By Deb Sapatos
After reading the guide ‘Chasing Waterfalls – Day Hikes Around Honiara’ we took on the advice outlined and approached the Solomon Islands Visitors Bureau for information. Hiking around Guadalcanal can be frustrating if you are not prepared and don’t have an understanding of traditional land ownership and how it works.
The idea of this article is to assist all future hikers wanting to trek to the Tenaru Falls, giving correct accurate information at the start will ensure you are being respectful by following and adhering to the local custodial requirements. If you attempt this trek without the correct guides and permissions you will encounter problems and resistance, basically you will be trespassing without the correct authority.
After gaining the contact details from the Solomon Island Visitors Bureau we drove out to visit the Village Chief, Peter, who in turn volunteered his son, Chris, as our personal guide for the trek. This is one of the most remotest waterfalls for day hikes around Honiara, therefore an experienced guide like Chris is mandatory. He is not only your trusty guide but also your link out in the event of an emergency.
The trek is flat and winds back and forth crossing the river system continuously, at times making it very pleasant in some areas as you walk under canopy shaded from the sun. Once at the waterfalls definitely go for a swim, it is cool and very refreshing and a great reward after the trek there. Please be respectful, any rubbish you take in with you must go out with you.
Getting to Tenaru Falls is rather easy once you know how and the Solomon Island Visitors Bureau will make contact arrangements with Village Chief Peter who in turn can make arrangements for your guide rendezvous at the car park.
Directions to meet your guide
– Head out east past Henderson Airport to the turnoff to Tenaru Village/ St Josephs School. Start your trip meter at this turn off.
– At the 1.20km on your right hand side will be St Josephs School. continue ahead.
– At the 7.0km will be a fork in the road. This is marked ‘Start’ in the map image below. Turn left here.
– At the 8.9km mark is the ‘Vehicle Car Park’ area. This is where you will meet your guide for the trip.
– With the guide, you will walk 600 mtrs where you will meet the Chief of the Village Peter and this is where the start of your trek will commence.
Duration: approx. 6 hours
Distance on foot: approx. 14kms
Kustom fee: $100SBD per person
Parking fee: $50SBD per vehicle
We also paid a gratuity payment to our guide as he was excellent, very patient and knowledgeable on the history of his area.
Vehicle requirements: A 4WD vehicle is needed as the roads are old logging access roads and when it rains, they become very muddy.