Scuba Diving the Solomon Islands

25 September 2019
The diving in the Solomon Islands is excellent. Their remoteness means that the dive sites are unspoilt. WWII wrecks, caves, coral gardens and immense biodiversity of marine life, coupled with hardly any divers, make or a great trip. You can dive from a liveaboard or from one of the few dive centres in the islands. In 2019 the main dive operators created a formal representative body: Dive Operators Solomon Islands (DOSI), in part in order to develop tourism.

Coral Reef

The country comprises over 900 islands in Oceania, to the east of Papua New Guinea and northwest of Vanuatu. Some islands at the northwest end of the archipelago belong to Papua New Guinea rather than to the state of Solomon Islands.

When is the best time to dive Solomon Islands? You can dive year round but cyclone season is normally between November and April. Sea temperatures never fall below 27oC and can reach 30oC September to March.

The most popular diving areas are Tulagi, Munda, Guadalcanal and South Marovo Lagoon.

Fresh and salt water crocodiles and sharks are common.

Most visits to Solomon Islands are trouble-free, but take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before you travel. Medical facilities are very basic throughout Solomon Islands. Your passport should be valid for a minimum period of six months from the date of entry into Solomon Islands.

Swearing is a crime in Solomon Islands and can lead to large compensation claims and even jail. Dress codes, particularly for women, are modest. In certain areas there are "tabu" sites only visited by men.

Diving Solomon Islands Solomon Islands Dive Shops and Liveaboards Further Reading Your Comments


Dive Sites of Solomon Islands

Mary Island
Baracuda point

Mary Island, or Mborokua, is famous for schooling jacks, barracuda and sharks. Huge bumphead parrotfish are also common.

"Cliff face dive with one of the largest bigeye travally schools ever seen. Baracudas, grey reef sharks and tuna. "
Richard Banks, 2019
Munda
"This area has got the best all-round diving I've ever done. Walls, pelagics, lots of big stuff - sharks, mantas, schools of eagle rays, a great wreck, several plane wrecks and no crowds . "
Frank Curran
Eagle Ray
Eagle Ray
Munda
Kastom shark cave

Munda is the largest town on the island of New Georgia

"Got it all: walk in, drop down 10 mins through cave onto wall "
Ian Gilding, 2014
Munda
Shark Point

A shelving reef that gets progressively more vertical where two currents meet. The currents bring the big fish - sharks, devil rays, batfish.

"Enter in what seems like open sea to hit a 1 km deep wall and cruise along in the company of giant leatherbacks, huge pelagics, black, white and grey tips, plus a few oceanic white tips and hammerheads. The best feeling I've ever had."
Luke, 2006
Hammerhead shark
Hammerhead shark
Gizo
Toa Maru Wreck

The Toa Maru was a World War II Japanese transport ship. She was sunk in 1943 by an American submarine. She lies between 12 and 40 m. A very good wreck dive

"55 minutes of penetration. Tons of life, Japanese tanks."
Kyle Folden, May 2016
Gizo
Hot Spot

A pinnacle rising to 5m from the oceans depths - a channel of over 300 m. This off-shore site attracts sharks and other pelagic fish to feed on shoals of fish. Turtles are also common.

"More fish species than I realised existed, let alone had ever seen."
Luke, 2006
Gizo
Grand Central Station
"Loads of fish, sharks, tuna, everything all at once - couldn't see the surface of the water there were so many fish. "
Grant
Uepi
"Tiny Island on the edge of the worlds largest lagoon. Clearest water, best visibility, friendliest staff. Highlight was diving with hammerheads."
Zac Sarnecki, 2009
Nggela Sule
Tulagi (Tulaghi)

Tulagi is a small island off the south coast of Nggela Sule. The Japanese occupied Tulagi in 1942 and there are several WWII wrecks in area.

"Solomon Islands, deeper dive, destroyer sitting upright on the sand, largely intact as she sank very quickly in the battle for Guadacanal in WW11, penetration possible for the properly trained and experienced."
Jackie Bone-George, Australia, 2013
Tulagi Island
Lava Tubes
"Depth of 35m to descend to the bottom of lava tubes. You then exit through a opening at approx 35m, circle the reef and slowly ascend. Spotted a Manta ray throughout the dive. Amazing. "
Shayla Osborne, 2017
Nggela Sule
USS Aaron Ward
USS Aaron Ward, Solomon Islands
The wreck of the USS Aaron Ward, Nggela Sule, Solomon Islands

A destroyer, the USS Aaron Ward sank stern first in 70m of water at Tinete Point of Nggela Sule, in April 1943. She was located by divers in 1994 and has been dived since then.

"Deep and those guns, wow "
Ian Gilding, 2014
Munda
Bella Bella

Reviews: 5 Star Rating: Recommended

"Silvertips that chase you away, make the turn and you will see 20 ft gorgan fans, sponge corals hanging down 120 ft. Light shinning through the trees make this dive site one of the best ever "
Kyle, 2011
Shooting Gallery

Reviews: 5 Star Rating: Recommended

"Dive into huge crevices and experience crayfish propelling themselves in all direction. Imagine a hundred crayfish going in every direction at high velocity. It is something to see."
Kyle, Canada, 2011

Solomon Islands Dive Shops and Liveaboards

Add a review or list your dive shop.

Solomons PNG Master (Taka) Liveaboard

Truk Master liveaboard visiting Bikini Atoll

Accommodates 20 divers in 12 cabins with four different room classes. On the upper deck, there are both Deluxe and Premium staterooms all with en-suite bathrooms. On the lower deck, there are standard twin bed and double bed cabins. Departs from Honiara - 7 and 10 night trips.

Review…

Bilikiki Liveaboard

Truk Master liveaboard visiting Bikini Atoll

Equipped with large carpeted camera table for photographers. Up to 4 dives can be made through the day. Bilikiki has 10 staterooms, all are equipped with private facilities. Cabins are located on the lower deck. Takes up to 20 divers.

Review…

Yokwe Divers

Yokwe Divers
PO Box 239
Majuro
MH 96960
Republic of the Solomon Islands
Tel (692) 625-2525 ext.141 / (692) 625-1796
Fax (692)625-2500
E-Mail: yokwedivers@ntamar.net

Tulagi
Raiders Hotel & Dive

Tulagi
Solomon Islands
+677 32070
raidershotel@solomon.com.sb

Honiara
Tulagi Dive

Point Cruz Yacht Club
Mendana Ave
Honiara
Solomon Islands
+677 25700
dive@tulagidive.com

Yawana Dive

Solomon Islands
trahaira@gmail.com

Gizo
Dive Gizo

PO Box 21
Gizo
Solomon Islands
Tel: 677-60253
DiveGizo@solomon.com.sb

Munda
Dive Munda

Run by British instructors, Graeme Sanson and Jen Wil.

Tel: (+677) 789 6869
divemunda@dive-solomon.com

"Dive Munda is located in Munda, Solomon Islands,inside the Hotel Agnes Lodge. They didn't really let me choose what kind of dive to do. I went with 3 locals, nice BUT JUST. It was a 2 dives trip from 9am till 1 pm with an hour stop in a beautiful little island. I WOULDN'T DIVE WITH THEM AGAIN, MORE EXPENSIVE THAN OTHER PLACES AND NOT REALLY PROFESSIONAL... OLD GEARS TOO. "
Marco, Italy, 2011

References and Further Reading

Coral Reef Fishes, Indo-Pacific and Caribbean
by Ewald Lieske and Robert Myers, Harper Collins, 400 Pages, Paperback
An excellent, comprehensive guide to reef fishes, which is small and light enough to pack regardless of amount of diving equipment. Highly recommended for anyone wanting to identify the fish they see whilst diving the tropics.
Read the full review...

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