These are only some of the dive sites available in Munda, there are many other spectacular sites nearby, and more to be discovered:
About 20 minutes boat ride from Agnes Lodge. A spectacular wall dive, plunging down to 70 meters. There is a good chance to spot hammerhead sharks, silver tip sharks, and the occasional oceanic white tip. Along the wall there are huge gorgonian sea fans and lush soft corals and thick whip corals. This makes an amazing early-morning dive as visibility can exceed 40 meters and the chance to see those BIG FISH increases greatly. Although typically this is a deep dive to see the larger species of shark, the novice diver can enjoy this site as well at a shallower depth.
One of the farther dive sites located on the north side of New Georgia, about 35 minutes away. When driving into the bay you immediately see the masts, emerging from the surface. The Kasi Maru, a Japanese freighter, was bombed while anchored and is only twenty meters from the shore. The ship lies in an upright position with a slight list to the port. The bottom of the hull lies in 15 meters, which makes it a good site for snorkelers and novice divers alike. The more experienced divers, WWII buffs and photographers will have much to discover as well.
Douglas Dauntless Bomber
Located off the island of Rendova, about 30 minute’s drive. The Dauntless was shot down on the 21st of June, 1943. The pilot, Jim Dougherty, was shot down near Kindu point. He then attempted to fly back to Yandina in the Russell Islands. Unfortunately, the aircraft could not reach the Russells, and Jim Dougherty made a crash landing in the waters just off Rendova. Miraculously, he survived the crash, and managed to swim to a nearby American hospital; all this on his 21st birthday. In 1995, Jim returned to Munda to visit and dive his old plane on the anniversary of the day he was shot down.
More Munda Planes
Near the Kasi Maru lies another airplane that has seen very few divers. It is an American “Wildcat” fighter plane. The Wildcat (F4F) is completely intact and lies upside-down in 15 meters.
In the Munda Bay there are two Japanese bombers; they were called by the US troops Nell or Nelly (G3M) and a Betty (G4M). The Nell is closer to the dive shop in about 4 meters, while the Betty is further west and marginally deeper at 6 meters. The Nell was replaced in service with the Japanese Navy by the Betty. Both are twin engine bombers. Visibility suffers later in the day so these planes are best dives early morning.
Also in the Munda Bay are two American dump sites; one in 7 meters, the other in 16 to 20 meters. There lie several trucks and the wings to another Fighter. Again, visibility is best early morning.
Cave of the Custom Shark
15 minutes past Mushroom Island on NdokeNdoke Island; an hour’s drive from Agnes Lodge. The story behind the cave is a part of local folklore and is intertwined with turtle hunting, shark life in the area, and the mysterious cave
To reach The Cave of the Custom Shark divers walk with full gear onto the island and through the mangroves. The cave entrance is a pool of fresh water about 2 meters wide. Stepping into the water, divers notice that this fresh water is much cooler then the sea. The top layer of fresh water is somewhat murky and about 3 meters deep. As you descend through the top layer and reach the sea water; it warms up considerably. The cave is large enough to be comfortable and there is a guide line through the cave for easier navigation. After penetrating the cave for about 12 minutes and reaching a maximum depth of 35 meters, you reach the outer wall of the island. At 22 meters you carry on the dive, enjoying the wall adorned with soft corals and many different fishes.
A beautiful dive located off Rendova Island about 30 minutes away. The dive features a large underwater plateau beginning at 7 meters and sloping down to 30 meters. While diving around the plateau you come to a drop-off at 25 meters. There you find a forest of black coral and a few sandy patches where black tip and grey reef sharks are sure to make an appearance. Napoleons also inhabit this area. Further along there is an area abundant with elephant ear corals. Turtles are often seen at Rainbow Passage so keep an eye out for them sleeping, tucked in the coral or having a snack. Currents can be strong guaranteeing a large variety of fish to encounter.
Top shelf is located off the back of Kundu Kundu Normana some 20 minutes away. This long reef is parallel to Shark Point so the chance to see some of the bigger species of shark is likely. Top shelf is a reef dive abundant with so many fish and thick with corals. It drops down to over 40 meters and the reef edge is somewhat jagged; creating inlets where the lazy fish hide to escape the current. Top Shelf is great dive to do in combination with Shark Point. It is also good for those divers who prefer more shallow dives. Top shelf is a photographer’s dream; the many reef fish, soft corals and hard corals to keep shutters working over-time.
(close to all Kundu dive sites)
Located off the back of Kundu Kundu Normana, about 20 minutes away. On the surface there are a few large rocks breaking the surface where eagles often make their nests. Below, huge gorgonians and lush soft corals hang off the wall. Schools of barracuda swim along the wall, as well as other pelagic and often you will catch the bump-head parrot fish, either singly or in large schools. At the end of the wall you come to a shallow plateau ranging from 10 meters to the surface; the perfect place for that extended safety stop.
Located off the island of Kundu Kundu Hite about 10 minutes away. The site is good for those people making their first training dives. There is a long beach stretching in the direction of Munda. The reef starts at 5 meters and drops down to about 35 meters. There are plenty of sandy areas where student divers can practice their recently acquired skills and enjoy the abundant variety of marine life. Looking into the blue, divers are likely to see schools of mobola or other rays.
Located on the way to the Kasi Maru, just a 30 minute’s drive. The Lighthouse is a wall dive that drops straight down to 65 meters. There are huge numbers of gorgonians and soft corals that adorn the wall. As well, there are more kinds and colors of sponge than on any other Munda dive site. Previously Soltai Tuna Cannery dumped fish waste in the area so it is not uncommon to see a variety of sharks patrolling the wall.