Uepi Island is one of those quintessential paradise islands where all your South Pacific fantasies come true. The island sits in Morovo Lagoon, which is the largest saltwater lagoon in the world. The world-famous lagoon has an impressive 130 kilometers of barrier coral reef, around 100 individual islands along, and covering an area of 700 square kilometers.
Morovo Lagoon is teeming with marine life as it’s alongside a deep wall, dropping past 2000m or 6000ft! Rich upwelling currents bring nutrients to the reef surrounding Uepi, which feeds the many tropical fish and healthy corals reefs fringing the islands.
Visitors to Uepi Island can explore the reefs on scuba and snorkeling, both with their advantages. We were genuinely impressed with the quality of snorkeling options available within a short distance from the resort and even got to snorkel with manta rays!
The shallow reefs around Uepi and neighboring Morovo lagoon islands are accessible to all skill levels. The dramatic deep blue drop-offs are exhilarating for more advanced freedivers and scuba divers, and the lush shallow reef scape offers a maze of snorkeling adventures that will keep everyone entertained for days. Hands down, our favorite dive site at Uepi Island is named secret spot, a nonstop coral hotspot.
Watch a video clip from Secret Spot reef. HERE
Aside from the never-ending reef, what is unique about the Secret Spot is the different rock channels between coral bommies. We enjoyed swimming through the large open channels and undulating reef, looking at the other corals. On top of the reef, snorkelers will enjoy coral spotting from a vast diversity of plating, encrusting and branching corals.
Uepi Island Corals
Along the top of the reef, we found some exciting colonies of Acropora robusta, which break the water’s surface at low tide. If you want to see these corals head to the very top of the reef, be careful not to get too close to avoid damaging the corals.
One of the more unique varieties of coral is the Acropora abrotanoides on the wave-swept reef tops. This coral has a similar thick branching form as the robusta; however, the branches have small tube-shaped corallites of varying sizes. Because of the high wave actions at the top of the reef, the Acropora abrotanoides grow compact, almost gem-shaped branches.
Around the two distinct robust corals, you will find smaller hardy flow-loving Acropora species, Acropora gemmifera, and Acropora humilis. These corals have short compact branches shaped like cylinders (humilis) or cones (gemmifera). We found plenty of examples of these corals throughout the reef, and it’s pretty fun to try spotting all the different color varieties.