Ha’apai

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‘The Friendly Islands’

If you’re looking for off-the-beaten-path experiences, then look no further then Ha’apai, a central island group consisting of 62 islands. Isolated, uninhabited and undiscovered, this tropical paradise is filled with shallow lagoons, deserted beaches, vibrant reefs, giant volcanoes and breaching whales. Travellers can fill in their day with endless activities such as hiking, snorkelling, kayaking or even horseriding along the white sandy beaches.

Only 17 of the 62 islands within Ha’apai are inhabited, with a population of approximately 8,000 people in 30 villages. The four largest islands are the only ones who run on electricity, but not all of them have television. In 1773 Captain Cook first visited Tonga, starting in Tongaputa and departing from the Ha’apai island group. After a warm reception and befriending some of the locals on Ha’apai island, Captain Cook ended up dubbing the Kingdom of Tonga “The Friendly Islands”.

This name has now stayed throughout the Kingdom and a warm welcome is felt as soon as you step foot onto one of the islands. Tongan locals want their visitors to enjoy their beautiful surroundings and the diverse experiences on offer, but most of all, they want you to sit back and relax … because you’re on island time.

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Tongatapu

Tongatapu, known as the ‘Sacred South’, is the main island of Tonga and the launch pad for exploring many of the other islands that surround the Kingdom. Nuku’alofa, the capital of Tongaputa, and the hub for international arrivals, is located on the north coast, and is filled with long stretches of white beaches, charming cafes, and ancient churches. You may even see a few pigs roaming around if you’re lucky.

‘Eua

Hilly and covered in lush rainforest, ‘Eua’s combination of breathtaking beauty and rugged, idiosyncratic landscapes is the perfect destination for travelers. A concise seven-minute flight links Tongatapu to the island of ‘Eua on its southeastern tip, world’s shortest commercial airline flight.

Ha’apai

If you’re looking for off-the-beaten-path experiences, then look no further then Ha’apai, a central island group consisting of 62 islands. Isolated, uninhabited and undiscovered, this tropical paradise is filled with shallow lagoons, deserted beaches, vibrant reefs, giant volcanoes and breaching whales. Travellers can fill in their day with endless activities such as hiking, snorkelling, kayaking or even horseriding along the white sandy beaches.

Vava’u

Truly unspoiled, this remote group of islands are dotted along the  Kingdom of Tonga, and offer year-round climate suitable for snorkelling, swimming, sailing and diving. Surrounded by crystal clear water, these 61 islands offer an abundance of activities in and out of the water. For those sailing around the South Pacific,  Neiafu, is a popular spot to dock your yacht, allowing you to explore more of  Vava’u Islands natural beauty.

Niuatoputapu

Niuatoputao is a flat coral island situated furthest north within the Kingdom of Tonga. Located between Vava’u and Samoa, this ‘sacred island’ is mostly remote and underdeveloped with a noticeably warmer temperature than the other parts of the Kingdom, especially in the southern end.

Niuafo’ou

Niufo’ou,  located about 100km west of  Niuatoputapu, is one of the world’s most remote islands. From a birds-eye view, this volcanic rimmed island could be compared to a floating donut.  The coastline is rocky and steep, with few black sandy beaches.  Niuafo’ou, together with  Tafahi  &  Niuatoputapu  island are referred to as the  Niuas.