The ships anchor offshore and the passengers are ferried to the port. The island is compact and guests can easily walk to most of the attractions.
Entering into the harbor is one of the most beautiful sights. the ship works her way between small islands on both sides of the shipping channel. It is one of the largest natural harbors in the South Pacific and, during the winter months, home to many hundreds of visiting yachts.
Printable map to take along.
Watch a destination video.
The Kingdom of Tonga (Tongan for "south") is an archipelago in the south Pacific Ocean comprising 169 islands, 36 of them inhabited, stretching over a distance of about 800 kilometers (500 miles) in a north-south line. The islands lie south of Samoa and are about a third of the way between New Zealand and Hawaii.
Tonga is the only surviving monarchy among the island nations of the Pacific Ocean, as well as being the only island nation never to have been formally colonized.
Vava'u is one of the most idyllic destinations in the South Pacific for adventurers. The islands attract not just sailors and kayakers to its shores in the winter sailing season between June and October, but also humpback whales come to the protected waters to give birth to their calves. This high season for tourism is in stark contrast to the summer months between December and April when few visitors visit and many tour companies and restaurants close down for the season. But if you are not too interested in sailing or whale watching, this can be the best time to visit with no crowds.
In the island's north is a lookout from the 500 meter high sheer cliffs, where you can watch whales swim below and visit the Keitahi surf beach. The eastern beaches are excellent for swimming & snorkelling. On the islands west side is the Tu'anuku fresh water lake and villages with great views over the outer island and to the open sea. The south offers a number of beaches which are very sheltered and good for swimming, such as Ene'io & hinakauea beach. In the south west are many plantations of taro, vanilla, kava and avocados .
The most popular activity in Vava’u is whale watching. That’s because humpback whales gather in the waters of the island to give birth every year. Whale watching boat tours are readily available for visitors. Guests can even swim with the whales.
High quality local crafts are available at the Friendly Islands Marketing Cooperative. The tender pier is next to the farmer's produce market.
The national currency is the Pa'anga, or Tongan dollar.
Official languages Tongan, English
Shopping hours Mon-Fri 0800-1700, Sat 0800-1200.
1 Jan New Year's Day.
25 Apr ANZAC Day.
4 Jun Emancipation Day.
12 Jul Birthday of the Heir to the Crown of Tonga.
1 Aug Official Birthday of the King of Tonga.
4 Nov Constitution Day.
4 Dec Tupou I Day.
25 Dec Christmas Day.
26 Dec Boxing Day.
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