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Fatboys Resort



Mbabanga Island


Pictures of Fatboys Resort
Solomon Islands sights
Village Life pictures
WWII pictures


Fatboys Resort, Solomon IslandsBy Richard Moore

Surely it is the mark of a great place to stay when you walk into your room and just go “Wow.”

And isn't it even better when your second impression is “Wow, oh wow!”

That was my reaction to my over-the-water room at Fatboys Resort on the island of Mbabanga, about 15 minutes by boat from Gizo in the Solomon Islands.

Fatboys is legendary with wonderful water’s-edge bungalows, an end-of-the-pier restaurant and bar, clear waters and an outlook over the lagoon to the volcanic island of Kolombangara.

And it is the perfect place to base yourself for sightseeing around the Gizo region.

Fatboys Resort, Solomon IslandsYou can visit nearby Kennedy Island where the future US president, John F Kennedy, ended up after his motor torpedo boat PT-109 was sliced in half by the Japanese destroyer Amagiri on August 2, 1943. Read about Kennedy's WW2 adventures in the Solomons.

Thirty minutes away by boat is another WWII survival story where a junior lieutenant, one Richard Moore (no relation), crash-landed his Hellcat fighter after being hit by friendly fire during a September 1943 dogfight and was forced to ditch.

He got out of the cockpit, inflated his rubber raft and paddled to the relative safety of a tiny nearby island. That night local natives rescued him by dugout canoe and took him back to Gizo.

The Hellcat is in excellent condition (click for image) and lies in between 7 and 10 metres of water. It can be seen clearly from the surface, depending upon water conditions.

Fatboys Resort, Solomon IslandsIf you feel like having a big day out from Fatboys - other than taking recommended fishing expeditions - then you can head across the Vonavona Lagoon to Munda, the largest town on New Georgia and one that offers plenty to tourists.

There are some beautiful diving spots, a lively market and, for WWII buffs, some easy-to-get-to sites.

The main one would be the Peter Joseph Museum, named for a soldier whose military dogtags were found on a local battlefield.

Owned by Barney Paulsen, the museum is a trove of battlefield relics - including machine guns, grenades, helmets, bullet and shell casings. It is a fascinating glimpse of war and the weapons used.

Not far away is an astounding spot where cut up landing craft have been left to rust away. They were bulldozed off the nearby beach by US forces and are now covered in creepers and trees.

On a wet and dark day they were very eerie to come across in their jungle resting place.

Fatboys Resort, Solomon IslandsOn the way back to Fatboys Resort we were lucky enough to be taken into an inlet and on to the island of Tahitu.

Wading ashore across a shallow rocky shoreline we walked up a track to be greeted by Hudson, who led us through the verdant ferns and trees to a clearing in which sat a small Allied Stuart tank.

A very different outing from Fatboys was a 20-minute trek through towering coconut palms to Mbabanga, where you will get to witness everyday Solomons village life.

We had a delightful greeting and encounter with children from the small kindergarten and were given a personal tour that included seeing traditional mats being woven and being given the honour of seeing how they live traditionally.

First impressions of Fatboys Resort were eye-catching to say the least. Stepping off the small fibreglass commuter long boat which, in pijin English is … fibreglass boat … we were given a welcoming drink at the pier restaurant.

Fatboys Resort, Solomon IslandsWhile our bags were taken to our various lodgings we got the chance to look at the surroundings. From the restaurant there is a long pier and very pretty bungalows among the trees on the shore.

Seeing one my instant thought was “who's the lucky devil who gets to stay there?”

Turns out it was me. I suspect it was the resort's honeymoon suite but, despite my lady not being with me, I wasn't going to turn it down. It consisted of one huge room, an ensuite shower and loo and a great little deck perfect for having an early cup of tea or late brandy enjoying the view.

The bare, dark-wood floors were gorgeous, although the pink mosquito netting hanging over the bed was a little too much for my tastes.

My travelling companions popped in to check out the accommodation and said “Wow.”

Then “Wow, oh wow!” I couldn't have put it better myself …

Fatboys Resort, Solomon IslandsAfter a day touring around the relaxed atmosphere of the island bar was welcome.

So was the buffet meal that included a huge local snapper and chilli lobster. After that we adjourned to my balcony and proceeded to yak the night away listening to the gentle sounds or the waves rolling in underneath us.

It was tough to leave Fatboys Resort, which was a marvellous place to either chill out and get away from the world, or use as a base to explore the area.

And that view across to the Kolombangara volcano will stay in my mind for many a year.


Copyright 2014 RICHARD MOORE