By Leigh Pirie
If you are looking for a beautiful getaway only 50 minutes from Honiara, then I cannot recommend more highly Fatboys Resort in Gizo.
When my family (my husband and I, a 5 year old, a 3 year old and a visiting Australian uncle) arrived at the Gizo airport we were met by Manoj, the manager of Fatboys Resort, and sped off in our little banana boat. The airport, Gizo township and the island where Fatboys is, are all only about 10 minute boat ride between. We arrived at the restaurant at the end of the jetty and were greeted by a delicious lime drink, flower headbands and big smiles from the staff.
Despite the often cloudy and windy weather, we had an awesome 5 days. Apparently the region had been buffeted by gale force winds and rains reminiscent of the wet season and we arrived just at the tail end. On a positive note, the sea breeze kept the mozzies away and dropped the temperature to the mid 20’s which was a pleasant change for us and a welcome relief for my uncle who had been sweltering in Honiara after departing Canberra at -6 degrees.
We spent our days swimming at a little beach which was at the end of a 100 metre bush walk through coconut and palm trees, playing pool in the restaurant, building fairy houses on the sand using coconuts and bottles which had washed up and boating down to the Sanbis resort to have wood fired pizzas for lunch. My husband headed out fishing one day and was over the moon to have caught a 13 kilo dog tooth tuna within about 30 minutes. They went on to also catch 4 Spanish mackerel and a barracuda.
The snorkelling was fun and you only had to plop in off the restaurant at either Fatboys or Sanbis to be surrounded by aquarium fish and swim over giant clams. Apparently about 100 metres further out where the water was deeper the fish were bigger, but I am a bit of a chicken in open water so I kept close to the restaurant and was more than happy watching the fish pop in and out of coral and anemones.
One afternoon we chose to walk back from Sanbis to Fatboys and had a great stroll through mangroves, coconut forests and little villages. As we walked I spotted a blackboard out of the corner of my eye and instantly knew it must have been the village school. We went to have a stickybeak and found a teacher, Ian, marking some students work. He gave us a tour of the four room school which had been mostly built by donations from Brisbane rotary and took us through the village to the teachers’ housing to meet the Head Teacher, Patricia. The staff were very welcoming and the villagers always gave a smile and wave as we wandered through their little piece of paradise.
I could not speak highly enough of the service of the staff at Fatboys. They were so lovely to us and the kids. The food at the restaurant was delicious and they were really accommodating to cooking for my daughters – each night they would come and ask what the kids would like to eat and it was cooked to order. The chef also turned half of my husband’s tuna into 2 massive plates of sashimi for us. We stayed in the 2 room apartment which also has 2 bathrooms, ocean views and a small kitchen. We never cooked there, but the fridge was handy as we had taken fruit and snacks along. The rooms were very large and were serviced every day to a very high standard.
For more information and bookings, please click here for the Fatboys Resort website