In this Article by South Pacific travel expert Ian Osborn
Top Day Tours in Samoa — Land & Water Activities — Tour Companies
Apart from being a beautiful destination for a relaxing beach holiday, Tonga has some of the most accessible tiny uninhabited coral islands to explore, some of which have small boutique resorts to stay the night. These islands can be found in Tongatapu Lagoon (off the main island), around the Ha'apai Group and also in the southern section of the Vava'u Group. The coral reefs around all these islands is excellent for all sorts of watersports, especially scuba diving, surfing and game fishing as well as being a popular destination for visiting yachts and sailing holidays.
Our Five Favourite Day Tours in Tonga
Whale Watching Cruise, Vavau Island or HaapaiMagnificent humpback whales visit the protected lagoons of Vavau and Haapai every year between May and October and this is one of only three places in the world where you can swim close to the whales.
Island Hopping Tour, TongatapuIf you ever dreamed of visiting an uninhabited island for the day where yours were the only footprints to be found on the beach, then Tongatapu Lagoon is the place to go. Sand bars, coral atolls and snorkelling.
Tofua Crater, Ha'apaiTofua is a collapsed caldera with a spendid crater lake in its centre and lush forest around its rim. There are trails around the island offering spendid views of neighbouring Kao, a perfect cone shape volcano which rises more than 1000m from the sea. Tofua volcano errupts every few years.
Sailing Cruise, VavauThe myriad of small islands, deep bays, inlets and passages of the Vavau Group are a sailors paradise and what better way to enjoy the islands than on s sailing cruise. Visit Mariners Cave, Swallows Cave and the Coral Gardens for snorkelling and step ashore on an uninhabited coral island.
Tongatapu Scenic TourTongatapu is about the perfect size to circumnavigate on a day tour taking in the islands attractions which include impressive archaeological sites, blowholes, limestone cliffs and wild beaches.
Land & Water Activities
The other unique attraction of a holiday in Tonga is to experience the migration of humpback whales. Now, many countries have these magnificent mammals passing through their waters, but what makes Tonga unique for whales is that they use the calm waters for resting and giving birth and hence spend most of up to four months here just hanging out. It is also one of the few places in the world where you can swim with the whales under strict guidances.
Other reasons to visit Tonga are to experience the Tongan culture which claims the last remaining monarchy in the South Pacific as well as having a massive collection of important archaeological sites from a time when Tongans ruled much of Polynesia. For adventurous travellers there are a couple of remote active volcanic islands to explore whilst nature lovers will enjoy the hiking trails around Eua just off the main island of Tongatapu.
Tonga Tour Companies
There are only a couple of organised sightseeing tours based out of Nuku'alofa Town and these are conducted in small vans. On Vava'u, there are a dozen or more day cruise / game fishing / whale watching charter boats based at Neiafu Town and these run regular day tours during the peak season from May to October with a less frequent schedule in the low season.