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Bilikiki Cruises

Diving the Solomon Islands

DESTINATION OVERVIEW

The Solomon Islands in the Western Pacific are not particularly well known in tourist terms because access is really only from Australia. Fewer divers get the chance to venture there than would like to. It's a shame as the Solomons recently became included in the Coral Triangle.

Once you descend underwater you can see why: marine diversity is high, there are coral covered reefs and steep walls, secretive critters and schools of pelagics. Small cave systems lead beneath the coast so you can swim through them and then surface inside shallow mangroves where archerfish hover amongst the roots.

This country is also important historically as it was the location of some of the longest battles of World War II. Around many islands, there are remnants littering the sea bed and some very interesting wreck dives. What's particularly good about them is that, outside of Guadalcanal, they're not all that deep so you can spend a decent amount of time exploring. There's even a fascinating munitions dump with trucks, barges and stray ammunition littering a calm bay.

Solomons image gallery Scuba diving features
Marine Life WWII era wrecks
mangrove caverns
octopus
schooling jacks
Top dive site Barracuda Point
Seasons All year round
Visibility 5 – 40 metres
Water temperature 25 – 29º C
Deco chambers Honiara and Townsville, Australia
Flights From Brisbane or Nadi to Honiara
Dive operators and accommodation Bilikiki Cruises
Liveaboards Divebooker.com

INFORMATION
PROS and CONS

The best way to get to the Solomons is via Brisbane in Australia. It's a long way so allow a stopover. If you are coming from the US there are flights via Nadi in Fiji and even Port Moresby. Honiara is a small, dusty and busy city and accommodation standards are low, so unless you want to see some of the historical WWII sites, hop straight onto your liveaboard, the two that ply these waters, both run by Bilikiki Cruises, are very good. There are island resorts but a liveaboard is the best way to see a variety of the diving.

SCUBA DIVING It's pretty difficult to sum up diving in the Solomons. Not because it isn't good – it is, very – but because there is nothing absolutely specific about it. And therein lies it's charm. In other places you can encapsulate a region by saying this is the best muck, or the ultimate in soft corals or whatever. However, Solomons diving is the opposite as it has a little bit of everything.
OPINION Although getting to the Solomons takes more than the usual amount of planning it is a genuinely worthwhile scuba diving destination. We travelled on MV Bilikiki so we saw a broad selection of the available diving right across the country. The boat also arranged several local village visits. Land side, the islands are just lovely – over 900 beautiful specks of land covered in deep green forests pepper the ocean. The local villagers are very friendly, the children typically shy but highly amused by their visitors.
MAP EXPLORE
Locate the Solomon Islands with google maps
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REVIEW | MV Bilikiki liveaboard
Complete reports on this area are in
Diving the World.

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