Destination Fact File
The ultimate diving destination with great reefs and WWII history.
The Solomon Islands offer some of the most pristine dive sites in the world, guaranteed! For absolutely incredible reefs, an abundance of fish and few divers, the Solomon Islands is the place get off the beaten track. Here, you will have the opportunity to dive beautiful caverns and wide angle reefs, embrace with the beauty of the large sea fans and soft corals, experience close up encounters with masses of macro marine life and explore a plethora of WWII wrecks.
This beautiful island archipelago of about 990 islands, cays and atolls belonging to the Coral Triangle, the epicentre of marine biodiversity. Lying east of Papua New Guinea and northeast of Australia, the Solomon’s are the third largest island group in the Pacific. Most of the larger islands are rugged with high mountains and dense rainforests cutting by deep ravines engraved by rivers fed from rainfalls.
The tourism on the islands is growing with a strategic eco-tourism approach offering you a tranquil and totally unforgettable experience that will be etched in your mind forever. The Solomon’s dive sites are varied, exciting and thrive with marine life. Here, reef edges drop off to several hundreds of metres, sheltered caves and swim-throughs are home to giant sea fans and wreck dives range from 3 to 60 metres including huge transports, a troop ship, a B16 flying fortress and a submarine, enough to get any wreck diving enthusiast excited. The wrecks are covered in hard and soft corals, hydroids and gorgonians and hoe to giant cockscomb and thorny oysters. The Solomon’s are home to 485 known species of corals, this makes the island’s coral diversity record second only to Raja Ampat where a total of 535 species of corals were recorded.
Top Dive Sites:
Mary's Island is home big schools of jacks, barracuda, occasional tuna and adrenaline-fuelled shark encounters. Bumphead parrotfish are commonly seen around the island and if you are lucky you may also see napoleon wrasse.
The Twin Tunnels are actually ancient lava tubes that start on top of a patch of reef and drop vertically to about 35 metres. They then join into one tunnel that exits the reef wall at 40 metres. Here you are greeted by a mass of fish swimming around the reef including a lot of pelagic action.
The Manta Gap region is renowned for its wreck diving as well as one of the few places on earth where you can dive with giant manta rays. Washed by some very strong currents, these majestic creatures measuring 3 to 5 metres in diameter feed over the shallow reefs. This high speed drift dive is on a 9 to 22 metres sandy bottom with long fingers of rock, barrel sponges and anemones.
The SS John Penn was a big American attack transport that lies off Lunga Point at a depth of 35 to 60 metres. The stern is severely damaged and most dives are conducted on the ship’s bow. On the dive to the bridge and forward guns you can expect to see large schools of pelagic fish such as barracuda and Spanish mackerel inhabiting the wreck. As you head towards the bow you will see the forward holds, masts and winches, then the forward 3 inch guns where live ammunition spills out of the ready use lockers. Experienced wreck divers can penetrate the exposed lower decks where the stern separated from the rest of the ship.