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#1 m.eppoliti

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 03:16 AM

I'm going back to the Solomon's for a 10 charter on the Bilikiki in July, I was last there 6 years ago. The problem this time is that the only flight available gets us into Honiara 4 days before the charter date. When I was there last, I went on a pretty extensive WW2 land tour. Can anyone suggest other things to do while we are killing time? Diving opportunities, other islands, etc?

Edited by m.eppoliti, 25 March 2012 - 05:50 AM.


#2 ErolE

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 07:05 PM

Honiara has some excellent diving eg USS Aaron Ward, USS John Penn and Fujimora Maru, however most are deep.

Try contacting Neil Yates of Tugali Dive
http://www.tulagidive.com/

You can check out photos of some of the wrecks here.

http://www.photograp...ictures.php?c=9

Erol

Edited by ErolE, 25 March 2012 - 07:08 PM.

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#3 okuma

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 07:15 PM

If you do any beach diving, keep your wet suit on - mosquitoes are fierce
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#4 troporobo

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 02:29 PM

There is some decent shore diving within a 30 minute drive of Honiara. The two best known wrecks at Bonegi 1 and Bonegi 2 are really broken up but still fun. In between is a site called Ruaniu that has some decent reefs. A bit further out near Doma is a B-17 in shallow water that is in fairly good shape. There are also reefs at Tambea which is about an hour away. The three nearest sites make good night dives also

Personally, with 4 days to kill, I would take a domestic flight to Gizo or Munda in the western province and dive out there. The reefs are spectacular, a couple of really good wrecks, some good walls with big pelagics, and many cultural opportunities too, including the so-called "skull island" where custom burials took place. My favorite place to stay is Zipolo Habu resort in the Vonavona lagoon, very rustic but also very scenic and peaceful, plus very well run. There are many others (Agnes Lodge, Fatboys, Sanbis, Gizo Hotel, etc). If you are feeling flush, Uepi resort near Seghe is tops.

If you want a real dose of culture, fly to Auki in Malaita and take a tour of the artificial islands in the Langalanga lagoon, where the shell money that is used for bride price is made. Its not always straightforward to arrange so allow a couple of days. A drive up the island will show you what the country is really like, unlike anywhere else. Accommodation in Auki is not very upscale (to put it mildly).

(full disclosure: I have been going to the Solomons since I was a volunteer there over 20 years ago, lived there full time for over three years, and still travel there regularly for work)

#5 m.eppoliti

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 03:02 PM

Thanks. Please keep the suggestions coming. We are seriously considering the Gizo option

#6 gtr161

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 01:26 AM

Thanks. Please keep the suggestions coming. We are seriously considering the Gizo option


Yep, I'd definitely go with the Gizo option... but it's 'kind of' a honymooners retreat, although I wouldn't let that stop me. The diving is awesome. Toa Maru, walls and sharks.. ! Are you travelling alone? Munda is also spectacular and one of my favourite places!

#7 troporobo

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 04:43 AM

If you go to the western province, you need to decide if you only want to dive, or want some local culture as well. Gizo is a (very) small town, with a sort of Somerset Maugham vibe to it. You can hang at the market and chew betelnut, wander around the neighborhoods in the evening (you will be welcome, guaranteed), go to church (really - its a great experience!) or drink with the locals at the hotel. Munda has very little to do other than dive or take the boat through the lagoons, but it is very quiet and relaxing in its own way. The resorts are typical of low key / small scale resorts anywhere. Plenty of options to choose from.

#8 JKrumsick

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 08:30 AM

There is some decent shore diving within a 30 minute drive of Honiara. The two best known wrecks at Bonegi 1 and Bonegi 2 are really broken up but still fun. In between is a site called Ruaniu that has some decent reefs. A bit further out near Doma is a B-17 in shallow water that is in fairly good shape. There are also reefs at Tambea which is about an hour away. The three nearest sites make good night dives also

Personally, with 4 days to kill, I would take a domestic flight to Gizo or Munda in the western province and dive out there. The reefs are spectacular, a couple of really good wrecks, some good walls with big pelagics, and many cultural opportunities too, including the so-called "skull island" where custom burials took place. My favorite place to stay is Zipolo Habu resort in the Vonavona lagoon, very rustic but also very scenic and peaceful, plus very well run. There are many others (Agnes Lodge, Fatboys, Sanbis, Gizo Hotel, etc). If you are feeling flush, Uepi resort near Seghe is tops.

If you want a real dose of culture, fly to Auki in Malaita and take a tour of the artificial islands in the Langalanga lagoon, where the shell money that is used for bride price is made. Its not always straightforward to arrange so allow a couple of days. A drive up the island will show you what the country is really like, unlike anywhere else. Accommodation in Auki is not very upscale (to put it mildly).

(full disclosure: I have been going to the Solomons since I was a volunteer there over 20 years ago, lived there full time for over three years, and still travel there regularly for work)


What kind of work do you do that allows you to travel there for work? Dive related?

My fiance and I are thinking the Solomon Islands for our honeymoon. We would like a place that has good diving (macro and wide angle but I will settle for WA as I know the Solomon's is better for), nice beaches and cool history/culture.

#9 troporobo

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 01:37 AM

I work for an international development organization, designing and financing infrastructure projects around the Pacific region. I wish that I could say I get in a lot of diving, but sadly work trips are almost always purely work! However I have lived a total of 7 years full time in the Solomons and Fiji and now live in the Philippines so have no shortage of opportunities to get in the water when I'm not working.

#10 onokai

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Posted 30 March 2012 - 08:29 AM

(My fiance and I are thinking the Solomon Islands for our honeymoon)
I have honeymooned in the Solomons(2002)-it was my second trip-1st on Bilikiki the second on the sister ship (I heard its not running now)
I suggest the boat trip over land for honeymoon-take a 10 day or two week trip.
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#11 Kevster

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Posted 30 March 2012 - 07:34 PM

Last year i spent a week on the Bilikiki followed by 4 days at Gizo & 5 days at Munda.

Diving at Munda was very good, excellent reefs,sharks,rays,plane wrecks .
My 2 dive days at Gizo were disappointing.Nice wreck dive but reef dives were not good.

I would definitely repeat Munda, i would not return to dive Gizo.

Accom options were better at Gizo, some really nice places to stay. I stayed at Fatboys , a really nice resort which i would recommend. Great place just to relax for a few days.

If you just want to relax, enjoy topside & do a couple of dives i would prob recommend Gizo.
If you want to do lots of diving i would head to Munda.

Edited by Kevster, 30 March 2012 - 07:39 PM.

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#12 m.eppoliti

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 02:46 AM

Thanks for all the suggestions! Considering Gizo since the last time we were on the Bilikiki we dived extensively around Munda.

#13 troporobo

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Posted 08 April 2012 - 01:04 AM

In my experience, there are as many dive sites accessible from Gizo as there are from Munda. Some involve a longer boat ride (which is not always a bad thing as i have often seen dolphins on the way) and some are shorter. I have never been bored there, that's for sure

#14 m.eppoliti

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Posted 02 June 2012 - 04:01 AM

Well it looks like we are stuck on Guadalcanal for 4 days, so we would like to do some diving around there. Can anyone suggest a good dive shop in Honiara?

#15 Aliens

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Posted 11 June 2012 - 05:53 PM

Gizo better than Munda for diving. Danny is great to dive with. Fatboys is very relaxing and more pricey but gizo hotel in town good for access to markets and other culture.
Could also consider Uepi Island which has great resident sharks. Beautiful island and food
Honiara diving with Niel from Tulagi dive is the best.
Twin Tunnels, John Penn and one of the best wrecks in the world the Aaron Ward. Even better than what you will do on the liveaboard. I have dived it three times and goign back again in November.
Sta at Hotel Mendana an easy walk across beach to Neil's boat.