Scuba Diving Solomon Islands
Incredibly beautiful, yet relatively undiscovered and unknown by divers, the Solomon Islands not only offers some outstanding top-side beauty, but great reefs, endemic species, and lots of wrecks to explore. It might be the perfect spot for your next dive holiday.
Solomon Islands DIVING
Far out into the southwestern edge of the Pacific Ocean, lies the incredible, yet relatively overlooked and unknown entity called the Solomon Islands.
This island nation is a good example of what a healthy reef should look like, and should be on every diver’s bucketlist.
Because of it’s remoteness, the environment has remained undisturbed by the masses, and is still a pristine underwater wonder.
Besides tons of amazing wreck dives, you can expect to see plenty of caverns, reefs, large sea fans, steep walls, soft corals, muck and much more. This truly is an uncrowded, diver’s paradise. You just need to go see it for yourself.
In this guide we will show you where exactly to dive in the Solomon Islands, how to get there, what to see and more.
where to dive in Solomon Islands
Expect lots of shallow caverns and swim throughs here, with nice light shafts shooting in from above. The Russell Islands lie between Honiara and Western Province.
These islands are also near Honiara, and have lots of good dive sites, including Twin Tunnels, which is a seamount with two big lava tubes. You can enter the tubes and descend into a cave on a reef wall at about 36m deep. There are also plenty of fish and corals around of course.
This is a good drift dive for more advanced divers, where you can see some pelagic in the current. Be sure to bring a reef hook to hold on to the rock wall. You will be in heaven as up to a dozen mantas can be here at once, dancing in the currents.
Located in the Western Province, about a 90 minute flight from Honiara, the dive sites here offer plenty of healthy reefs, wrecks, and diverse marine life. You will also like the island life here, with plenty to do and see, including checking out the island where John F. Kennedy was shipwrecked during the war.
Located New Georgia Island, Marovo Lagoon is the world’s biggest saltwater lagoon. Nearby is Uepi Island, with lots of reef sharks, big schools of friendly spadefish, barracuda, and a beautiful reef covered in hard and soft corals.
This site is good for the wide angle lens, as it’s full of the big guys, such as bumphead parrotfish, nepoleon wrasse, barracuda, tuna, reef sharks and big schools of jacks. It’s a popular stop for liveaboards. Be sure to check out Barracuda Point, one of the island’s sites.
Munda is a more remote location, located on the west side of New Georgia, about an hour flight from the capital of Honiara. There are a lot of undisturbed dive sites here, that offer everything from countless shark sitings to pygmy seahorses and other macro critters. Don’t miss this one.
BEST TIME FOR DIVING
From December to March there’s an interval of calm weather broken by storms. Good for diving. June to September has mild weather but rough waters so well for hiking but not for diving. April to May and October to November is not bad at all because it’s dry time.
All flights coming in, will arrive at Henderson International Airport, which is 11km east of Honiara. Flying in is stress-free from Australia, Fiji, Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu with direct flights. From US or Europe, you’re going to have one long trek.
Coming from anyplace, the easiest option is to travel to Brisbane, Sydney, Nadi, Vila or Port Moresby and connect with flights to Honiara.
What to see
The diving in Solomon Islands is possibly as good as the world class sites of Philippines or Indonesia, but have far fewer crowds. There are still plenty of dive operators and liveaboards and SCUBA infrastructure in the country, just less tourism impact on the reefs and critters. Here are some to expect.
- Lots of nudibranch species. Got to give these pretty slugs a mention of course.
- Octopus species. Get luck and you might see quite a few kinds.
- Manta rays. One of the best things we ever get to dive with.
- Frogfish species. Cutest critters, or ugliest? Another underwater photographer’s favorite.
- Black, grey and white tip reef sharks. Lots of chances and places to see these guys.
- Hammerheads. They have been known to frequent Munda, among other sites.
Solomon Islands are pretty large in area, with lots to see and experience, and this is one reason we prefer to travel the country as opposed to just doing a liveaboard. Here are just a few of them.
- Various watersports. Trysurfing, sailing, deep sea fishing and sea kayaking that are on offer.
- Cultural sites. Head out to more remote locations to ancient cultures, including the headhunters.
- Hiking. The country is covered in unexplored rainforest, waiting for you to take a hike.
- WW2 history. If you are in to history, there area lots of WW2 museums where you can get a glimpse of Solomon Island’s role in the war.
The Solomon Islands are located South Pacific archipelago and occupy a strategic location on sea routes between the Coral Sea, Solomon Sea, and South Pacific Ocean.
The total area is 28,450 sq km and 5,310km coastline, and the population is estimated 494,786. The remote islands and atolls offer a great chance to explore reefs that are not frequented by large crowds of tourists.
Capital city of Solomon Islands: Honiara
Visa requirements for Solomon Islands: No visa required for US nationals but you need to have a return ticket and a passport.
Currency of Solomon Islands: The currency of Solomon Islands is Solomon Islands Dollar (SBD)
Official Language of Solomon Islands: The official language of Solomon Islands is English.
UNESCO World Heritage sites in Solomon Islands
There is 1 UNESCO World Heritage Site in Solomon Islands.