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Tonga Travel Guide

Houma Blowholes
the Houma blowholes on southwestern Tongatapu are impressive at high tide

Southern Tongatapu

Surf forced through naturally formed air vents creates spectacular blowholes on the rocky, terraced southwest coast near Houma, 15 km from Nuku'alofa. From the end of the road, walk along the path to the right. Waves batter the coral cliffs and spout water up to 30 meters in the air through eroded tunnels. These impressive blowholes number in the hundreds—come at high tide on a windy day! Bus service from Nuku'alofa to Houma is fairly frequent and continues west to Fahefa.

Just east of Utulau a dirt road branches off the paved highway (and bus route) between Houma and Nuku'alofa via Pea and runs along the south coast. Three km along this dirt road is Keleti Beach Resort (presently closed), with more blowholes and several small but strikingly beautiful beaches and pools protected from the open sea by unusual coral terraces. You can snorkel among the brightly colored tropical fish in the large tidal pools at the foot of the resort, just be aware of the currents.

Keleti is down a road to the right, distinguishable from other similar roads by the electricity lines. As previously mentioned, there's no bus service east of the Utulau-Pea road, so you're better off coming by bicycle.

Also on the south coast is Hufangalupe ("Pigeon's Doorway"), a huge natural coral bridge with a sandy cove flanked by towering cliffs, six km east of the bird park and four km from Vaini, the closest bus stop. Make your way down the inside of the fault from the back to see the bridge and sea before you. As you return to the main south coast road, watch for a path on the left at the bottom of a slight dip, which leads down to a lovely white beach (beware of theft while you're in swimming).

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