Discover Vava’u’s Best Beaches
Sweeping sands lined with dramatic cliffs or coconut palms and dipping into azure waters are what a getaway to Vava’u is all about (as well as culture, whales and breathtaking lookouts but you can get more into that in the 50 Best Things to Do in Vava’u). So, what are Vava’u’s best beaches? We’ve compiled all of our favourites on the main island, as well as the outer islands, on this list of the best beaches in Vava’u.
Note that we haven’t mentioned some beaches you may have heard of, such as Keitahi Beach as this private beach is no longer open to visitors.
1. ‘Otua Lea Beach
After a steep descent down a concrete pathway, you’ll emerge on the breathtaking white sands of Otua Lea Beach. The scenic beach makes for some stellar photos with its cliff formations and rock mounds, while the water is usually pleasant for a swim on a calm day. Legend has it that when the waves crashed onto the shore of this beach at their loudest, it was a signal to local warriors that their enemies were coming. Warriors would prepare an ambush on this beach, not allowing for their enemies to make their way inland. That’s why the beach is called ‘Otua-lea meaning “the god who speaks”.
Location: East coast of Ta’anea village. From Ta’anea, take the road east at the eastern end of the village. It’s approximately 800 m (875 yards) until you reach the upper car park for ‘Otua Lea Beach.
2. Euakafa Island
Arguably, it’s the outer island beaches that are the most spectacular in Vava’u and one that we personally love is the beach encircling Euakafa Island. Between the white sands, turquoise waters, dense forest and the ultra-boutique and simplistic Dream Island Resort, the island provides the ultimate castaway experience.
Location: Euakafa Island, southern part of the Vava’u Group next to ‘Euaiki Island.
3. ‘Ene’io Beach
Located just down the road from ‘Ene’io Botanical Garden, ‘Ene’io Beach is a private beach that’s open for visitors for free except on Sundays. Relax on the sand and enjoy the manmade “swimming pool” area where rocks and coral have been cleared for safer swimming, especially for kids. While you’re there, join the reputable garden tour, as described in the 5 Best Guided Island Land Tours of Vava’u.
Location: East side of ‘Utu Vava’u (the main island), south of Tu’anikivale. Keep left at the fork in Tu’anikivale and ‘Ene’io is approximately 900 m (980 yards) down this road.
4. Ofu Island
One of the closest outer islands to the main island, Ofu Island is a short boat ride away from the old Neiafu Harbour. A golden-sand beach stretches along the coast of the entire village of this island, while the other side of the island offers more secluded beaches. Stay at Beautiful Ofu Island Backpackers or visit for their weekly umu feast and floor show to make the most of this beach. Find out more about the backpackers in the 10 Best Budget Accommodations in Vava’u. Note that because this beach is located in a village, wear respectful swimwear and cover-up once you get out of the water to respect the local customs.
Location: Ofu Island. Boats to Ofu Island depart from Houmelei Wharf at Neiafu Tahi (the old Neiafu Harbour), Neiafu.
5. Tali e Hau Beach
A real hidden gem on the southeast coast of Koloa Island, connected to ‘Utu Vava’u (the main island) via a causeway, Tali e Hau Beach is a privately owned and well-kept beach ideal for swimming, snorkelling and relaxing. Not to be confused with the beach in Talihau village on ‘Utungake (see below), this beach is a little further south of ‘Ene’io Botanical Garden & Beach. Note that you should avoid swimming too close to the reef for your own safety. Also, note that this is a private beach, so ask the Visitor Information Centre (Neiafu) to call ahead on your behalf. You may be asked to make a small donation for maintenance (around TOP$10). See more beaches to snorkel from in The Best Snorkelling in Vava’u: Top 10 Places to Snorkel.
Location: At Holeva village, continue on the main road south for approximately 500 m (550 yards) and turn left onto the first plantation road. Continue on the plantation road for approximately 460 m (500 yards) and the beach access road is on your right. Southeast coast of Koloa Island.
6. ‘Euaiki Island
Another glorious outer island with an even more glorious beach is ‘Euaiki Island. Book a spot at the island’s only resort, Treasure Island Eco Resort, which is open during the whale season to enjoy this beach being part of your holiday. Learn more about the resort in the 10 Best Resorts in Vava’u.
Location: ‘Euaiki Island, southern part of the Vava’u Group next to Euakafa Island.
7. Port Mourelle
More famous for being a sheltered all-weather anchorage for yachts, Port Mourelle also happens to have a magnificent beach. The white sands lined with coconut palms look like something from a postcard. If you’re not visiting via yacht or boat tour, you can also hike to this beach if staying at The Reef Resort – as listed in the 10 Best Walks & Hikes in Tonga.
Location: Central west coast of Kapa Island.
8. Mala Island
Home to a fantastic resort, Mala Island is also a good go-to for beachcombing. There’s a cute beach at the entrance of Mala Island Resort, while the private island also has another more secluded beach on its east side. Again, more about this resort is listed in the 10 Best Resorts in Vava’u.
Location: Mala Island, between Kapa Island and ‘Utungake Island.
9. ‘Utungake Beach (Tongan Beach Resort)
The beach of the Tongan Beach Resort offers another opportunity to enjoy a beach that is easily accessible from the main island. The resort and beach are connected to the main island via a series of causeways to ‘Utungake. Visitors to the resort can enjoy a meal at the on-site restaurant, while those staying here can enjoy this beach whenever they want using the watersports gear provided. For more about the restaurant, see the 10 Best Restaurants in Vava’u.
Location: Signposted along Hala Utungake Road at the northern tip of ‘Utungake Island.
10. Talihau Beach
At the southern end of ‘Utungake Island is the village of Talihau and the location of another pleasant beach that is easily accessible from the main island. Talihau Beach offers some worthy sunbathing areas, especially as there are some trees for shade, as well as places for a dip. Lucky’s Beach Houses are ideally located at Talihau Beach if you wish to stick around. Due to the village location, we recommend wearing respectable swimwear and covering up if you’re not swimming. It’s best to avoid this beach altogether on a Sunday, as boats from the outer islands land here for villagers to go to church. Try these 10 Things to Do in Tonga on a Sunday instead!
Location: Southern end of Hala Utungake Road, ‘Utungake.
More About Beaches in Vava’u
That’s it for our list of the best beaches in Vava’u. For more experience other than beachcombing, take a look at the following guides:
- 10 Best Boat & Sailing Tours in Vava’u
- 10 Best Sights & Natural Attractions in Vava’u
- 50 Best Things to Do in Vava’u
Finally, if there’s anything we’ve missed, you’re likely to find it in The Complete Travel Guide to Vava’u.