There is an amazing number and variety of environments in the Solomon Islands and it's hard to say which are the best dive sites on any given day. With that being said, here are some of our favourite sites in the areas that Bilikiki dives.
Bilikiki Cruises does not have a fixed itinerary for our trips but these are the sites we try and do every trip if the conditions allow.
A channel back into Leru Island forms a breathtakingly beautiful reef formation which when dived at the right time of day has amazing beams of light and fantastic photo opportunities. Surface at the end and see the vine covered cliffs and jungle before descending and exiting onto a sheer wall of fans and soft coral.
The site of an American WWII base where trucks, bombs and ammunition was dumped into the sea. Both a fascinating historical dive and a fantastic macro site in an unusual mangrove location.
A stunning pond in the Russell Islands reflecting the jungle overhead. Outside on the reef is a sheer wall where snappers and travelly hunt and pygmy seahorses hide in gorgeous gorgonian fans. The shallows host a stunning coral garden where crocodile fish, cuttlefish and anemone fish live.
The chief of Karumolun Island has banned all fishing and collecting on this dive site for five years creating a local marine protected area. This point has great soft coral, a big school of jacks, barracudas and lots of sharks, often eagle rays are seen here too. The macro side of this dive site is fantastic as well with disco clams (electric file shells), nudis, cuttlefish, crocodile fish and ghost pipefish among the things seen.
Above photos left to right are thanks to: Todd Winner (Immersed Imaging), Kerri Bingham, Greg Lecoeur & Andrew Sallmon
Divers often refer to Mary Island as the “best” dive of a trip. It is an uninhabited island with a stunning amount of hard corals and fish life. The schools of fish are amazing here especially when joined by sharks, turtles and bumphead parrot fish. We usually stay here for the whole day.
Above photos are thanks to Andrew Sallmon and Allison Vitsky Sallmon.
This large sea mount, in the middle of the channel between Guadalcanal and the Florida Islands, has two tunnels which drop vertically straight down from 12m and exit in a cave at 35m. Swimming out of the cave to the sheer wall there are schools of fusiliers with grey reef sharks cruising by. It is also home to some amazing coral, cuttlefish, octopus and mantis shrimp plus schools of snapper, tropical fish and an amazing array of anemone fish.
The best place in the Solomons to dive with manta rays. A channel between two islands funnels water to form a strong currents and an adrenaline filled dive. Drift along the reef top, duck under the reef wall and watch as up to a dozen mantas swim close by in formation to feed. They are often joined by sweetlips, jacks and bumphead parrotfish.
A macro divers delight! A calm protected bay offering all sorts of great macro subjects such as nudis, demon stinger, scorpion fish, cockatoo wasp fish, various pipefish, cuttlefish, juvenile batfish, various anemone fish, shrimps and crabs. Plus a few of giant clams and a small wreck packed with batfish and bream.
A Japanese seaplane sunk during WW2 which sits upright on the bottom at 30m, it is an impressively large, mostly intact plane. This site is also excellent for macro subjects with reef top pipefish, twin spot gobies and spine check anemone fish.
Above photos are thanks to Stewart Galloway, Alison Vitsky Sallmon and Andrew Sallmon.
Not only is this dive site in Marovo Lagoon a truly stunning example of hard corals and sea fans, it is teeming with fish life. Friendly batfish follow divers around, schools of jacks and barracuda circle around the point while giant bumphead parrotfish chomp on coral. All this amazing colour and beauty passes by to a sound track provided by the underwater volcano Kavachi which is only 15 miles away.
A series of interconnecting caves and swim throughs with beautiful sun beams and a magical atmosphere. There is also staggering hard coral and tropical fish on the reef out side.
There are a lot of amazing dive sites around this island. It has something for everyone with soft coral points, huge sea fans, sharks and rays. Plus great places to look for the small stuff such as pygmy seahorses, cuttlefish, crocodile fish, snake eels and many different species of anemone fish.
A Japanese cargo vessel sunk by American bombers in WW2 this is a a stunning photogenic wreck covered in black corals. A deck gun lies hanging over the side of the ship and trevally and groupers hunt the decks.
Above photos are thanks to: Peter Pinnock, Erin Quigley and Matt Smith.