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Tonga Travel Guide

Other Islands of Va'vau

Late Island (17 square km), 52 km west of the main Vava'u Group, is visible from the west side of Vava'u on a clear day. This 519-meter-high dormant volcano last erupted in 1854. In the late 1860s, King George Tupou I evacuated the Late people to Hunga Island over worries of the residents being kidnapped for use as slave labor in the mines of Peru.

Recently this densely forested, uninhabited island has itself become a resettlement area for the endangered Tongan megapode bird, or malau, which is threatened due to human activities on its native Niuafo'ou.

Fonualei (four square km) lies 70 km northwest of Vava'u, 19 km beyond smaller Toku Island. This dormant volcano 195 meters high last erupted in 1846, spewing ash across Vava'u. It's presently uninhabited. The Spaniard Mourelle called it Amargura, or "bitterness," in 1781 out of disappointment from not finding food and water there.