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Diving Beneath The Surface In The Solomon Islands

23rd August 2018

The Solomon Islands consist of nearly 1000 islands and while we know it holds many WWII wrecks including ships, aircraft and submarines, this diver’s paradise remains largely unexplored.

A little of three-hours flight from Brisbane to the capital, Honiara, on the main island of Guadalcanal and you arrive in the Solomon Islands. Located to the east of Papua New Guinea and northwest of Vanuatu, the Solomons are nothing like its neighbouring Pacific Islands - and it doesn’t want to be.


Dive beneath the surface in Solomon Islands Kids paddling along the beautiful islands of Marau Sound
Local children paddle along the pristine waters. Image courtesy of David Kirkland

What makes the Solomon Islands so special is a uniqueness that can only be obtained when not over run by tourists. The destination is raw and diverse. It has a distinct culture which can be explored throughout the islands.

Of the 992 islands and coral islets spread across 1,000 miles, only 147 islands are actually inhabited. There are six major islands: Guadalcanal, Malaita, New Georgia, Santa Isabel, Makira and Choiseul.


Dive beneath the surface in Solomon Islands Snorkeling at Marau Sound
Colourful reefs abound at Marau Sound. Image courtesy of David Kirkland

As impressive as the Solomons Islands may be in terms of topside beauty and cultural attractions, the real attraction lies along the shallow coral reefs and shipwrecks. The diving is world class with some of the most incredible wreck dives in the region. Hundreds of ships and aircraft litter the ocean floor, providing scuba divers with a wide range of wrecks to explore. These machines and war relics now form spectacular, artificial reefs which attract masses of fish and an incredible variety of coral life.

Top dive spots around the Solomon Islands

Honiara region

Guadalcanal, also known as "Iron Bottom Sound" is home to a variety of wrecks including troop carriers, transport ships, submarines and planes. Florida Island (Tulagi) has the reputation of being one of the best wreck diving destinations in the world. Many of these wrecks lie in the harbour only minutes from Tulagi Wharf. The notable ‘Aaron Ward’ was discovered in 1995 and is the only accessible destroyer in the Solomon Islands, resting at a depth of 53-73 metres.


Exploring the wrecks in Solomons
Explore ship and plane wrecks. Image courtesy of David Kirkland


This is a destination for colour and marine life. The diving around Uepi Island mainly consists of a combination of coral gardens and magnificent drop-offs. There are a multitude of dive sites available ranging from the beautiful reef eco-system, to the wreck of a P38 fighter plane just 1 hour from the resort. Diving here is perfect for beginners with most dives ranging from 15-30 metres.


Dive beneath the surface in Solomon Islands Snorkelling in Solomons
Beginner divers and snorkelers will enjoy the Islands equally a much. Image courtesy of David Kirkland


Possibly the diving capital of the Solomon Islands, Gizo is renowned for having some of the most diverse and exciting diving in the Pacific region. From WWII wrecks to numerous offshore reefs, Gizo has it all. Spectacular coral formations, plummeting walls, manta rays and an abundance of marine life can be found in this island paradise. It is here you will also find the famous Hellcat Wreck, a US Fighter plane sat upright, intact and in just 9m of clear water. It is one of the most accessible airplane wrecks in the Solomons and can even be explored free diving.


Dive beneath the surface in Solomon Islands Plane dive in Solomons
See submerged planes from WWII. Image courtesy of David Kirkland


Munda is a dive destination that is still largely unexplored with new dives sites being discovered regularly. Majestic wall dives and virgin reefs are specialities of this area. The soft coral overhangs of Mushroom Island, the 4km drop at Shark Point and the amazingly colourful coral of Rainbow Passage are fast becoming renowned as world class dive sites with intense big fish and shark action.


Dive beneath the surface in Solomon Islands Dive in Munda
Rich macro life is everywhere in the Munda reefs. Image courtesy of David Kirkland

If you haven't holidayed in the beautiful Solomon Islands before, don't hesitate another minute. Talk to us about discovering this diving destination for yourself.