Area: 926 sq km. Population: 16,000. Highest Point: 923 m.
Provincial Capital: Lata.
Formerly called the Eastern Outer Islands, Temotu Province with
a total land surface of only 926 sq km scattered over a huge 150,000 sq km of
ocean, lies at the Solomon's most easterly point. It is a widely dispersed
archipelago separated form the main mass of the country by the 600m deep Torres
Made up of three island groups, the volcanically derived Santa
Cruz Islands of Tinakula, Utupua, and Vanikoro are contrasted by low coral
terraces and sandy atolls of the nearby Reef Islands and further east by the
isolated extinct volcanoes of the Duff Islands, Tikopia and Anuta
Traditionally there were extensive trade networks throughout the
province, where Santa Cruz exported food, pigs and crafts in every direction,
and red feather money to the Reefs and Duffy. Settlement of Santa Cruz first
took place around 1500 to 1400 BC' and the first European contact was made in
1595 by Spanish explorer Alvaro-de Mendana, after several skirmishes with the
The people of Santa Cruz Islands and the majority of the Reef
Islands are non Austronesian Papuan-speaking like most of the people of Papua
New Guinea, and differ linguistically from most other Solomon Islanders. Solomon
Airlines operates two weekly scheduled flights to Lata, Temotu Province's capital.
- Travelling by boat - the only way to get around this isolated
- Visiting distant Tikopia and Anuta, both virtually unaffected
by modern life.
- Red feather money, one of the world's unique currencies.
- Tinakula, the most active volcano in the Solomons.
- Snorkelling in Santa Cruz's 'West Passage.
- Tapa cloth which is made locally from tree bark.
- Mendana rooster hunting.
- Banana fibre basket weaving