Uepi Island is perched on the edge of the largest lagoon in the world. This area of the Western Province, offers opportunities for visitors to experience the culture of local people whilst relaxing in a tranquil environment.
Uepi Island is approximately 2.5 km long and up to 600 metres wide, and the whole area is covered with tropical rain forest interspersed with walking tracks.
Visitors can participate in a variety of activities or simply relax. The lagoon side of the island has a sandy beach, with clear shallow water suitable for swimming, paddle and sail boarding, and canoeing. Uepi Resort is the only operation on this remote island.
There are no villages on the island. Visitors can book at the Resort for trips to the nearby villages and rivers to enjoy the local culture and natural beauty.
Tropical average daytime temperatures between 25°C – 30°C. and evenings 19°C. Seasons are not clearly defined however November to April are the wetter months.
The closest airport is Seghe, which is around an hours flight from Honiara. From Seghe it’s a short boat ride to Uepi, 12km across the lagoon. Be prepared to get a little wet from sea spray.
Uepi has magnificent reef diving. Dive sites vary from coral gardens with magnificent drop-offs, ledges and gutters featuring an enormous diversity of reef fish. Turtles, mantas and eagle rays are fairly common sights, as well as the (friendly) Uepi hammerheads (usually between May and July / August).
Many of Uepi’s dives are conveniently located within a 5 to 10 minute boat ride from the resort. Uepi also has some wreck diving. There are three wrecks lying in Wickham Harbour, all are Japanese freighters sunk by the US during World War 2. All are upright, relatively intact and display varying degrees of artifacts and marine life. All wreck dives are excursion dives and they are approximately one hour from Uepi by boat.
Uepi Island sits on the meeting place of several major currents, making it an excellent place for both drift dives and stationary dives, allowing you to watch the activity of the reef play out before you
27°C – 29°C
Uepi Elbow (24m)
An incredibly steep drop-off. The sheer wall drops to depths in excess of 600m and is covered with colourful hard and soft corals. Keep an eye seawards as you are bound to see a variety of creatures swim by, including eagle rays, tuna, barracuda, king trevally, darts and of course sharks – particularly the seasonal hammerheads.
Charapoana Pier (36m)
This dive takes the underwater explorer along a wall crammed with gorgonians, soft and hard corals and profusely growing Amphora sponges. A range of colourful marine life includes, schools of trevally, mackerel, sharks, rainbow runners, tuna, barracuda and smaller reef fish.
Landoro drop-off and coral gardens (14m)
A varied dive, which takes in a drop-off and a tour through coral gardens. It is thought to be the largest range of soft and hard corals to be seen on one dive. A truly spectacular tour, with lots of smaller invertebrates, bull nose, stingrays and the occasional hammerhead.
Charapoana Passage meets the ‘Slot’ at Uepi Point. A near vertical slope coated profusely with corals – especially gorgonian fans and colourful spiky soft corals. At 30m a peninsular juts out before the wall steeply drops off. This provides the stage for a spectacular procession of pelagic’s including schooling barracuda and sharks. Two bodies of water (from Charapoana Passage and The Slot) meet at this point and at various times (change of tide, high tide etc) the area becomes a hunting/feeding ground. As a result the underwater action can be very exciting. Overhead, large schools of trevally, jacks and fusiliers feed. Families of garden eels, an array of colourful gobies and a diverse collection of invertebrate life inhabit the sand patches of the shallows.
Kayaks, paddleboards, wakeboards and kiteboards are all available at the resort. Either explore this paradise independently or join an organised experience/tour.
The calm clear waters of the island make this the perfect snorkelling location. If you have non-diving travel companions they’re sure to not be disappointed. Snorkelling equipment is available to hire.
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