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The Santa Cruz Islands are part of the Solomon Islands.


The Santa Cruz Islands were visited by Álvaro de Mendaña de Neira in 1595, the first explorer to sight them during his expedition.

They lie approximately 400 km to the southeast of the Solomon Islands archipelago. The Santa Cruz Islands lie just north of the archipelago of Vanuatu


  • Nendö — the largest of the islands, with a population over 5,000. Lata is the largest town.
  • Vanikoro — population 1,300, which is actually two islands, Banie and its small neighbour Teanu. The inhabitants of Vanikoro consist of two different populations, who tend to live separately. The Melanesian majority, about 800 people, are the descendants of the original population of Vanikoro. A minority of about 500 individuals are of Polynesian descent: they have migrated from the island of Tikopia, an island lying 200 km eastwards, which they identify as their origin. They established their first settlements on Vanikoro about 400 years ago on the southern coast of Banie. The two major villages are Murivai and Taumako Bay.
  • Utupua — population 850. The main villages in the island are: Avita, Malombo, Tanimbili, Apakho and Nembao.

Get in[edit]

Map of Santa Cruz Islands

  • Luova Airport (SCZ IATA), Graciosa Bay, Nendö. Solomon Airlines flies a few times a week from Honiara (2 hr 40 min, A$437 return).

Get around[edit]



Utupua has a forested path that leads to viewpoints overlooking the coral reef that encloses the island.




Stay safe[edit]

Go next[edit]

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