The Solomon Islands are a northern group of islands that lie along the edge of the Coral Sea. The sea surface temperatures are consistently in the high 20’s providing the perfect temperature for any dive holiday. This relaxing holiday destination moves in island time with tides taking 24 hours to rise and fall, there is no rush on the Solomon islands, there is all the more time to dive, swim, snorkel or go spearfishing. The diving in the Solomon Islands is some of the most interesting and diverse in the world, set amongst old volcanic activity, lagoons, high fringing reefs and rare double barrier reefs that border high island shorelines, you will find inescapable beauty in the depths of the Solomon Islands.
Due to the Solomon Islands becoming a battle ground in the World War 2, with allied forces using the position of the Solomon Islands to repel the Japanese invasion of the South Pacific, the area is now scattered with countless remnants of battalion such as planes, ships, and cargo and fighter jets. The breathtaking natural beauty of the Solomon Islands combined with the historical factor will certainly provide any keen scuba diver with a plethora of things to see and do.
Gizo is one of the most popular spots in the Solomon Islands to go scuba diving, Gizo is a town on the island Ghizo which is 11 km long and home to magnificent reefs, a wealth of marine life and relics from the world war 2 including planes, ships and transport carriers.
Toa Maru is a twenty minute boat trip from Gizo and is probably one of the most well-known dive spots for WW2 shipwrecks. Ranging in depth from 7m to 37m (perfect for all ranges of diver certification) is a transport ship 140m in length which is able to be explored as it is still relatively intact.
It is home to a vast array of marine life including turtles and rays, and is adorned with a beautiful coral garden.The natural beauty is not the only interesting thing about this dive site, relics such as bottles of sake, motorbikes, ammunition, medical supplies, and tanks.
Plum Pudding Island
Plum Pudding Island is also known as “Kennedy Islands”, named after the American president who was the captain of the PT109 during the pacific war. This site is best for amateur or new divers as it is mostly shallow reefs in which to go snorkelling or diving.
Grand Central Station
Grand Central Station is alive with marine life, especially fish, with this dive site having the second highest fish count in the world. Trevally, bat fish and other large species of fish can be found in these waters and in big currents, sharks patrol the waters. Grand Central Station is action packed and if diving in its oceanic currents any diver is bound to see an abundance of marine life.
This spot lost a lot of coral in the 2007 tsunami however this spot is a haven for turtles who visit the dive site looking for fish to clean their shell. Fish and the remaining coral make this small pinnacle 5m dive a pleasant spot to have a look.
American Corsair Fighter Plane:
This old plane from the world war 2 period crashed into the water at a great speed, which resulted in the plane breaking into five pieces. This dive is roughly 27 metres deep and is covered in marine life including the much loved clown fish that frequent the area near the safety stop level.
After being attacked by a Japanese destroyer, American president JFK and the rest of the crew swam to safety which is the reason this fascinating wall dive is named the “Kennedy wall”. Excellent visibility covered in a myriad of hard and soft corals, this reef reaching down to 40m is a must when visiting the Solomon Islands.
This gentle sloping reef is perfect for underwater photography enthusiasts. It is best known for “elephant’s ears sponges” and a large display of fish, eels and turtles. Olosana Island is one of the main resting areas for turtles.
This dive is best for drift diving, often quite exciting due to the vast amount of water entering the main entrance to Gizo lagoon. One of the best drift dives in the Solomon Islands, allow yourself to be carried along glimpsing wildlife such as a bumphead parrotfish and various sharks, as well as the occasional eagle ray.
The iconic Fatboys restaurant, bar, and resort located on Mbabanga Island around an 8 minute boat ride from the town Gizo.
Resort - Traditional in design, located on the waterfront these relaxed bungalows made from traditional leaf and local traditional hardwoods. There are 3 waterfront bungalows, 2 in a duplex and both of them have a queen size bed.
Amenities - tea and coffee making facilities, TV and DVD player, and 240 volt power, DVD's, large deck with views of Kennedy Island, Mt. Kolombangara.
Restaurant - Connecting the resort and restaurant is a 100 metre jetty which you can walk along and dine at the Fat boy's restaurant, which specialises in fresh seafood and is open for lunch and dinner every day. And most importantly, the bar is plentiful in both local and imported alcohol and has a pool table.
The Gizo Hotel
The Gizo Hotel is a 5 minute boat ride from the airport and located on the main street of Gizo. You can find something at the Gizo Hotel to suit all budgets, and is in a convenient location.
Entry & Visa Requirements
Currently, people who hold a British, commonwealth, and E.E.C passport do not need to organise visas before entry.
Medical & Health Requirements
There is a recompression chamber in Honiara. Take heed of any anti-malaria precautions as the Solomon Islands are affected by malaria.
Dentists, doctors and hospital facilities are in every town. Make sure you have medical insurance for you trip and please consult with your doctor for the best precautions to be taken. (for more information contact Travel Vax on 1300 360 164).
1 AUD = 6.5 Solomon Dollars, however as always this is subject to change, make sure you check before leaving on your trip. Most major credit cards are accepted at most hotels.
The maximum allowance of duty free product is 250grams of tobacco, and 2 litres of spirits or equivalent.
The peak time to visit the Solomon Islands is from April to November as the climate ranges from daytime temperatures of 29 degrees to evening temperatures of 19 degrees. There is very little rain, and Solomon Islands are considered a yearlong destination.
Due to the temperatures it is best to have light clothing, however in public places it is considered inappropriate to be too bare due to cultural influences. At night, mosquitoes are around so light cotton clothing is best to prevent any bites. Also clothing to protect you from the sun is a must as well as an SPF 30+ sunscreen.
The electricity voltage is the same as Australia at 240 volts, plug 1. However it cannot be counted on that all islands have electricity and may at times be erratic.
Trading banks are ANZ, Westpac and Bank of the South Pacific. If traveling to the remote outer islands, it is best to change travellers cheques and/or cash first. Some tourist facilities charge a 5% surcharge. There are banks in Honiara and Gizo and an ATM at Munda Post Office. Banking hours on the mainland are 8.30am to 3.00pm Monday to Friday.
Predominately English speaking throughout although Melanesian pidgin is spoken by locals.
There is a Christian influence, however many indigenous religious customs remain in the more remote islands.
drinking bottled water is recommended as the tap water cannot be guaranteed to be safe.
Shops are open from 8am to 12 noon with a one hour siesta break and then resume from 1pm to 4.30pm. You can purchase beautiful woodwork, mother of pearl items, jewellery made from shell and hand woven baskets. The local markets are open most days and you can buy flowers, fruit, vegetables, and handicrafts.
Tipping is not considered a common practice and is best avoided, however bargaining is perfectly allowed.
There is currently no locally paid departure taxes for the Solomon Islands.
Please note: No trips are currently scheduled.