Marovo lagoon, at 140 kms long, is the largest lagoon in the world. It is dotted with many idyllic little islands and Uepi Island is just one of the twenty which is inhabited. The views as we flew across Marovo Lagoon in our twin otter were equally spectacular as was the journey by outboard powered canoe across the glass like smooth lagoon taking us 40 minutes to the small welcome jetty of Uepi Island. Uepi Island Resort is the only resort on the small island.
On islands near Uepi, the Solomon Islands best carvers create fabulous carvings of Nusa Nusa heads, bowls, plates and other beautiful wood object inlaid with designs in mother of pearl. The waters off Uepi Island are teeming with life, including the little sharks driving the schools of fish in to the beach to catch.
For diving, Uepi has a range of sites to offer. Anything from large schools of pelagic fish and many other smaller fish all swimming around waiting to feed on the nutrient rich waters that come in the narrow gap.
A visit to Uepi would not be complete without a visit to at least one of the carving villages based in the lagoon, such as Telina, home to some of the best carvers in the Pacific.
At Telina, there were dolphins, canoes, Nusa Nusa heads and turtles laid out on cloth to protect. We met a villager named John Wayne, who is probably the best carver in the whole of the lagoon. He has developed his own detailed style of carving which he names “Spirit of the Solomons”. We felt very fortunate to have met this artist of the Marovo lagoon and take pride that one of his carvings is in our collection.