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Vavaghio Guest House

from $3270 all inclusive 10 day package Ex Brisbane

Escape to undisturbed paradise at
Vavaghio Guest House
…The ultimate Surfing,
Fishing and Relaxation holiday!

Vavaghio Guest House was established on Vakao Island in 2013 and is the only residential property on the island. The local Habotu family built the complex in 2012-13 to bring guests to share this wonderful part of the world they call “home”.

The well-equipped bungalows stand back from the beach in the cool of the mangroves. There is a long walk-way leading through the trees to the pristine sea with its perfect surf breaks, wonderful marine life and abundant fish. This is truly a paradise for intrepid surfers, fishers and those wanting an escape from the stress of western life.

Accommodation

Facilities
Amenities at Vavaghio are comfortable but basic. The two guest houses on the island are constructed from sago leaf roof and walls with wooden, matted floors. Each consists of a bedroom with four single beds or two doubles, if preferred, and each bed has a mosquito net. There is also a large covered veranda with table and chairs to enjoy the balmy mornings and evenings. Each bungalow is also equipped with ample lighting and a 240v electric socket (NZ/Aussie – style) for charging your camera, laptop, iPod or the like.

There is a large guest “Mess” building with lounge, dining area, kitchen and office, and also a clean toilet and shower block with modern amenities. The shower is “cold” only, but the water is normally tepid and with warm/hot air temperatures you’ll be glad for a cool shower!

Features

Why Stay at Vavaghio Guest House?

There are three outstanding features of Vavaghio – the remoteness, the physical environment and the people.

Vakao Island is remote and although this remoteness has a travel cost, visitors will relish the tranquility, fantastic fishing, lack of pollution and of course, empty waves that make this a surfing mecca. The facility is purposely small (max. 8 persons) to ensure your stay is private and relaxing.

Vakao is one island of many in the North-Western part of Isabel Province in Solomon Islands and the area boasts breath-taking coral reefs, lagoons and forested islands. The small islands and the adjacent large island of Baroro Faa represent one of the largest unlogged areas of the Solomons and this is reflected not only in the beautiful forests, but in the quality of the sea water and the reefs.

One of the greatest attributes of Vavaghio is undoubtedly the people. Isabel people are renowned in the Solomons for their gentleness and kindness and the Habotu family have these attributes in abundance. They will care for your every need and embrace you as part of their family during your island stay and can guarantee that you will be sad to leave! A visitor at Easter 2014 emailed us:- “We had the loveliest most enjoyable time at Vavaghio. Sincerely, one of the nicest places (in terms of facilities, friendliness of staff, beauty) that many of us have ever stayed! We were really blown away by the way the family looked after us. We’re keen to come back sometime!! And would highly recommend it to anyone.”

Activities

Activities

Most guests of Vavaghio Guest House come to experience the marine environment with its surfing, spear fishing, line fishing and snorkelling, but there are many other activities waiting to surprise you!

Surfing:
Vavaghio is close to the outer reef system and boasts amazing surf waves that you will have to share with NO-ONE! There are ample good left and right surf breaks to choose from. There is no paddle-out, but you can view the breaks from the beach or wharf and head out in the 15hp or 40hp boats in 5mins. Surfers from the crowded Australian beaches are amazed to be able to have such perfect waves to surf by themselves in this pristine and beautiful environment. The surfing season is from November to March, coinciding with the hurricane season. Some good surf can be found at other times of the year, but cannot be guaranteed.

Spear fishing:
The extensive reef system around Vavaghio provides a huge variety of reef fish for the avid spearo. The close proximity to deep water also provides easy access to big pelagics such as Spanish Mackerel and tuna of all varieties.The locals will show you how to do it with their string-less home-made spear guns or the simple steel rod/ sling gun commonly used.The waters here are remote, even by local standards, and so the fishing is superb.

Line fishing:
You can trawl (“tow-line”) here or bait fish with ease. You can fish reef for the table or trawl for the catch of a lifetime! Spanish Mackerel (“Kingfish”) are an exciting catch as are the huge Giant Trevally that can be had adjacent to the reefs. There are plenty of other good sporting fish such as barracuda and tuna such as bonito, dog-tooth and albacore. Yellow-fin tuna are around as well if you are lucky.

Snorkelling:
The pristine reefs and warm, clear water make the area perfect for snorkelers. You can snorkel right out in front of the Guest House or travel to any of the multitude of reefs a short boat ride away. You will see corals that will blow your mind, as well as incredible fish life. If you like the thrill of diving with sharks, these are easily found – mostly the “safe” reef varieties. More “interesting” species such as hammerhead and grey can be found in deeper waters. You may encounter foraging turtles during your time in the water or the marvellous manta ray.

Additional Activities*
Arnavon Islands Visit:

The Arnavon Islands is a Marine Protected Area about an hour by boat from Vavaghio. Because of its remoteness, few people get the opportunity to visit this beautiful example of what marine conservation can achieve. The Arnavons is the “jewel in the crown” of Solomon Island conservation work and a huge conservation success story for The Nature Conservancy of USA, who was responsible for initiating the project. The reserve was established primarily to protect the breeding grounds of the critically endangered Hawksbill Turtle. A stay at the islands will allow you to experience the conservation work of the conservation officers there as well as have the opportunity to see nesting sea turtles and/or hatching young. The reefs around the islands are extra-ordinary due to the protected status of the area and a snorkel here will allow you to see amazing marine life and corals that you are unlikely to see anywhere else in the Solomons. There are separate charges for the islands, but these are very modest (refer to the “Schedule of Charges” on “Rates” page). Visits may be subject to availability.

Bush Walking:
Vavaghio has beautiful bush walks starting behind the retreat and looping back to scale the small hill overlooking the buildings and the sea. There are other walks on adjacent islands including a picturesque river walk to a waterfall close to Kupikolo Village.

Bird Watching:
There are a variety of birds in the bush and on the shores of the island and surrounds, including many species of parrot and a large population of the huge Hornbill. One small adjacent island is a rookery for the majestic Frigate Bird, the national emblem of the Solomon Islands and floating on a boat in the sea adjacent to this island on a balmy evening with thousands of birds soaring above preparing to roost is an unforgettable experience.

Dugong Viewing:
The area is home to a few of these magnificent and critically endangered sea mammals (commonly called “sea cows”).These animals are extremely shy, but our guides can try to give you the rare experience of sighting one.

Crocodile Viewing:
We do have some of these reptiles in the surrounding waters but fortunately not the big “salties” of Australia etc. They can be a bit hard to find, but if you like the thrill of seeing these creatures from the safety of a boat, we will try to oblige.

Cultural Tour:
Vavaghio is really one family and we live in a traditional way. However, we would like you to experience some aspects of traditional village life that we are unable to show you at Vavaghio because we are too busy looking after you! At Kupikolo Village you can experience kastom cooking demonstrations, mat and basket weaving, canoe making and a visit to an historical site. If you wish, the village can treat you to a full kastom meal.

Visit to Kia Village:
Your stay at Vavaghio will include one visit to Kia Village, or more if you wish. Kia has a population of around 2,000 people and due to the narrow band of flat land adjacent to the sea, the houses are mainly built over the water. There is a large Anglican Church as well as many trade stores where you can buy the essentials for life (but not much more!) You can meet the local chiefs and “story” with some of the local people.

Location

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Itinerary & Schedule

Rates
You will be charged based on the type of holiday that you have chosen, your travel preferences, the number of guests in your group and your length of stay. The package that you will be quoted will include the following, unless otherwise specified:

Surfing Stay
• Return Airfares from Brisbane to Honiara and from Honiara to Suavanao
• Transfers from Suavanao to Vavaghio and return
• Accommodation in shared 4-bed Guest House
• All meals
• Boat and guide for two surf trips per day
• One trip to Kia Village
• Sabbath trip to Kupikolo Village, if desired

Fishing Stay
• Return Airfares from Brisbane to Honiara and from Honiara to Suavanao
• Transfers from Suavanao to Vavaghio and return
• Accommodation in shared 4-bed Guest House
• All meals
• Boat and crew for two fishing trips per day (4hrs each)
• Use of basic fishing gear, if desired
• One trip to Kia Village
• Sabbath trip to Kupikolo Village, if desired

Holiday Stay
• Return Airfares from Brisbane to Honiara and from Honiara to Suavanao
• Transfers from Suavanao to Vavaghio and return
• Accommodation in shared 4-bed Guest House
• All meals
• One trip to Kia Village
• Sabbath trip to Kupikolo Village, if desired

Optional Activity Charges
Extra Surf Trip AUD$ 90 Per group
Extra Fishing Trip AUD$ 130 Per group
Extra Trip to Kia AUD$ 150 Per group

Visit To Arnavons* AUD$240 Per group (plus Arnavon fees – see link below)
Snorkelling “Away” Trip AUD$ 60 Per group
Spearfishing “Away” Trip AUD$ 90 Per group

*Arnavon Fees are as per the Arnavons Fee Schedule (click link to view), except that we will pay the Accommodation Fees, and the Boat Transfer Charges will not be relevant as we will transport you to the islands and back. Any use of the Vavaghio boat at the Arnavons will incur an additional charge to cover petrol and wear and tear

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