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.
Uepi Island is a barrier reef island which is known for its fringing barrier reef and sandy beach. This rainforest covered island is perfection with warm waters of the Marovo Lagoon on one side and deep ocean on the other, perfect for any scuba diving trip.
Scuba Diving in Uepi
Diving at Uepi ranges from being able to just dive off the edge of the island to taking a short boat trip away. Divers are known to spend hours underwater when diving at Uepi due to the seemingly endless amount of species to discover and diverse sea landscape in which to explore.
Charapoana Pier (36m): The two currents meet to create a very interesting dive with lots of fish, such as barracuda, trevally and tuna, as well as the accompanying sharks! Colourful large basket sponges are common to this area.
Landoro drop-off and coral gardens (14m): Multi-level diving, with the deep water passage providing a haven for fish life, it can be appreciated just gliding along the surface or getting deeper and becoming apart of the action. You can do this passage dive from the marovo lagoon to "the slot" on an ingoing tide and an outgoing tide. .
General Store: This dive is probably best for divers interested in underwater photography, known for the variety in corals, intriguing light effects, and large nudibranches as well as live triton shells. In order to get there, you must take a 15 minute boat trip to an island off Uepi and pay a custom fee; from there you begin this aesthetic dive from a stunning drop off...
Lumalihe Passage: The Lumalihe passage is a 30 minute trip from Uepi island, which leads from the marovo lagoon into the slot. This dive is wide and long with overhangs, sharks and an abundance of fish life. This dive is best on an incoming tide.
Deku Dekuru: Different to most dives on Uepi, it is mostly focussed around cavern and cave diving which provides various corals and overhangs. Overhanging jungle creates a picturesque scene which underwater photographers will find impossible to resist.
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.