Uepi Island is nothing short of stunning! It is a 5 star resort with 3 star accommodation. The natural beauty, wildlife, rain forest and sandy beaches, combined with great diving are Uepi’s main attractions. Uepi is a very special dive resort, arguably one of the top 3 in the South Pacific.
Diving in Uepi
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.
Some more popular dive sites:
Uepi Point: A near vertical slope coated profusely with corals - especially gorgonia fans and colourful soft corals. At 30m a peninsular juts 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: From Uepi Point drift back to the Dive Shed pier. The “slot” wall curves to the passage floor, 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.
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.
Taiyo Fishing Boat Wreck. The "TAIYO" boat is a wrecked 35 metre tuna fishing boat. Run aground on its maiden voyage, a salvage attempt has left it completely vertical, perched precariously bow up stern down against a sheer dropoff face. The bow is in 1 metre of water and the stern rests on a narrow coral ledge. 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.