Tulagi was once the capital of the Solomon Islands as declared by the British Empire. During WWII it was taken over by the Japanese forces as their military base. After the war, the capital was moved to Honiara, and since then this once bustling area of the Solomon Islands has reverted to a remote and quiet island paradise. However, remnants of infrastructure from its imperial past and the relics of its role in WWII remain.
Tulagi has a tropical climate with 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.
Diving is the main reason visitors come to Tulagi as its home to an array of different diving. The island is surrounded by a considerable amount of fascinating wrecks, leftover from WWII, covered in colourful and thriving reefs. After you’ve explored some of the area’s shipwrecks you’ll be delighted by an array of stunning marine topography. You can explore tunnels, channels, walls and drop-offs, all of which are teeming with life.
This wreck was only discovered in 1995 and is the only diveable destroyer in the Solomon Islands. Mortally wounded by Japanese aircraft on 7th April 1943 she limped as far as Tinete point where she went down with 27 of her crew. This impressive wreck is sitting upright and intact on the sandy bottom. Possessing an extensive arsenal of 5-inch guns and torpedo tubes, this is one awesome dive. Experienced Divers only due to depth. Depth range: 58m-70m
A huge American oil tanker of 14,500 tons. This ship was sunk in Tulagi harbour on the same day as the Aaron Ward, 7th April 1943. Sitting upright on a flat bottom, the deck is at 40m and strewn with artefacts, debris and wreckage. Many interesting penetrations lead us into areas such as the engine room, kitchens, tool rooms and crew quarters. Depth range: 40m - 60m
These tunnels are ancient lava tubes starting on top of a patch reef and dropping vertically to about 35m. The twin tunnels then join into one horizontal tunnel that exits on the reef wall at 40m. You are then greeted by a mass of fish that swarm around the reef, including a lot of pelagic action. Sharks, dogtooth tuna, giant trevally and barracuda are common. A "must do it" dive!
Depth range: 18m - 40m
A beautiful coral garden studded with big red and yellow fans. There is a large diversity of coral and marine life here. The garden turns into a dramatic wall when reaching Tanavula point. Big Bump head parrots are common to see along with world-class corals. Depth range: 3m - 40m
Dangerous navigation for passing ships this reef is a good spot for pelagic fish. A long vertical drop off, renowned for big dogtooth tuna, kingfish, and sharks. The top of the reef is washed by strong currents at certain times and is covered by good soft corals as well as friendly nurse sharks. Depth range: 3m - 40m
Starting with a small wall, this drift dive will bring you into the middle of a forest of giant red and yellow fans before ending on top of a colourful reef. Here you will find sharks and large schools of fusiliers waiting for you. Depth range: 3m - 40m
A dramatic drop, pelagic, sharks, giant clam, fans and a magnificent reef in one place! There is a beautiful beach around the Island perfect for BBQ. Depth range: 3m - 50m
Great colourful wall dive with a lot of action. Large schools of sardines, big groupers, bump head parrots and pelagic are some of the attractions of this spot. Depth range: 5m - 40m
A reef washed by a powerful current. Sharks are numerous here. Gray, silver and black tips can be found in large groups when conditions permit. Large schools of big eyes share the place with big Maori fish. Under each rock, numerous squirrel and sweetlips can be found. Good diversity and concentration of life. Depth range: 15m - 40m
Tulagi harbour is the resting place of the only diveable New Zealand shipwreck in the Solomon Islands. The HMNZS Moa, a corvette that was influential in the sinking of the Japanese Sub at Cape Esperance. She's in good condition upright on a sandy bottom. Depth range: 35m - 45m
Culture and History
Due to its relatively central location to surrounding islands, Tulagi is perfectly positioned to explore the surrounding islands and sites of cultural and historical significance. Whether you're interested in exploring WWII history or learning more about local traditions and heritage, you're sure to find something that suits you.
There are a couple of magnificent waterfalls on the island, the Mataniko and Tenaru Falls. Explore inland Tulagi and delve into tropical island jungles. Guided walks can be arranged from the visitor's bureau.
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