A Story Of Coral Resilience In The Solomon Islands

Sand Island, a story of coral resilience

A sandy dot in the middle of the ocean, Sand Island will leave you feeling as if you’ve just landed on the edge of the known universe. Set up a beach umbrella and relax for the afternoon. Enjoy a picnic lunch between incredible coral snorkeling. Sand Island is an unforgettable experience for the whole family.

You can get to Sand Island with a short boat ride from Tavanipupu Island Resort.

Sand Island day trip from Tavanipupu

Sand Island Corals

Surrounding Sand Island, are shallow coral bommies and white sandy banks. Right off the beach, you will are patches of branching Acropora breaking the surface at low tide. Instead of growing up these colonies focus their energy on growing outward to cover more ground. Deeper between 2-5 meters (6-15 feet) strong Isopora corals buffer the sandy island from wave action and provide a beautiful maze of towering corals for snorkelers to weave in and out.

Sand Island Coral Resilience

On one side of the island, there are several coral skeletons buried in the sand. After big storms and periods of high waves and wind, the island’s sand shift from one side to the other. This ebb and flow can often kill corals by sedimentation leaving only the skeletons behind.

However, we saw some very positive signs of recovery with juvenile corals starting to colonize the reef rocks. These baby pioneers were anywhere from a few centimeters across to several years of growth indicating this reef is still healthy, despite one side having patches of coral skeletons near the shore.

Coral skeletons on one side of the island are showing signs of resilience with baby corals starting to colonize the rocky skeletons.

Getting There

To get to Sand Island, take a boat from the Tavanipupu Island Resort 15 minutes to sand Island. Tavanipupu is located in Marau Sound, the eastern end of Guadalcanal Island, in Guadalcanal Province Solomon Islands. Take a flight from the capital city Honiara to Marau Sound on Solomon Airlines or a private Air Taxi.

Marau Airstrip



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