Uepi Island Resort

Uepi Island is nothing short of stunning! A classic raised barrier reef island, Uepi is a natural beauty with rain forests and sandy beaches combined with great diving amongst coral reefs and in clear waters. Turtles, manta and eagle rays are fairly common sights, together with the (friendly) Uepi hammerheads which can be seen patrolling these waters during May, July and August. A very special dive resort and is arguably one of the Top 3 in the South Pacific.

Overview

Dive sites along the Uepi Island passage and barrier reef drop-offs and bays are on the coral reef ecosystem. The diving is extraordinarily varied with over 10 main dive sites of differing structure and bio-assemblage; including coral gardens with magnificent drop-offs, ledges and gutters, featuring sharks, all manner of light game fish and an enormous diversity of reef fish. Turtles, mantas and eagle rays are fairly common sights, together with the (friendly) Uepi hammerheads seen throughout the year.

Because of the location of Uepi Island, a barrier reef on the edge of a large volcanic (extinct) landmass, the clarity of water is usually good and water temperature is about 28−30 °C. Wetsuits are not essential.

Dive Sites

Uepi Point
This near vertical slope is coated profusely with corals – especially gorgonian fans and colourful soft corals.  At 30 metres a peninsular extends out before the wall steeply drops off. This provides the stage for a spectacular procession of pelagic fish including schooling barracuda, sharks, trevally, jacks, fusiliers, hammerheads, whales and green turtles.

Charapoana Drift
This impressive drift dive takes you from Uepi Point back to the Dive Shed pier. The “slot” wall curves to the passage floor and is covered with large gorgonians, huge Amphora basket and barrel sponges, while soft coral trees and small hard corals cram the slope. You’ll encounter schools of trevally, rainbow runners, barracuda, and other pelagic fish.

Taiyo Fishing Boat Wreck
This wrecked 35 metre tuna fishing boat ran aground on its maiden voyage. A salvage attempt has left it completely vertical, perched precariously – bow up stern down – against a sheer drop-off face. 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.

Uepi Pier
From flashing “scallops” to “shark bommie” in just over 30m, to a 15m wall clustered with fans. Rated as one of the best shore dives yet, you’ll see a variety of game fish, Spotted Eagle Rays and Cow Tail Rays resting on the sand whilst under continual surveillance by the resident Grey Whalers. The wall is great for a night dive.

The Elbow
A sheer wall dropping to well over 600m covered with hard and soft corals. Keep an eye seaward as you are bound to see a variety of fish swim by including Eagle Rays, Tuna, Barracuda, King Trevally, Darts, and of course the chance of Hammerheads .

Elbow Caves
Deep gutters through the reef wall, almost totally enclosed in sections make this dive memorable.

North Log and South Log
Each site has its interest in caverns and ledges. North Log in particular has ledges profuse in coral life and associated aquarium fish.

Landoro Gardens
The top of Uepi’s fringing reef wall takes a drastic change. You’ll feel like you’re flying from peak to peak across Landoro’s rolling hill tops, grassed in bushy hard and soft corals. The valleys between are highways for the larger fish species.

Mongo Passage
An enormous, simply breathtaking drop-off, featuring schooling barracuda, curious sharks, beautiful gorgonian fans and a delightful coral garden.

Wreck dives
There are five wrecks (2 unidentified) lying in Wickham Harbour, approximately 90 minutes by boat from Uepi. Three are Japanese freighters sunk by the US during World War II. All are upright, relatively intact and displaying varying degrees of artefacts and fish life. There will be an additional cost for transport, payable directly to Uepi.

The hunt for other wrecks continues. Uepi Dive Team is still narrowing the search for several WWII aircraft wrecks. What is believed to be an USA P39 Air Cobra fighter has been searched for over some years. Scattered artefacts such as the remains of a jettisoned bomb have been found. Further afield what may be an USA B24 bomber is being hunted. These aircraft are hidden in difficult terrain with mostly very poor visibility. When these planes are found it may be possible to shift them to a more accessible site. One uch find, a Japanese Zero fighter, buried in silt will be moved to a cleaner area soon.

Best time to Dive

Diving in the Solomon Islands is great all year round with the peak between April-December and water temperature ranging between 28-30ºC.

Other Activities

The unique cultural and geographical environment of Uepi Island enables varied and interesting leisure activities around the Marovo Lagoon.

  • Village Trips: Uepi considers itself privileged to be able to offer excellent trips to local villages with their carvings, custom dancing, village life, children’s songs and war dances.
  • Carving Village Tours: The carvers of the Marovo Lagoon are renowned for their quality carvings. Materials include kerosene wood, shell-inlay, black coral, queen ebony and king ebony.
  • Jungle Trails: The island itself is covered in rainforest right down to the high-water mark. There is a system of well prepared and mapped out walking trails.
  • Beach Picnics:The picturesque Landoro beaches on the other end of Uepi are a must to relax on. Enjoy a picnic lunch. Take your snorkelling gear too.
  • Coconut Crab Walking:A short canoe trip at night into the jungle to see a threatened species.
  • Snorkelling: Fringing reef, steep drop-offs, lagoonal coral bommies… all teeming with colourful tropical fish and invertebrate life. Uepi snorkelling is as good as it gets.
  • Fishing: There is excellent fishing around the lagoon. Check out the open waters for Sailfish, Yellow-Fin Tuna, Mackerel or Barracuda along the drop-offs and passages.
  • Kayaking: 3-4 day kayak tours operate from the resort around the beaches, smooth water lagoon and oceanic coral reefs surrounding Uepi Island. No experience necessary

Getting there

Uepi Island is located in the Florida Island group in the Western Province of The Solomon Islands.
Fly into Uepi from Honiara and we can arrange a boat transfer to the resort – approximately 18km.

Accommodation

This beautiful island resort features a small number of private fan-cooled bungalows, units and guest rooms that are stylish and comfortable.

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