Our last full day in Tonga! I’m gutted. 10 days sounds like a decent amount of time but it flies by so quickly!
Last time we were on Tongatapu we drove most of the west side, so today we’re going to hit everything east. One of our priorities is to visit the flying fox sanctuary, but our hostel host tells us that a recent cyclone caused all the bats to move and it’s now closed, which explains why we had so much trouble finding it last time. Conveniently though, there’s a family living in the tree across the street, fully visible from our balcony! Ches is almost as nerdy about the bats as he is about the fish.
Continue reading ➞ Tonga: Perfect Beaches and Kava
While sipping our morning tea and coffee on the balcony of our Air BnB we hear our host’s grandson screaming below us. Not like he’s distressed or anything, but just because he can, I think. We lean over the balcony to say good morning, and he replies “hello palangi” which is the best thing that’s happened to me so far today.
Continue reading ➞ Tonga: Fried Chicken
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.
Continue reading ➞ Tonga: Bikes and Botanical Gardens
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.
Continue reading ➞ Tonga: Lost Palangis
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.
Continue reading ➞ Tonga: Church on Sunday
It’s finally clear enough to catch an amazing sunrise outside our bungalow. The weather forecast has been unreliable, but is looking up!
Continue reading ➞ Tonga: Mate Ma’a Tonga
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 is one of the few places in the world where this is possible. From July to October every year, families of humpback whales make their way south to Antarctica, passing through this part of the pacific with their new babies.
Continue reading ➞ Tonga: Swimming with Whales
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.
Continue reading ➞ Tonga: Resort
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.
Continue reading ➞ Tonga: Tongatapu
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.
Continue reading ➞ Tonga: Arrival