Constitutional monarchy. Gained independence from the UK in 1978.
Head of state:
HM Queen Elizabeth II, represented locally by Governor-General Frank Ofagioro Kabui since 2009.
Head of government:
Prime Minister Derek Sikua since December 2007.
230/240 volts AC, 50Hz. Australian-type flat three-pin plugs are in use.
The Solomon Islands archipelago is made up of nearly 1,000 tropical islands scattered across the southwestern Pacific, just to the east of Papua New Guinea. The remote location has kept the islands as an unspoilt gem of a travel destination, with a slowly developing tourist industry.
One of the main draws for holiday makers is the superb marine life - making the islands a diver's paradise. The main islands to visit are Guadalcanal, Malaita, Choiseul, New Georgia, San Cristobal and Santa Isabel. The capital of Honiara, on Guadalcanal, is also well worth some time, with a museum, botanical gardens and it's very own Chinatown. Villages and scenic drives are within easy reach of the capital, as are the popular WWII battlefield tours and carving villages on the islands of Rennell and Bellona.