs from recycled plastic retrieved from the ocean.
Located directly across from the main hall, Gizo Hotel offers a place to sit and relax in the shade and just soak up the atmosphere of island town life. The streetside bar looks down over the town and serves up a great vantage point to watch the boats come and go from port, with a buzz of activity down the main street. Food and beverages served at Gizo Hotel are reasonably priced and tasty.
Main Street Markets
The local Solomon Islanders line the main street in Gizo with makeshift stalls. Here you can purchase handicrafts in Solomon Dollars, however some stalls might accept other currencies. The products are mostly carved wood, stone and shell handicrafts, so be cautious that what you purchase might not be allowed back into the country. Pricing is a little expensive, but you can barter it down. This is also a great opportunity to chat with the locals, who are very friendly and open to discussing their culture, like what shell money is used for and how they source it.
Epanga Cultural Village
Located only a short 7 to 8 minutes via banana boat from Gizo wharf, Epanga is a beautiful village where you can see authentic island life and enjoy the white sandy beaches surrounded by turquoise waters. Take time experiencing local traditions and culture before cooling off with a swim straight from the beach. The waters are calm and safe for all ages to swim here.
War Canoe Paddle
Really experience what it's like to be a local in the Solomon Islands by jumping in a traditional war canoe called a Tomoko, which was used around the Solomon Islands during headhunting days for tribal warfare, trading and festivals. This unique experience lasts 20 to 30 minutes, and allows you to ride and paddle a traditional Solomon Islands war canoe.