Sunday, 22 May 2016

Bicycle riding, our new tour package

The Conflict Bay Lodge now extends its day tours from the island visit packages to bicycle riding package for five hours down the South coast of East Guadalcanal.

This package can take our riders pass the rural villages of Hatare area, Waimaea, and Kopiu. This tour can enable our guests to meet villagers going about their normal lives and children are shyly looking at the many bicycles, which they never saw before.

On the road, our experience tour guide will show his riders some of the breathtaking and some of the beautiful beaches on Guadalcanal, the rock formations, and plants which are important to the locals for house building, traditional medicines, and so fort. There are some historical sites and they have legends which worth hearing.

The half day bicycle riding package includes;
1. Three hours riding
2. Packed lunch
3. And cultural experience at Peso community.

To book, Email: conflictbay@gmail.com.
Two riders crossing a stream behind two village women return from a local market. Pic: Niniu Oligao/Footprint Photography
Bicycle riders relaxing along a seawall at Kopiu Bay.

Monday, 26 October 2015

Kayaking tours are among the newest products we offer

Over the course of your kayaking trips, you will visit the Hatare Marine Park which has one of the colorful coral reefs in Marau Sound, viewing Marau Sound's iconic locations, as well as less well known beautiful sites with the guidance of our local knowledgeable and experience guides.

But remember, our places are photogenic. So bring your underwater camera and photographing many places and underwater beauty as you can do to remind you of such a slice of paradise here.

One of our local tour guides along the Conflict Bay beach with the kayaks. 

Two kayaks at the Conflict Bay Lodge beachfront, Marau Sound.


Morning kayaking in the Conflict Bay.

Saturday, 12 September 2015

Our coral reefs are among the most valuable resources we have.

By Niniu Oligao, who was in Bali, Indonesia for the Coral Triangle Sustainable Marine Tourism Conference.

The 4th Coral Triangle Initiative on Coral Reefs, Fisheries, and Food security Regional Business Forum has brought together representatives of the six governments- Malaysia, Philippines, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, and Timor Leste, private sector, non-government organizations, and scholars to Bali, Indonesia from August 27 to August 29, 2015.

"Since the launch of the Coral Triangle Initiative in 2009, Indonesia has worked together with our partner countries to lead efforts in sustaining the Coral Triangle and we are very proud to host this Forum and welcome our fellow leaders and visionaries from the Coral Triangle region and the rest of the world to promote sustainable marine tourism agenda," said Safri Baharudin, Deputy of Human Resources, Science and Maritime Culture of Indonesia Coordinating Ministry for Maritime Affairs.

“This forum is aligned to vision of the government to strengthen Indonesia as a maritime nation,” he added.

This year’s meeting theme is “Charting the Future of the Coral Triangle as a Global Sustainable Tourism Destination”.

Outgoing Minister for Culture and Tourism for Solomon Islands, Honourable Bartholomew Parapolo deliverying his key note speech.

In his keynote address, Executive Director of CTI- CFF Regional Secretariat, Dr Widi Pratikto said that the forum’s theme reflects the central aspiration of the event, to address and find solutions to the challenges threatening our ocean, especially in the Coral Triangle region.

“It requires commitments and contributions from everyone”, he added.

The 4th CTI- CFF Regional Business Forum aimed to provide a platform for the discovery of innovative and collaborative solutions to promote best practices for responsible tourism, private sector leadership in sustainable and responsible tourism, as well as showcase the Coral Triangle as a distinctive brand, a regional sustainable marine tourism destination that benefits local communities.

We are fortunate to live in a region which is so rich in marine ecosystems. Our rich coral ecosystems set the bench mark to the future of our marine tourism. Thousands or even millions have visited our nations because of the pristine marine ecosystems, including the coral reefs.

“It is our hope that these events will result in solid recommendations that will allow more stakeholders to be more committed in practicing sustainable marine tourism in their respected countries, for the long run”, according to Dr. Widi.

The forum included some events: the Coral Triangle Sustainable Marine Tourism Conference, the Coral Triangle Marine Tourism Expo, and the Coral Triangle Marine Tourism Investment Forum and Business to Business meeting.

Conference participants in a group picture on the last day.

Solomon Islands delegation, led by Honourable Bartholomew Parapolo, caretaker Minister of Culture and Tourism, consisted of the Department of Tourism official, Solomon Islands Tourism for Inclusive Development Coordinator, Solomon Islands Visitors Bureau Marketing and marketing officer, a local tourist operator (Oravae Cottages) attended the forum and the expo.

Sunday, 19 April 2015

Where you can spend your coming winter escape

Islands we travel to for day tours and snorkelling.
Chilled favourite Solbrew after your day.
Our bed.
Our new dining area.
Ezekiel Apoia, our chef who is always happy to receive you.
Marion Maumamura in the lodge's kitchen.
Elijah Maumamura can be your tour guide to the beautiful islands.
Conflict Bay afternoon.




 

Where you can spend your coming winter escape

Our bed.
Our new dining area.
Ezekiel Apoia, our chef who is always happy to receive you.
Marion Maumamura in the lodge's kitchen.
Elijah Maumamura can be your tour guide to the beautiful islands.
Conflict Bay afternoon.

 

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Happiness that matters- at Conflict Bay Lodge

By Niniu Oligao

Life began to change for Elijah Maumamura when he decided to incorporate his passions of travelling and owning a rural business in 2011.
“I have learned what happiness means to others, offer what I can from my years as a teacher in rural areas, and try to leave each place better than how I found it”, said Maumamura, a Marau native whose today is one of the founding owners of the Conflict Bay Lodge in Marau Sound, East Guadalcanal.

The lodge got its name from where it is situated- Conflict Bay.

Conflict Bay sunrise- from the Conflict Bay Lodge.
 
Living history
For a history lover, one of the most exciting aspects of living in Marau Sound is that you don’t need to go to a museum to see the traditional culture: they are everywhere. In the villages you can see traditional hatched houses, cultural entertainments from women, men, and children, handicrafts, and you can learn few common words in Marau dialect to greet local children and women.

Conflict Bay, a name depicts a rich history of the strained relationship between the first European contacts with the natives in the late 19th century. A moment which many refers to as the ‘Black birding era’- many Marau people, along other Solomon Islanders had been kidnapped to cultivate the sugarcane fields of Queensland, Northern Australia and Fiji. Some returned, others chose to remain in their new places. And the rest is history.
Symbol of Marau Sound
In addition to the scattered cultural and historical sites and villages, Marau Sound is blessed with white beaches and uninhabited islands which form the ‘dream paradise’ to the holiday makers and honeymooners. These beaches and islands have been a landscape to the Marau people since the early migration of their ancestors from South Malaita and Are Are regions- to marry and live with the Guadalcanal people of Birao, and formed a distinctive culture.

The Conflict Bay Lodge has made tours to three of these islands which provide perfect snorkelling places and island experience to those whose lives confined to cities and the rush of passing hours and work.

“Marau Sound blue mountains form the backdrop of the perfect island holiday, as the lullaby of the breaking waves composed just for you”, added Maumamura.

His words are not just tourist rhetoric. Almost all of those to Kosa and Whale Island said their trips were truly wonderful.

Good things are on the way
The Conflict Bay Lodge is just in its fourth year and has put its mark in the tourism and hospitality. Its local architectural designed accommodation blends well with the local environment. Elijah said the principles of sustainable tourism development should not be taken lightly in designing, planning and development of that lodge.

He said they only built on the disturbed area in his family’s old coconut plantation. The beachfront is left undeveloped because the Hatare Marine Park is just right there. And also it goes well with the stunning scenery of the islands.
“We incredibly hosted guests of diverse backgrounds; photographers, filmmakers, savvy travellers soul searched for peaceful times in the company of their loved ones, and soft adventurers who have been spent a lot of their times in the outdoor”, added Ezekiel Apoia, a local chef at the Conflict Bay Lodge with more than 20 years of experience at the Tavanipupu Resort. “But what sets this lodge apart is the sense of friendliness you feel walking through our door, the beautiful people and hospitality and service”.

Each guest of the lodge has stories to tell at home- “Awesome place”, “thank you for the great weekend”, enjoyed the sound of the ocean and village life, the laughter of the children”, “food was fantastic”- the good words of mouth made others to visit, and some guests to return to Conflict Bay Lodge.

Being a good neighbour to the local communities is not just about local purchasing. Rather, an effort to be there for the pressing needs of local communities, especially the young generation of Marau Sound- the education of 16 children. Elijah said those children come from big families and with both illiterate parents. There are two of those families whose parents are employed as cleaners, maintenance workers, and security for reasonable wages at the lodge, and also are empowered by having their shares in this business.

Holiday packages are negotiated with providers of cultural activities, new eight kilometres trail in the Marau Mountains, and Hatare community to spread local tourism benefits, and attracting visitors by offering better products.

And that is the happiness Elijah and his team are passionate about. And what lies ahead is to make things going in the rural Marau Sound for the Conflict Bay Lodge.

Accessing the lodge
If you want to spend your holiday at the Conflict Bay Lodge, you can book the Solomon Airlines or Virgin Australia flights from Brisbane to Honiara for three hours. New Solomon Airlines Sydney connection will start in June 2015.

The Solomon Airlines domestic flights to Marau Sound can take 45 minutes on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.

To stay at the Conflict Bay Lodge, you can call Elijah Maumamura in Marau Sound on mobile +677 7424029, or send to email: conflictbay@gmail.com.