The Honiara Botanical Gardens are in a very interesting spot tucked up behind the Honiara prison. A short stroll through the gardens results in a visit to a tiny and traditional village where the houses are on stilts, made out of banana leaves and the women still walk around topless. I went for a little paddle in the river, but definitely will take togs next time – beautiful clear water is hard to find so close to Honiara!
The gardens are also home to a good collection of native orchids from all of the nine provinces of the Solomon Islands… As well as the old hanging house site where capital punishment used to take place. Supposedly the area is haunted by the unfortunate souls that were hung here.
Of course the collection of spiders are the first thing you notice. Every bough supports a web… And each web contains an enormous, colourful spider… I was told cheerfully by the locals that none of the spiders were aggressive or venemous and to go right on brushing through webs where they were impossible to avoid… I was comforted by this until I discovered that Solli is also home to a particularly venemous type of funnel web, though I didn’t see any of the characteristic funnel shaped webs much to my relief!