Liveaboard Diving in Marovo Lagoon
What to Expect On a Marovo Lagoon Liveaboard
Take a liveaboard dive trip to explore Marovo Lagoon in the Solomon Islands and combine the best of all worlds. Divers can access the more remote areas of this expansive lagoon while cruising in comfort. Marovo Lagoon is a picture-perfect South Pacific paradise and is the longest saltwater lagoon in the world. The lagoon and surrounding area contain hundreds of small islands covered with tropical rainforests and fringed with coconut palms. The water is clear aquamarine, warm (85°F/30°C), and swarming with fish of all sizes and colors. Marovo Lagoon is bordered by the volcanic New Georgia and Vangunu Islands on one side and a double wall of barrier islands on the other making for many protected diving options as well as the exploration of cuts and passages where ocean and lagoon currents meet. With only a few Solomon Islands liveaboards operating this area, a visit here will usually be included in your itinerary.
What You Can See
The lagoon is known for its marvelous variety of sharks, prolific numbers of fish, mantas, turtles, and dolphins. As with all of the Solomon Islands, there are opportunities to dive wrecks, healthy reef gardens, steep walls, caverns, and cuts while viewing everything from hammerheads to nudibranchs, all with incredible visibility. There is something for everyone!
Dive Sites of Marovo Lagoon
There is a multitude of dive sites in this expansive area and all of our liveaboards take advantage of the weather and current to ensure excellent diving every day. Here are a few memorable sites that may be visited on your dive expedition.
Kicha is a very small island off of the southeastern tip of Vangunu Island and is outside the lagoon itself so perfect to be accessed by liveaboard boat. There are multiple sites clustered here including Kindy, Kicha Parade, and Fantastic Fans. Kicha Parade involves diving the current side of a steep and narrow outcropping. Hovering at 20-30 meters provides a front-row seat to a large animal show that is just one of the big draws to this tiny island. Fantastic Fans involves diving a sheer drop off to just over 30 meters where gigantic sea fans wave gently in the current. Schools of angelfish lead the parade back to the shallows where a safety stop in Kindy may extend the dive to more than an hour. Poke around the shallows for flounder, rock movers, wrasses, and hundreds of other miniature tropicals that swirl around the site.
Mabulo Island is a small island closer to the southeastern edge of Vangunu Island and is encircled with amazing dive sites. The northern side of the island holds a magical site called Mbulo Coral Castle which is built of an abundant variety of hard coral. These coral gardens are the home of shy cuttlefish and brightly colored tropicals such as angels and butterflyfish.
Begho Point extends off the eastern edge of Mbulo Island where massive schools of jacks, barracudas, mackerel share the space with the reef, blacktip, and white tip sharks.
Macro lovers willing to brave less than ideal visibility can scour around Peava Jetty for muck diving treasures. Other sites near Peava, located on the southeastern tip of Vangunu Island itself boast soft and hard coral gardens covered in pyramid butterflyfish, tangs, and damsels. The dive site Palette is covered in fan corals up to 8 feet high in every shade of purple and pink as well as black and pale grey. The fans are home to stunning schools of fish including jacks and barracudas as well as smaller tropicals. Anemonefish and blue tangs mingle with spiny lobsters and long nose filefish along the reef and seafloor.
Along the northeastern edge of Vanguna Island, the double wall of smaller barrier islands provides the opportunity to dive the passages between the open sea and the lagoon. These dive sites often host sharks and other larger creatures. Njapuana East and West are two liveaboard dive sites that boast shark encounters as well as Lumalihe Passage. Lumalihe leads from Marovo Lagoon into The Slot. This site is best at the incoming tide and is filled with diversity. Did we mention sharks? The shallows and the deep are equally enthralling.
Lying off the southwest corner of Vangunu Island barrier reef is the Wreck of the Taiyo. This 35-meter long fishing boat is completely intact and fully equipped, lying vertically with its bow in 1 meter of water and the stern sitting on a coral ledge pointing down into the deep blue.
Lying between New Georgia and Vanguna Islands near Seghe are two separate aircraft wrecks. The P38 Fighter is just offshore and as it lies in approximately 8 meters of water is easily accessible. The plane is intact and many features huge WWll fighter can be explored. The reef surrounding the wreck is perfect for some “mucking around” as nudibranchs and colorful corals and sponges abound. The Dauntless dive-bomber aircraft located very near the P38 lies in 18 meters of water lies upside down and intact. Another wonderful WWll wreck that will enthrall any history buff or airplane lover.
The region of Marovo Lagoon extends over many miles and is full of discovered and undiscovered sites. Our liveaboard dive cruises will ensure your days are spent logging the optimum number and quality of dives available in this underwater utopia.
Getting to Marovo Lagoon Dive Sites
Honiara is the capital and primary port of departure & arrival for Solomon Islands liveaboards and lies on the northern shore of Guadalcanal Island. All liveaboard dive expeditions set sail from Honiara. Marovo Lagoon is northwest of Guadalcanal Island and can be explored on our longer itineraries along with Florida Islands, Mary Island, and Russell Islands.
Marovo Lagoon Diving Reviews
- 9.2 Superb