Tonga is an off-the-beaten track destination with no mass tourism, no large hotels and only a trickle of tourists visiting the islands. Those visiting on holiday tend to be more adventurous minded and wanting to explore a little away from the beaches. Unfortunately tourism is just not big enough to support organised soft adventure tours like zip-lining, horse riding adventures or quad bike tours but Tonga is a great place to just go out and explore and see what comes by. Villages are great places to experience every day life and most days the women are busy weaving mats in their houses or fishing in the lagoons whilst the men are out tending their gardens.
If you are the type of traveller that likes to just go out and explore, the best place to visit is the Ha'apai Group which has lovely fishing villages on the main island of Lifuka. If you want to explore further, head to the main town of Pangai where you can hire a boat (or tag along with the locals), to explore the even more remote outer islands. If you're interested in exploring an active volcano you can hire a boat to visit Tofua, a stunning cone shaped island caldera with a 500m deep crater lake in the middle.
The main island of Tongatapu is easy to explore although there are no organised adventure tours. The best adventure tour is to visit Eua Island which takes just ten minutes by small pane and offers sleepy villages, horse riding and walking trails along coastal cliffs.
Vava'u adventures evolve around its myriad of waterways and there are a handful of small boat day cruises where you can explore limestone caves and visit uninhabited islands. It's also a great place for sea-kayaking with sheltered bays and passages.