A rough 40-km boat ride from Nuku'alofa, 'Eua is a good place to go for the weekend. Since facilities are minimal you won't feel as oppressed as you might on a Nuku'alofa Sunday, and you'll have to entertain yourself here anyway. Bony bareback horses can be hired, but most spots on the island are within walking distance.
'Eua's hills are a contrast to flat Tongatapu. The thickly forested spine down the east side of 'Eua drops to perpendicular cliffs, while the west half is largely taken up by plantations and villages. At 87 square km, it's Tonga's third-largest island.
Facilities on 'Eua are basic; this is a chance to get off the beaten tourist track and see real Tongan life. It's a rather grubby, depressing place, indicative of why so many Tongans live in Auckland. Three full days are enough to get the feel of the island.
The optimum time to come to 'Eua is late August or early September during the 'Eua Agricultural Show.