The Solomon Islands from West to East - The Shortland Islands Group

Images taken by

Brian Taylor

The Shortland group, which lies a few km to the east of Bougainville, comprises two main islands, Alu and Fauro, and numerous smaller islands. Alu is relatively low-lying, with a maximum elevation of 206 m, whereas Fauro is narrow and precipitous rising to 587 m. the smaller islands such as Ballalae, which has a small airfield, are mainly coralline. Ballalae, which has been said to be the original for Michener's Bali Hai, has the sad distinction of the airfield having been built by Australian and British prisoners-of-war used as forced labour by the Japanese. When the airfield was complete the majority of the prisoners were executed. At the time of my visit the remains of wrecked aircraft, etc., were still amongst the bush at the side of the airstrip.

Title: Shortland Group

Title: Southern end of Fauro I., 23 March 1973

Title: Evening at Samanagha Village, off Fauro I., 23 March 1973

Title: Off the north-western tip of Alu I., Shortland Group, 24 March 1973

Title: Komaliae, Gilbertese re-settlement village, with great meeting house, Alu I., Shortland Group, 23 March 1973

Title: Ballalae I. and wartime Japanese airstrip, built by prisoners-of-war, possibly Michener's Bali Hai, 25 Mar 1973 (Alu I behind)

Title: Fauro I., Shortland Group; Choiseul in top right, 24 March 1973

Location of photos from on-board ship

Location of aerial photos

Location of photos from on land

©2000 - Brian Taylor CBiol FIBiol FRES
11, Grazingfield, Wilford, Nottingham, NG11 7FN, U.K.
Visiting Academic in the Department of Life Science, University of Nottingham

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