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Adventure

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Experience

Ha’apai

islands of tonga

Uncrowded, unhurried and undiscovered.

Well off the beaten path for visitors, the 62 scattered islands, atolls, reefs and shoals of the central island group of Ha’apai are an undeniably authentic slice of Polynesia.

Looming volcanic islands, warming trade winds and pristine atolls lapped by gentle waters provide a superb tropical backdrop for more adventurous travellers. Experience Tonga’s easy-going hospitality in remote boutique eco lodges or village guesthouses, before effortlessly filling another relaxed day with sea kayaking, snorkeling or horse riding along white sandy beaches.

During his Pacific journeys, Captain James Cook named the Kingdom of Tonga ‘The Friendly Islands’ after a warm reception on the Ha’apai island of Lifuka.

On the 28th April, 1789 Mutiny on the Bounty took place between the shores of Lifuka and Tofua in Ha’apai. Fletcher Christian who was appointed as a master’s mate on the HMS Bounty seized command of the ship from Captain William Bligh.

More than three centuries later, the welcome to 21st-century Pacific explorers is equally amicable, and local guides are keen to direct visitors to relaxation Ha’apai-style. That means more difficult island-style choices between whale watching, diving or sailing. Just take it easy, don’t hurry, and slow right down to ‘island time’.

Ha’apai – Highlights

  1. Pangai is the administrative capital village of the Ha’apai Group
  2. Tofua (active volcano) and Koa (dormant volcano)
  3. Uiha ancient burial grounds and monument
  4. World class kitesurfing
  5. Swim with whales
  6. Dive and snorkel spectacular reefs
  7. Just north of the palace and inland a block on Faifekau Road is the Free Wesleyan Church, where a miraculous cross appeared in 1975. The spot is now outlined in cement on the grass outside the church
  8. Velata Mound Fortress (built in the 15th century AD)
  9. Ancient stone quarry at Holopeka Beach
  10. Known as the Island with the finest sand, explore Ha’apai’s beautiful beaches and swimming nooks.

What others say

The friendly, generous people and their traditional way of life….so different to the rushed, stressed, modern world…. the markets, the scenery, the beaches, the shops, and the slower way of life, all contributed to a completely unique holiday. Traffic is leisurely and contributed to the overall feeling of relaxation, and we quickly got used to not having to rush around. Anyone wanting to unwind and find some peace only has to visit beautiful Tonga.

– Mrs Jill Coburn, Melbourne, Australia.

On this island:

Do

Matafonua Lodge

A well priced resort located on the spectacular Northern tip of Pangai, Ha’apai. 10 delightful Tongan-inspired fales with covered balconies, very comfortable bedding and mosquito nets. The shared bathrooms have solar hot showers and all towels are supplied. Safe swimming, incredible snorkelling and kite-surfing directly off beach, or simply relax in our bar/restaurant over looking More Info »

Ha’apai Beach Resort

Nestled in a lush tropical garden overlooking the white sandy beach on Lifuka Island, Ha’apai Beach Resort is the perfect spot to relax, unwind and enjoy the true island experience. Located halfway between the airport and Pangai,  the resort offers a completely tranquil retreat with  the convenience of being close to town. Enjoy quiet days More Info »

Fanifo Lofa Kitesurf Tonga

Fanifo Lofa, Tonga’s only dedicated kite surfing resort, can be found on the beautiful shores of Uoleva Island in the Ha’apai group. We have found the ultimate kite surfing destination here in Tonga. Come and stay in our beach fales, snorkel, swim with whales and experience the ultimate kite surfing holiday. We have created our More Info »

Whale Discoveries

Celebrate with Whale Discoveries the annual return of the Humpback Whales from Antarctica to their breeding and calving grounds in Tonga’s Ha’apai Island Group! Short-listed for the Responsible Tourism Award: Best for Conservation of Endangered Species. Join our informative whale watching excursions aboard our comfortable, 8.5 metre Protector RIB ‘Tropic Bird’. Or the specially designed sleek More Info »

Matafonua Bar and Restaurant

Featuring cuisine from around the world with a South Pacific flair. From fine dining to burgers, sandwiches and pizza not forgetting amazing desserts and fully stocked bar. The laid back atmosphere and incredible views over the lagoon will have you coming back for more. Outside guests are more than welcome. Also offering one of the More Info »

Ha’apai Whale and Sail Ltd

Ha’apai Whale and Sail, based at Talitali’anga Eco Resort on Ha’apai’s Uoleva Island, have a wealth of knowledge of the island group which they are eager to share. Enjoy a day exploring neighbouring islands, snorkel in the crystal clear waters of a beautiful offshore reef, or swim with majestic Humpback Whales. While whale swimming only More Info »

Stay

Captain Cook Hideaway

Captain Cook Hideaway is on Uoleva Island, only a short 5 minute boat ride off the main island of Ha’apai. Our fales are built right on the beautiful unspoilt sandy white beaches of the island with ocean front views. We offer 10 comfortable fales at the following rates (TOP): Single: $30 pn Double: $50 pn Ensuite: More Info »

Ha’apai Beach Resort

Nestled in a lush tropical garden overlooking the white sandy beach on Lifuka Island, Ha’apai Beach Resort is the perfect spot to relax, unwind and enjoy the true island experience. Located halfway between the airport and Pangai,  the resort offers a completely tranquil retreat with  the convenience of being close to town. Enjoy quiet days More Info »

Tiulipe Guest House

Tiulipe Guest House is nestled in the middle of Pangai town amongst Tongan lifestyle and culture. It is 300 metres from the main road where shops, markets, restaurants and banks are located. We have single, double (plus twin share) with shared bathroom facilities and private family rooms with ensuite available, prices below. Free breakfast for guests. Meals can be More Info »

Evaloni’s Guest House

Travel time to airport 15 minutes Payment options Cash Languages spoken English Tongan Children welcome Yes Amenities Separate sitting area Ceiling fans Refrigerator Phone Airport transportation Bar Cold water Television Housekeeping Iron and ironing board Activities Whale watching Snorkelling

Sandy Beach Resort

This boutique style resort is nestled on a picture-perfect beach, amidst lush tropical gardens and it remains the Kingdom’s best kept secret for a relaxed, peaceful getaway. German family built, owned and operated Sandy Beach Resort offers 12 exclusive bungalows, located just footsteps from the most beautiful beach in Tonga. Every bungalow has a private More Info »

Lindsay Guesthouse

Lindsay Guesthouse is located in the heart of Ha’apai in the Pangai village, conveniently located to all stores in down town. Offering budget accommodation for travellers with 12 comfortable rooms and 4 private. Rates (TOP) Single $60 Double $60 Family room $75 We provide free transportation to and from the airport and breakfast is provided at More Info »

Taiana’s Resort

Located on Uoleva Island, Ha’apai, Taiana’s Resort is right on the beach. We look forward to welcoming you to our lovely part of the world. We offer 5 traditional Tongan fale’s. Hire our double kayak, or relax on the beach with a fresh coconut.     Beach House – Fale Rates (TOP): Single fales –  More Info »

Fifita Guesthouse

Fifita Guesthouse is conveniently located in the centre of Ha’apai’s capital, Pangai. You will feel at home with the friendly, courteous staff and management. You can also enjoy a nice meal at the bottom of the guesthouse at Mariner’s Cafe. Offering 14 rooms at the following rates (TOP): Ensuite deluxe $90 Ensuite $70 Double $55 Single $40 Twin $30 More Info »

Fanifo Lofa Kitesurf Tonga

Fanifo Lofa, Tonga’s only dedicated kite surfing resort, can be found on the beautiful shores of Uoleva Island in the Ha’apai group. We have found the ultimate kite surfing destination here in Tonga. Come and stay in our beach fales, snorkel, swim with whales and experience the ultimate kite surfing holiday. We have created our More Info »

Sea Change Eco Retreat (formally Talitali’anga)

For travellers who enjoy truly unique destinations, Sea Change is an off the grid eco retreat/resort providing unique luxury beach front accommodation with the lightest possible footprint on Uoleva Island, Tonga (part of the Ha’apai Island group). We also operate Ha’apai Whale and Sail, the longest running whale watching/swimming encounter business in Ha’apai.  Sea Change More Info »

Matafonua Lodge

A well priced resort located on the spectacular Northern tip of Pangai, Ha’apai. 10 delightful Tongan-inspired fales with covered balconies, very comfortable bedding and mosquito nets. The shared bathrooms have solar hot showers and all towels are supplied. Safe swimming, incredible snorkelling and kite-surfing directly off beach, or simply relax in our bar/restaurant over looking More Info »

Serenity Beaches Resort

Serenity Beaches is a small resort, on a remote island, designed for those wishing to leave stress behind and find peace and tranquility. Stay in one of our five private ocean front fales. Three large fales feature a porch, sleeping area with queen sized bed, bathroom with garden shower and a loft. Two single room, More Info »

Eat

Mariner’s Cafe

Located in the centre of Pangai, beneath Fifita’s Guest House, Mariner’s Café is a hub for travellers to meet for a drink or a bite to eat. Enjoy a range of tasty meals, ice-cold drinks and home-made desserts. This is the perfect spot to meet like-minded people in a friendly, relaxed atmosphere. Mariner’s Café is More Info »

Serenity Beaches Resort

Serenity Beaches is a small resort, on a remote island, designed for those wishing to leave stress behind and find peace and tranquility. Stay in one of our five private ocean front fales. Three large fales feature a porch, sleeping area with queen sized bed, bathroom with garden shower and a loft. Two single room, More Info »

Matafonua Bar and Restaurant

Featuring cuisine from around the world with a South Pacific flair. From fine dining to burgers, sandwiches and pizza not forgetting amazing desserts and fully stocked bar. The laid back atmosphere and incredible views over the lagoon will have you coming back for more. Outside guests are more than welcome. Also offering one of the More Info »

A to B

Ha’apai Hospitality

Discover the hidden treasures of Ha’apai… Take an authentic island tour and discover the real Tonga. For a long time Ha’apai has been thought of as ‘Tonga’s best kept secret’… Let me show you around! From the tip of Lifuka to the tip of Foa with plenty of local knowledge and photo opportunities en-route. Explore beautiful Ha’apai and discover about the history and culture More Info »

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