Tonga Flag

Tonga Travel Guide

Neiafu Activities

German-operated Beluga Diving beyond The Moorings tacks on a surcharge for scuba diving during the high season from May to November. They offer a variety of PADI certification courses which are a bit cheaper for two or more rather than one person alone. Beluga also rents equipment and fills tanks. Snorkeling trips are organized when at least four people are interested and whale watching is offered in season. Reader reviews of Beluga have been positive.

Dive Vava'u on the watefront downtown has good rental equipment and the best dive boat at Vava'u. Their dive guides have the right attitude about ecology and lots of local knowledge about the marinelife. They're especially good at pointing out interesting little things like orangutan crabs, nudibranch, cleaner shrimp, and Spanish Dancer eggs. Aside from diving, they also offer whale watching.

Dolphin Pacific Diving at the Puataukanave International Hotel also offers scuba diving and a five-day PADI open-water scuba certification course.

Scuba divers frequent the wreck of the 129-meter-long Clan McWilliam, a copra steamer that burned and sank in Port of Refuge Harbor in 1927. Fish and clams hang around the wreck 20 meters down, marked by a buoy just out past the yacht anchorage. Many other good dive sites are only 30 minutes by speedboat from Neiafu. There are lots of places with healthy, colorful coral but not a lot of big fish. Most diving is drift diving and there aren't many spots where dive boats can anchor, so it's important to note the current.

The Friendly Islands Kayak Company, based at the Adventure Center at Toula, has been operating here since 1991. They run guided kayaking trips of four to nine days including meals, tents, and kayaks. The Canadian operators, Doug and Sharon Spence, also offer day-trips which include lunch and snorkeling. Guided mountain bike tours around Vava'u is also possible. This is about the only place in Vava'u with proper sea kayaks suitable for overnight trips but during the high season they may be fully booked by groups. To be sure to be able to kayak where you want when you want, you must bring your own folding kayak with you. However, freelance camping is prohibited in Tonga so you'll need to plan your route carefully.

Several local game fishing boats troll for marlin, mahimahi, spearfish, and tuna along the drop-offs below 200-meter cliffs on the northwest side of the island. These include the powerboat Target One from Adventure Backpackers, the Hakuna Matata and Expeditions based at the Vava'u Harbourview Resort, the Hakula at Hakula Lodge, the Reel Addiction at Ika Lahi Lodge, and the Kiwi Magic. Most also offer whale watching whenever four persons have booked.

Vava'u Adventures beyond The Moorings on the Neiafu waterfront can book all tours, activities, and accommodations at Vava'u. This can be a real lifesaver during the peak tourist season from July to October when many accommodations and whale-watching tours are sold out. Their guided three-hour kart safari tours into Vava'u's bush are very popular, while their jet kayak tours take you to places few other visitors ever see. A small surf and turf discount is offered if you book a kart and kayak together. There's also kite surfing, mountain biking, guided hikes, snorkeling, and Tongan feasts.

See rugby Saturday afternoons (April-June) on the Fangatongo Rugby Ground, just off the road to Mt. Talau.