Best time to dive the Solomon Islands Liveaboards Diving - Best Dive Sites Solomon Islands
Join a Solomon Islands diving liveaboard to experience the pristine conditions with warm clear water that have varied marine life and topography with uncrowded dive sites.
The Solomon Islands are remote and new to tourism and scuba diving. As a result relative to its neighbours of Fiji and Vanuatu it has fewer tourists visiting each year.
This results in the reefs being pristine and the dives uncrowded. There is a great biodiversity of fish life, macro critters and corals. Topography includes caves as well as many World War II wrecks. All of this makes the Solomon Islands a leading dive destination.
The Solomon Islands are 147 inhabited islands out of the 992 in the archipelago. The islands offer pristine diving with hard coral reefs, soft corals, walls, drop-offs and wrecks.
Schooling pelagic life, excellent macro and muck diving along with artificial reefs mean there is something to offer every diver. With the lack of a typical monsoon season, the scuba diving is available year round, and all levels of divers are welcome to join the liveaboard cruises.
Take a look at the Liveaboard Cruise options below.
Best time to dive the Solomon Islands Liveaboards Diving - Best Dive Sites Solomon Islands - 2 LIVEABOARDS
Bilikiki Liveaboard in Solomon Islands has been exploring the Solomon Islands for over 25 years. She is 38 metres long with a 7 metre beam, making her a suitably large and stable ship designed for South Pacific conditions. Bilikiki offers a large sun deck, plenty of covered areas and air-conditioned accommodation. There are ten deluxe cabins, all with private showers and toilets. Bilikiki operates from Honiara, on Guadalcanal Island, to the best dive sites the Solomon Islands have to offer.Book Now
Solomons PNG Master
Solomons PNG Master Liveaboard (formerly known as Taka) in Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea is a custom designed, 30m-long steel diving vessel. She is one of the newest members of the highly regarded Master Liveaboards fleet. Built in 2004, she accommodates up to 20 guests in 12 cabins. She has a huge lounge and dining area with large TVs, DVD player and a dedicated camera area. This is the perfect place to share photos, read a book or simply relax in air-conditioned comfort.Book Now
There are almost 500 species of hard and soft corals in the Solomon Islands 5700 km2 of reef, and it is a spawning ground and migration route for many species including dolphins, rays and turtles.
Solomon Islands diving has a high concentration of WWII wrecks with aircraft, ships and submarines serving as artificial reefs.
Best Places to Dive in The Solomon Islands
The remote location of the Solomon Islands diving means the reefs are pristine with clear blue water and a huge volume of marine life.
The topography is caves, caverns, lava tubes, pinnacles and reefs, meaning a great variety of sites during your liveaboard experience in the Solomons.
A portion of the wrecks in the Solomon Islands must be considered deep dives with some below recreational limits. Due to depths often they are dived twice in a liveaboard so a full exploration can be made due to the limited bottom times.
Penetration dives are dependent on the wreck structure and divers certification level and experience.
Florida Islands, and specifically Tulaghi, has many sites for the wrecks as it was a significant base during the war. North of Honiara, the area, is called the Iron Bottom Sound, due to the high concentration of World War II wrecks located there for divers to enjoy.
Best Dive Sites in The Solomon Islands
Is the location where the Americans located their supply base in WWII. An artificial reef was created with the leftover supplies making for an unusual and stunning artificial reef.
This is a submerged seamount site just off Tulaghi island that is named after the two lava tubes that descend vertically ending in a cave area that opens up to the reef wall at about 36m. At the base of the tunnels are squirrel fish, big eyes and other nocturnal fish. There are schools of fusiliers around the entrance of the cave and gorgonian sea fans along the walls. Once on the wall area look out to the blue for reef sharks and tuna, with the occasional grey whaler. On top of the sea mount at around 12m there are many eels, mantis shrimp and lobster, plus playful octopus and cuttlefish. Macro life includes pygmy seahorses and squat lobster.
Kicha is where you may encounter all kinds of reef sharks as well as mobula ray and trevally in the open water. The stunning reef here is buzzing with activity, with curious batfish coming to check the divers out, herds of bumphead parrotfish parade over the reef tops and the sandy gullies keep the rock mover wrasse busy. The underwater volcano of Kavachi is only 15 miles away and can be heard rumbling on dives.
This is a swim-through with some false caves and a wall surrounded by beautiful reefs full of marine life. The mirror in the site name is a shallow cove that in calm conditions has a reflective mirror-like surface from the sun overhead. The canyons and passageways are home to pygmy seahorses and anthias and a large school of snappers.
Mary Island, or Mborokua Island is a jungle-covered volcano surrounded by deep walls. The dive sites here include Jackfish and Barracuda points. The deep water (300m+) is home to manta rays, sharks, schooling jacks and barracuda. The walls have large gorgonian sea fans, and there are many cuts and caverns to explore. On the points themselves, schools of jacks and barracuda engulf divers in a whirlpool, sharks patrol the deep and reef fish bustle in the shallows, a divers paradise and the highlight on many liveaboard cruise.
Hirokawa Maru & Kinugawa Maru
Two wrecks lying close to the beach of Boneghi near Honiara, just 100m apart from one another. These are Japanese transport ships that came under attack by allied bombers in November 1942. They were beached in order to offload their cargo of troops and supplies. These wrecks are special dives, not only for the life surrounding them, but also for the historical interest.
A Liveaboard cruise to the remote and uncrowded area of the South Pacific, the Solomon islands offers some fantastic dive opportunities on both reef and wrecks. For more information about Solomon Islands Dive Sites, please click on the photo.
The Solomon Islands Scuba Diving Highlights
- Common sightings - Cuttlefish, Nudibranchs, turtles
- Special sightings - Pygmy seahorses, reef sharks, manta rays
- Topography - Reefs, caves, caverns, wrecks
- Visibility - 25m+ usually
- General information - Shallow reefs mean that all level of divers can enjoy the area, there are some deeper wrecks for more experienced divers.
- Onboard activities - Island visits and museums
Best Time to Go
In the Solomon Islands, scuba diving is a year-round activity as there is a tropical climate with temperature constant throughout the year.
More rainfall is expected November to April, but it is not a typical monsoon and clears quickly.
Water temperature is 28 to 30C, so a 3mm shorty wetsuit usually is sufficient for most divers.
How to Get There
Flights are into Honiara International airport with local connection flights if needed for special departures. Flights can be via Australia, Fiji or Papua New Guinea.
Local time vs GMT
What to pack
Food and drink
Solomon Islands Dollar (SBD)
On entry for most nationalities
English is spoken widely
Honiara International airport (HIR)
Christian and some local beliefs
Suncream, lightweight and beach apparel with a cover up
30 - 31 C daytime, 22 - 23 C evenings
Asian and Western influenced, taro and breadfruit