Tonga: Bikes and Botanical Gardens

We have a full day to explore Vava’u on our bikes, so decide to cycle out as far as we can to make the most of it. The Botanical Gardens are at the furthest east end of the mainland and seem like the only real thing to do today.

Tonga: Lost Palangis

One last boat ride through the crystal clear waters between Kapa and Vava’u mainland. The sky is overcast and it’s windier than ever so I think we’ve really killllled it with the weather. Our poor boat driver is getting absolute smacked by waves and is soaked by the time we reach land. So sorry mate.

A feast is displayed down the length of a long table

Tonga: Church on Sunday

We’re getting in a kayak when our mate from last night hops over the fence to the resort to tell us lunch is almost ready. We thought we had another 2 hours to kill but I guess the service ended early!

I’m excited to be attending a Sunday afternoon at a Tongan church. Sundays are a mega day of rest here. No shops are open, no one works, not even lucrative whale watching for tourists. The country goes into rest mode, and everyone goes to church.

Tonga: Mate Ma’a Tonga

It’s finally clear enough to catch an amazing sunrise outside our bungalow. The weather forecast has been unreliable, but is looking up!

Tonga: Swimming with Whales

Chesney says he’s never seen me so chipper so early in the morning. Usually I’m a troll at this hour (second part are my words, not his, don’t worry). But it’s a special occasion! Today we’re swimming with WHALES!

Tonga: Resort

Today we’re moving on from Tongatapu to Vava’u. Before coming to Tonga I assumed Vava’u would be a nearby island. That’s usually how countries work, right? Island groupings within a reasonable distance? Well not really in this case. Vava’u is an hour’s flight away, about as far from the neighbouring country of Niue as from the Tongan capital. At least that somewhat explains why our tickets cost so much.

blue waves crashing into the shore below stormy skies

Tonga: Tongatapu

I’m a heavy sleeper, and can sleep through dogs barking, roosters crowing, and bells ringing, but not all 3 at once. And not at 4:30am. But yes! That’s when the church opens, and the bells are to let the vastly religious population of Tonga know they are now welcome inside. This is only Wednesday… I wonder what Sunday will be like.

Tonga: Arrival

It’s finally time for Tonga! I’ve been dying to go to some of the pacific islands since moving to New Zealand, so when my boyfriend and I found flights for $380NZD (250USD) return, we had to jump on it.

New Zealand: Ruapehu and Hot Springs

We’re up early and ready to hit the road to Mount Ruapehu, the main event and reason we’ve taken this road trip. We’ve managed to sleep through the night without another leg of the bed snapping off or any other injuries, which is nice.

New Zealand: Blue Spring and Lake Taupo

Another sunny weekend, so you know what that means… another road trip!

This time we’re heading down to Lake Taupo and Mt. Rupehu, and bringing Chesney’s best friend with us. Ryan is heading off to Indonesia for 7 weeks starting this Monday, and is trying to squeeze in some bro time before he goes. I think that’s precious, but I’m not staying home, so we will all be broing it out together.