A few days in Honiara, Solomon Islands, can provide an opportunity to enjoy some fabulous wreck diving at one of the great shore dives of the world.

The Japanese transport Hirokawa Maru was sunk in November 1942 with its bow on the beach near Bonegi Creek. It was built in 1940 and was originally about 480 feet long but the bow is now completely shattered. The ship lies on a steep slope on its port side with the stern section in reasonable condition. The stern lies in 58 metres which is a little deep for recreational diving. The propellers were salvaged in the 1960’s.  You only have to swim a few metres before finding remnants of the smashed-up bow section of the ship. Heading down the slope, you'll find the wreck lying on its port side. The superstructure has collapsed and is quite a mess of steel sheets and girders. This part of the ship is quite spectacular because the deck drops vertically to the sandy bottom far below.
You can even swim into part of the engine room to see a large turbine and other indistinguishable pieces of machinery. There is a complete break in the hull in front of the bridge and schools of rainbow runners and barracuda congregate around the high point of the wreck. At the western end of the beach there are  the remnants of the Kinugawa Maru which are clearly visible close to shore. This ship was sunk at the same time as the Hirokawa. It was originally 437 feet long but much of the ship has been removed for scrap metal so it is fairly broken up.