Taste of Solomon Islands - Central Province
7 Nights / 24 Dives. Central Province Safari. Includes Mary Island!
Combine two of our favourite island groups - Florida Islands and Russell Islands - into one amazing Central Province trip and, weather permitting, top it off with an outstanding day at Mary Island for an adventure of a lifetime.
We will begin our expedition with a westward cruise out of Honiara. One of our first stops in the Russell Islands will be the world famous Leru Cut. This canyon juts almost 100m into the island and opens up in the jungle offering spectacular photo opportunities for silhouettes. Outside of the cut is a fabulous wall teeming with fish life. From there we will explore Mirror Pond with its many swim-throughs and Bat Cave with, you guessed it, a resident bat colony. From the Russell Islands, we continue on to Mary Island (weather depending). Mary Island is notable for an underwater point that commonly hosts large schools of barracuda and trevally along with a beautiful coral garden full of nudibranchs and pipefish right below the boat. We will travel back through the Russell Islands and explore more of the wall and points on the eastern side looking for everything from dartfish to mantas ... one of our favourite sites here is called Fish Market because of the huge schools of fusiliers and anthias. We finish our adventure in the Florida Islands with an exploration of the walls and some of the amazing WWII history dives including one of several Seaplanes.
Along the way, we stop at some of the smaller islands and visit remote local villages. Come shop for produce for our meals or check out the local carvings. You might even be able to catch a game of football with the local village children!
We want to ensure you experience the best diving available in Solomon Islands. As such, we customize our itinerary each week to ensure you experience the best visibility, water conditions, wildlife, dive sites and weather available. Below is a sample of what you might expect on a 7 night adventure. Specific dive sites are always chosen with conditions, visibility and guest safety in mind. If you have specific dive site/local requests - be sure to let us know and we will do our utmost to include them. Weather depending, this itinerary may also be offered in reverse.
Air travelers can reach Honiara, the capital of Solomon Islands, via Fiji or Australia. Once we have your flight details, we will organize a pick up from the airport or the hotel of your choice.
As the sun sets, you’ll board Taka to begin your epic diving adventure. Meet the crew, mingle with guests and settle into your cabin as you cruise northward overnight to the magnificent Russell Islands, the first stop on your dive odyssey.
We begin our diving at the Russell Islands, often starting at White Beach, home to a major American supply base during WWII. At the end of the war, an artificial reef was created by dumping trucks, jeeps, tractors, bulldozers and large amounts of ammunition.
A favourite stop is at Karamulon Point where we are greeted by white and black tip reef sharks starting their day pacing along the wall. White spotted eagle rays can also be found heading out to deep water. Nesting triggerfish make their home here and their mating behaviour is often on display.
We travel through the early morning hours to Mane Island and the world famous Mirror Pond. Descend into this cavern and surface in the mangrove forest. Or if you prefer, spend your time cruising along a beautiful wall covered in fans and coral hunting for pygmy seahorse.
We'll continue our exploration of Mane Island with a dive or two on Blue Wall where the currents bring in the pelagics. On the reef we find oriental sweetlips, clown triggerfish and bumphead parrot fish.
We often dive Custom Caves. These volcanic caverns provide amazing photography opportunities as the sun beams through the rock. Lobster, eels are rays can often be found inside the caverns while the entrance is covered in soft corals and fans.
We head eastward to Mary Island, properly known as Mborokua, notable for an underwater point that commonly hosts schools of barracuda and trevally. Explore the cuts and caverns behind Jack Point or the Coral Gardens right below the boat.
Conditions allowing, we open the dive deck so you can spend the day choosing your dives.
We travel back to the Russell Islands and spend more time around the eastern side exploring dive sites such as Samseon Island, Fish Market or a guest favourite, Rainbow Reef which boasts a huge variety of colourful corals along with 7 of the 9 species of anemonefish found in the Solomons.
During our trip, we will organize at least one village to meet the local families and see how Solomon Islanders live. The children come out to play and love our gifts of school supplies. Check out our Pack for a Purpose program to see how you can help
We are heading directly east to the Florida Islands where we begin our day of diving near Tulagi on a Japanese Mavis Seaplane sunk during one of the battles in WWII.
We continue our travels to Twin Tunnels where you can explore one or both of the two large tunnels which drill vertically into the reef. Exit onto the deep reef wall and watch the action drift by. As you head back up the wall - see if you can identify the 9 different species of anemone fish which call the reef home.
We'll end the day with a night dive at Gavutu or Maravagi where we often spot octopus hunting on the reef.
Today we continue our circumnavigation of the Florida Islands. We'll may stop at Passage Rock an exposed rock in the middle of the passage known for sharks and sleek unicornfish and cuttlefish in the shallows.
Stopping at Tanavula Point, we'll find innumerable variety of corals on this amazingly healthy reef where the attentive diver can spot hundreds of nudibranchs.
We finish up our diving in the early afternoon and make a lesiurely cruise back to Honiara for an evening arrival and our final night on board. Enjoy the sunset and a roof top cocktail to celebrate your trip.
After a light breakfast, we will take you back into Honiara in time for your flights or to continue on the rest of your journey.
We'll miss you on board Taka but we know you will already be planning your next visit back to us!