The Solomon’s is one of those rare destinations for scuba divers that has something to suit everyone’s underwater appetite.
This tropical archipelago sits on the eastern edge of the so-called Coral Triangle, the global centre of marine biodiversity, which spans Indonesia, Malaysia, The Philippines and Papua New Guinea. 76 per cent of the world’s coral species live here, along with six of the world’s seven turtle species and over 2,228 species of fish.
At the other end of the diving spectrum, reminders of WWII’s Pacific Battle Arena are never far away, present above and below water, with countless wrecks scattered in the lagoons and deep channels including the infamous Iron Bottom Sound.
The volcanic landscape also provides stunning underwater landscapes, with slots, caverns, caves, even underwater lava tunnels to explore.
7 dive sites worth exploring in the Solomon Islands.
1. Uepi Point, Uepi
The ocean facing side of Uepi Island drops off in a steep wall, with water from the Marovo Lagoon flowing swiftly through the Charapoana Passage. The currents are not strong but carry nutrients which attract an incredible range of marine life. Though a good dive at any time of day, in the early mornings and late afternoons can be the most exciting, with large schools of trevally and barracuda, as well as rays and reef sharks. Dive this at Uepi Island Resort.
2. Cave of the Kastom Shark, Munda
This memorable dive starts in the centre of a small island. After trekking through mangroves, a sinkhole is revealed, roughly 1.5 metres in diameter. Dropping down into this hole, you descend a vertical chimney around 30 metres and by torchlight, a tunnel is revealed which ascends gradually to an opening on the reef wall, giant gorgonian fans and bright red whip corals fringing a wide entrance. Dive this with Dive Munda.
3. Toa Maru, Gizo
The Toa Maru wreck is an whopping 130 metres long, lying on its starboard side at a depth of 37 metres. It is the biggest and most impressive wreck, (at recreational diving depths), in the Solomons. Aside from the fascinating artifacts to be found in the cargo holds, every exposed surface of the ship has been colonised by coral, in fact this artificial reef rivals your average natural reef for coral cover and marine life. Dive this with Dive Gizo.
4. Tulagi Twin Tunnels, Florida Islands
These twin tunnels are two ancient lava tubes which drop vertically from the top of a coral seamount to around 34 metres. At depth, each tunnel widens, forming a cave with a large mouth which opens onto a dramatic coral wall. Schools of pelagic fish can be found feeding in the current, and at least eight varieties of anemonefish in hundreds of anemone homes can be found on the top of the plateau. Dive this on one of the Solomons liveaboards, the Solomons Master or the Bilikiki.
5. Leru Cut, Russell Islands
This site is an underwater photographer’s dream. The ‘Cut’ is a long passage cut deep into the land, almost – but not quite wide enough for a couple of divers to swim side by side. Open to the air at the top, it is lit by shafts of sunlight in parts, and once at the end of the slot, you can surface and look up at vine clad vertical rock walls and listen to the gentle hum of the jungle above. Dive this on one of the Solomons liveaboards, the Solomons Master or the Bilikiki.
6. Bell P-39 Airacobra and Douglas SBD Dauntless, Munda
These two shallow plane wrecks can be dived on a single tank, sitting on a sandy sea floor at a depth of only 9 metres. Both are reasonably intact and surrounded by clouds of glass fish and other juveniles. The body of the planes, once painted in U.S. Airforce drab grey, are now painted in colourful coating corals which create gorgeous patterns along the length of each plane. Dive this with Dive Munda.
7. Shark Point, Munda
The reef wall at Shark Point is covered in corals of all shapes, sizes, and colours. Brightly coloured soft corals, whips and sea fans make way for hard branching corals and moon-shaped brain corals. Flitting among them are thousands of colourful little reef fish; butterfly fish, damsels, angels, anthias and surgeons, and anemones with several species of anemone fish resident. Out in the blue, big schools of snapper, bluefin trevally, barracuda and the odd black-tip reef shark. Dive this with Dive Munda.
Did we miss your favourite Solomons dive site? Share it with us!
2 thoughts on “The Solomons Seven… best dive sites”
You missed Devil’s Highway – incoming tide, Mantas buzzing your head after each turn feeding in the channel. Heavy current, including a “fun” down current that will pull you to ~90 feet before it will let you go, if you’re not careful.
Dive it from the Bilikiki
Thanks for the reminder! Devil’s Highway – in the waters off Maravagi Island, in the Central Province.