Most of these dives are some distance from Uepi so are offered as excursions. In Marovo Lagoon, Uepi Island Resort has negotiated with the local reef owners a ‘Custom Fee’ to dive on their reefs. This recognises local ownership & customs. The ‘Custom Fee’ is an additional charge to the standard dive rate. In some cases additional trip fees also apply as an add-on to the normal dive price, collectively called ‘Custom Fees’. Dives on Uepi Island do not attract Custom Fees.
Because these sites are custom sites they may be withdrawn at any time.
On the other side of the channel to Uepi Point. A very exciting dive where many fish congregate to feed where two currents meet. Many sharks, schools of barracuda, trevally, tuna and many other pelagics can be seen swirling around in the currents. There are several convenient places to 'stop' and check out the action. Then up into the shallows to see excellent fishlife & corals, maybe see huge numbers of pipefish or the very large basket sponges also in this area.
25 minutes from Uepi. This dive includes a series of shallow cave and cavern systems. For the ‘Hidden Cave” you need an experienced guide just to find the cave & then lead you thru a bewildering twisting maze of a cave. The “Open Cave” is a spectacular canyon with beautiful coral reflections framing the overhead green jungle against the blue sky. The “Dark Cave” is a comfortable enclosed tunnel emerging you from the darkness into the bluest of blue water. Deku is different & provides outstanding, unique but demanding photo opportunities. The walls between the three cave areas also offer some interesting overhangs and very pretty corals with a fair chance of seeing rays & turtles.
Thirty minutes from Uepi. Lumalihe leads from the Marovo Lagoon into The Slot. Best on an incoming tide. This is an impressive, wide & long, deep-water passage with prolific fish life, large fans, craggy overhangs & sharks. Ideal for multilevel diving, with the shallow depths just as fascinating as the deeper. Diverse & big.
Fifteen minute boat trip from Uepi. The dive commences on a stunning drop off festooned with invertebrates including colourful sea fans. Nudibranchs are common. Eagle rays & the occasional hammerhead glide past. After checking out the wall divers reach a large bombie perched on the dropoff edge. Profusely covered in rich life from the depths to the crest at 5 metres divers traverse the various depths. Leaving the bombie by crossing a hard coral garden, divers enter an extensive swim through area that takes them into shallow hard coral gardens. The variety of corals in this area is amazing - excellent photographic opportunities with interesting light effects. Noted for close encounters with families of bumphead parrotfish and the endemic Solomon Island anemone fish. A swim along the wall takes you back to the crest of the bombie for your exit. Named General Store as it has a bit of everything.
Binusa & KuruKuru
Just along from General Store are both typically good wall dives.
A renowned deep water passage dive half an hour from Uepi. Best with an incoming tide & strong currents. The mid depth wall is carpeted with a glorious, golden, soft coral. Streaming fish and the outside facing wall is stunning. Very varied fish life.
Billy Ghizo Point:
Ten minutes from Uepi. A triple combination of good dropoff wall diving, swim thru riddled coral gardens & a brilliant point. The point is small but covered in colourful invertebrates. The soft corals are outstanding & several gorgonian fans are home to the exquisite pygmy seahorses. A whole dive can be spent exploring or photographing the point. Like other sites cuttlefish are often seen.
This extensive reef lies straddled across a wide but shallow passage between two islands. There are millions of small reef fish living all over this hardcoral reef. A maze of colour & movement. No need to dive deep but the topography from below is impressive. Eagle rays frolic off the wall at mating times.
Babata Sinkhole/Penguin Reef/Taiyo Fishing Boat Wreck/P38 wreck & Dauntless Dive-Bomber Aircraft wrecks:
These 4 dives are done together in a full day excursion, “The Bapita Trip”. From Uepi Island Resort past Seghe through Nono Lagoon to the "Canoe Passage", a narrow man-made canal connecting Nono with a backwater nestled between the mainland and a vegetated fringing reef. Often described as an everglade. The waterway deepens into a substantial lagoon confined by an impressive high cliff & a vegetated fringing reef. Where a narrow channel leads into the open sea the boat is tethered under a wave-cut platform.
The 'Sinkhole' directly under it in a few metres of water is a vertical shaft allowing comfortable descent to 28 metres. A horizontal cave then traverses about 20 metres seawards where the ceiling ends and the cave develops into a canyon with widening vertical walls. The floor terminates at about 50 metres depth where the broken remains of a USA barge rests, right on the lip of a deep drop-off. The marine life is nice especially the flashing file shells. The topography is spectacular above & below water.
Penguin Reef - an open ocean reef pinnacle washed by waves and home to seabirds. Beautiful topography and anything is possible with the wild life. It is hard to imagine more stunning coral formations. Huge arrays of anemones with overgrown anemone fish abound.
Taiyo Fishing Boat Wreck The "TAIYO" boat is a wrecked 35 metre tuna fishing boat. Run aground on its maiden voyage, a salvage attempt has left it completely vertical, perched precariously bow up stern down against a sheer dropoff face. The bow is in 1 metre of water and the stern rests on a narrow coral ledge. Below it the drop-off plunges downwards into the blue.
The boat is completely intact and is fully equipped. A surreal sight. Silvertip sharks cruise by at times.
P38 Fighter: This aircraft wreck is situated off the airstrip at Seghe, in about 8 metres and is in excellent condition. Being intact, divers can easily see the many features of this huge, twin fuselage, single seater WWII fighter. The surrounding reef is a great spot for soft corals, nudibranchs, colourful elephant ear sponges & a bit of ‘mucking’.
Dauntless Dive-Bomber Aircraft Located in 13m & close to the P38 these two wrecks are normally combined as the shallow water final dive of the Bapita Trip. Upside down but intact except for the cockpit cowling the unique features of this very successful dive-bomber can be easily seen; radial engine, bomb in the cradle & perforated air brakes amongst them. Imagine yourself being the rear-gunner as this amazing flying machine dives vertically down at a target, release the bombs at close quarters, brakes so hard you momentarily black-out then flips upwards to escape whilst you shake away the G-force effects & spray the target with 50 cal to keep the enemy gunners sheltering.
Expedition / Exploratory Diving
Currently Uepi uses outstations such as the excellent Matikuri Lodge to dive the Hele Bar area. This itinerary can include the Bapita Trip dives but we have several new exciting dives in this area & are still looking for more. This area is much more exposed than the Marovo Lagoon so rougher conditions might be expected & dive selection is more often weather determined.
We also dive & explore the barrier reef further along the Marovo Lagoon. Whilst not included in our general diving schedules there are proven dive sites that we can service should anyone feel a bit adventurous.