Scuba Diving the Solomon Islands

28 June 2023
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 for 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 in the Solomon Islands
Coral in the Solomon Islands. Carol Buchannon/DepositPhotos

Where are the Solomon Islands

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.

Map of  the Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea
Map of the Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea. Furian/DepositPhotos

When to Go?

When is the best time to dive Solomon Islands? You can dive year round, rainy season is between November and April but this doesn't normally affect the diving. 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.

Blacktip reef shark
Blacktip reef shark in Uepi, Solomon Islands Carol Buchanan/DepositPhotos

Travel Tips

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.

You will need to show proof of vaccination against measles if you have travelled from or via (including transiting): Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Tonga, the Philippines, American Samoa or Samoa. You must be vaccinated at least 15 days before arriving in Solomon Islands. Failure to show documentary proof of vaccination may result in you being unable to board your inbound flight or even deportation.

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.

Reviews: 5 Star Rating: Recommended

"Cliff face dive with one of the largest bigeye travally schools ever seen. Baracudas, grey reef sharks and tuna."
Richard Banks, 2019
"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
Manta ray
Manta ray. Criso/DepositPhotos
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
Shark Point

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

Reviews: 5 Star Rating: Recommended

"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."
Hammerhead shark
Hammerhead shark. Hakbak/DepositPhotos
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
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

"Japanese warship sank off Gizo, Solomon Islands. Great wreck to penetrate, did 55 minutes on one tank. Lots of life and so much to see."
Kyle Folden, June 2023
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.

Reviews: 5 Star Rating: Recommended

"More fish species than I realised existed, let alone had ever seen."
Luke, 2006
Grand Central Station

Reviews: 5 Star Rating: Recommended

"Loads of fish, sharks, tuna, everything all at once - couldn't see the surface of the water there were so many fish. "
"Tiny Island on the edge of the worlds largest lagoon. Clearest water, best visibility, friendliest staff. Highlight was diving with hammerheads."
Zac Sarnecki
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

Reviews: 5 Star Rating: Recommended

"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.

Reviews: 5 Star Rating: Recommended

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

Liveaboards depart from Honiara and offer 7, 10 and 14 night trips. You'll be met at the airport and transferred to the boat. Being on a liveaboard you'll be able to dive at several of the islands and take in a wider range of dive sites than if island-based.

Add a review or list your dive shop.

Solomons Master Liveaboard

Truk Master liveaboard visiting Bikini Atoll

Accommodates 16 divers in twin or double cabins. Departs from Honiara - 7 and 10 night trips.


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.


Raiders Hotel & Dive

Solomon Islands
+677 32070


Tulagi Dive

Point Cruz Yacht Club
Mendana Ave
Solomon Islands
+677 25700


Dive Gizo

PO Box 21
Solomon Islands
Tel: 677-60253


Dive Munda

Owned by Belinda Botha since 2016.

Tel: (+677) 789 6869
WhatsApp +27 63 745 0895


Uepi Island
Uepi Island Resort

PO Box 149
Mt Eliza
Victoria 3930
Tel: +61 3 9787 7904


Vella Lavella
Yawana Dive

Cater for experienced divers. Will meet your flight and arrange transfers.

Vella Lavella Island
Western Province
Solomon Islands
Tel: +61 3 9787 7904


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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