Tonga

Ha’apai, Tonga: Untouched in the South Pacific

We’ve been full-time traveling around the world since October 2014.  Tonga was our 21st country/territory to visit on our boat, Starry Horizons, and it’s definitely on my Top 5 list – because of the Ha’apai group. About the Ha’apai Group Tonga is divided up into five island groups. The capital of Tonga is Nuku’alofa, located…

Tonga

Cruising the Ha’apai Group of Tonga

When we decided to spend this extra year in the South Pacific, we wanted to find quiet places similar to the Tuamotus group of French Polynesia, where we were for two weeks in 2016.  Two of the main island groups we missed that are less-traveled are the Ha’apai group of Tonga and the Lau group…

Tonga

Sailing the Vava’u Islands of Tonga

Tonga is one of our favorite cruising grounds in the world! It’s underdeveloped compared to many other places we’ve been to. Its people are friendly, and it holds onto its culture. Plus, Tonga is where humpback whales come to give birth and raise their young every year. Tonga Sailing Itineraries You should spend at least…

Tonga

Oholei Beach Resort Dinner & Show, Tonga

While attempting to fly from Vava’u, Tonga to the west coast of the US, we encountered some travel fails, giving us a 30-hour layover in Tongatapu.  Thankfully we could make the best of it – stay in a hotel and attend the Oholei Beach Resort Dinner & Show. Where to Stay The closest hotel to…

Tonga

Travel Fail: Real Tonga Airlines

Geography lesson:  Tonga is made up of four main island groups. The southern island group and big island are both called Tongatapu, with the capital named Nuku’alofa.  The biggest cruising port is in the Vava’u island group, on ʻUtu Vavaʻu island, the town of Neiafu. Traveling full time is wonderful for the most part, but it can be…

Tonga

Jailbreak in Tonga

In July, a boat named Sea Oak was anchored in Neiafu Harbor. The couple onboard were prone to yelling (I heard this first hand from other boats in the harbor) and physically fighting. One morning, the woman, a Canadian, wouldn’t wake up – and her husband was arrested.  Sea Oak was still in Neiafu when…

Tonga

A Guide to Swimming with Humpback Whales in Tonga

On our must-do list for Tonga was a whale snorkel experience. Humpback whales come to the South Pacific every August and September, with young calves in tow. Here in Vava’u, it’s common to see whales while out on the water.  Our experience with humpback whales in Tonga is one of the best things we have…

Tonga

Vava’u, Tonga: Neiafu

Through our years of travel on our sailboat, Starry Horizons, Tonga has been one of our favorite stops.  We spent a month in Vava’u in 2016 and liked it so much we came back in 2017 for another month. What’s So Great About Tonga? Tonga is undeveloped when compared to Tahiti, Bora Bora, or Fiji. …