Want a real escape in a remote and breathtakingly beautiful part of the Pacific? Enjoy a truly immersive experience in the Solomon Islands with a visit to Oravae Cottage, a traditional, Melanesian style bungalow in secluded bay right in the heart of one of the least explored countries in the Pacific. Entirely run by the local Baea family, all of whom have a deep passion for the environment they call home, Oravae is a glowing example of community led tourism done well. This homestay offers a truly authentic Solomon Islands experience - and a supremely relaxing one at that. Spend your days relaxing in a hammock on the wooden verandah, swimming in the pristine lagoon, explore the wrecks of Japanese WWII planes and ships, or get lost in a a book as the sun slowly sets.
Oravae Cottage's island is just a 20-minute boat ride from Gizo, capital of the Solomon Islands' western province, which offers some of the best diving in the archipelago. Oravae has several accommodation options depending on the size of your group, to ensure minimal ecological impact and privacy, a maximum of 10 guests can stay at any given time and all must be part of the same group as the island is only ever booked for one party at a time.
There is a main bungalow, an open-plan wooden cottage with double bed, plus four additional single beds in the spacious living room, with an incredible verandah that gazes out over the limpid lagoon. For larger groups, there is the Penthouse, adjacent to the Oravae Cottage with double bed, bathroom facilities and a huge wooden deck. Finally , there's the Treehouse, with two wooden decks facing the majestic Kolombangara Volcano. All options include meals, gas lighting, kitchen supplies, cutlery and access to kitchenette, an indoor shower, toilet and an additional outdoor shower.
How can we put it? During your stay, this is your island and you'll be treated as part of the Baea family. So, what do you feel like doing? Play around with one of the water inflatables that are availablefor your group, explore the lagoon in the wooden canoe or settle in a hammock on the veranda and take in the stunning views. Explore the surrounding islands and atolls, snorkel pristine reefs, hike on Kolombangara Island and visit local villages that have changed little over the centuries. The area is famous for its beauty and even offers several spots for surfing. Gizo and Western Province are dive central, with everything from WWII wrecks to mangroves to some of the best reefs in the world. Its waters are home to manta rays, sharks, huge mackerel.
Oravae Cottage owner and founder, Mr. Patson Baea and his family have been recognised by WWF for their conservation efforts. Oravae runs on renewable energy and all of its structures have been built sustainably, using reclaimed wood. Rainwater is harvested and the majority of food and labour is locally supported when possible in order to support the community. One of its most impressive projects is its sustainable coral farm for the aquarium industry, which educes the need for wild harvesting Oravae Cottage also runs awareness seminars on deforestation, sustainable resource management and works with local communities offering educational stays to children during school holidays.
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