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Tonga Travel Guide

Utulaaina Point
looking east along Vava'u's wild north coast from 'Utula'aina Point near Holonga

Northeast of Neiafu

Two centuries ago, Feletoa was the center of power on Vava'u, and a Polynesian fortress was built here in 1808, but little remains today.

Ask to see the burial place of Finau 'Ulukalala II behind the house opposite the primary school in Feletoa. The large, rectangular langi is surrounded by big stone slabs. It was Finau's father, Finau 'Ulukalala I, who had ordered the sacking of the British privateer Port-au-Prince at Ha'apai and who later adopted Will Mariner into his family. With the help of cannon from the ship and military advice from the survivors, 'Ulukalala II conquered Vava'u in 1808, and in 1810 he allowed Mariner to return to England.

The dynasty came to an end when 'Ulukalala III's young son was deposed by King George Tupou I. 'Ulukalala II's tomb is unmarked, untended, and overgrown because he's still out of favor with the current Tongan dynasty.

For a splendid view of the north coast, travel due north from Neiafu to Holonga. About two km beyond the village, turn left when the trail begins to descend to the beach, then right some 500 meters farther along. With a little luck you'll come out on 'Utula'aina Point, a sheer cliff a couple of hundred meters above the sea. The quiet beach here is fine for relaxing, but the water is too shallow for swimming. You could spend a whole day exploring this area.