10 Best Natural Attractions in Tonga© TongaPocketGuide.com
10 Best Natural Attractions in Tonga

10 Best Natural Attractions in Tonga

© TongaPocketGuide.com

The Most Breathtaking Natural Wonders in Tonga

Tonga, a remote nation in the South Pacific with around 170 islands, just sounds like nature’s paradise, but that would be an understatement. It’s a place where humpback whales frolic, where parrots can be heard through the ancient rainforest, where coral reefs have their own societies, and beaches, caves and blowholes are some of the formations you can see. Discover some of our favourite natural attractions in Tonga in the list below.

1. Mapua ‘a Vaea Blowholes (Tongatapu)

A must-do on Tonga’s main island, Tongatapu, the Mapua ‘a Vaea Blowholes line an impressive 5 km (3 mi) of coastline. Watch the waves crashing into and through tiered blowholes, shooting water as high as 30 m (100 ft) into the air when the conditions are right. It’s like nature’s own epic water fountain! Learn more about the blowhole, as many other wonders on the main island, in Sightseeing on Tongatapu: Top 10 Sights & Natural Attractions.

Location: End of Vaea Road, Houma, southwest side of Tongatapu.

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2. Swallows Cave (Vava’u)

A top snorkelling spot and a hotspot for most boat tours in the Vava’u Group, Swallows Cave is a stunning natural attraction in Tonga. Carved into the side of Kapa Island, this towering cave provides a safe harbour for large schools of fish, which create mesmerising patterns for snorkellers. Check out some of the other natural wonders nearby in Sightseeing in Vava’u: Top 10 Sights & Natural Attractions.

Location: Northwestern tip of Kapa Island, Vava’u.

10 Best Natural Attractions in Tonga(c) tongapocketguide.com

3. Houmale’eia Beach (Ha’apai)

Ok, so Tonga has so many stunning beaches that it would be quite the mission to name them all here, but one well worth mentioning is Houmale’eia Beach in the Ha’apai Group. Not only is Houmale’eia Beach easy to get to, but it has amazing snorkelling at the 400 m (1,300 ft) long reef. The beach is even backed by a couple of resorts, should you want to stay there or at least pop in for a bite to eat at their restaurants. Check out more of nature’s finest in this island group in Sightseeing in Ha’apai: 10 Best Sights & Natural Attractions.

Location: The northern end of the main road, Loto Foa Road, Foa Island, Ha’apai.

10 Best Natural Attractions in Tonga© TongaPocketGuide.com

4. ‘Eua National Park (‘Eua)

Tonga’s largest national park is the obvious go-to for nature. Located on the island of ‘Eua, the ‘Eua National Park can be experienced either by hiking or by taking a 4WD tour. The national park is home to several natural attractions that we list in Sightseeing on ‘Eua: 10 Best Sights & Natural Attractions, including the breathtaking Lokupo and Lau’ua Lookouts, Rats Cave, Giant ‘Ovava Tree and more! While you’re visiting the park, look out for birds like the iconic red shining parrot.

Location: East side of ‘Eua Island.

10 Best Natural Attractions in Tonga© TongaPocketGuide.com

5. The Whales

We can’t talk about natural attractions and not mention the whales! Yes, Tonga’s waters provide a safe refuge for humpback whales who migrate from the Antarctic between July and October in order to raise their young. Not only can you watch these majestic animals from shore, but you can even join a specialised whale swimming tour to snorkel with these gentle giants. Find out more in The Guide to Whale Swimming in Tonga.

Location: All over Tonga! See Where to Swim with Whales in Tonga for recommended locations.

10 Best Natural Attractions in Tonga(c) tongapocketguide.com

6. ‘Anahulu Cave (Tongatapu)

Another top natural attraction on the island of Tongatapu, ‘Anahulu Cave is an impressive limestone cave with its very own natural swimming pool. After ducking through the cave entrance, you’ll be in a 400 m (1,300 ft) long chamber lit up for you to admire the formations hanging from the ceiling, from stalactites to pillars. Discover more of Tonga’s subterranean wonders in the 10 Best Caves in Tonga.

Location: Signposted from the southern end of Haveluliku village, east side of Tongatapu.

10 Best Natural Attractions in Tonga(c) tongapocketguide.com

7. Lianga Huo ‘a Maui Landbridge (‘Eua)

Another interesting formation on ‘Eua, the Lianga Huo ‘a Maui is a natural archway or landbridge carved into the cliffs of the island’s southern coast. A self-guided walk to visit other natural sights, like the Rock Gardens or Lakufa’anga Cliffs, will bring you to the viewing platform to check out ‘Eua’s natural archway. See the 50 Best Things to Do on ‘Eua for information on the walk to get there.

Location: South coast of ‘Eua. From the Rock Gardens, follow the grass trail east through a short tract of forest to a parking area where a sign indicates a short walk to Lia’anga Huo ‘a Maui. Return the same way.

10 Best Natural Attractions in Tonga© TongaPocketGuide.com

8. ‘Utula’aina Lookout (Vava’u)

Some of the most breathtaking views in The Kingdom can be found at the ‘Utula’aina Lookout on the northern coast of ‘Utu Vava’u. After making your way via rental car or one of the land tours, your reward is a viewpoint across the northern coast of the island with its white-sand beaches, rugged clifftops topped with forest, and turquoise waters. An elevated platform here makes the viewing all the easier, while the interpretation sign explains how this site was once the residence of the 10th Tu’i Tonga – find out more about this line of kings in A Brief History of Tonga.

Location: Well signposted from the north of Holonga village, ‘Utu Vava’u, Vava’u. From Holonga, follow the gravel road north for approximately 1 km (0.6 mi) and turn left at the fork. The lookout is another 650 m (710 yards) down this road.

10 Best Natural Attractions in Tonga© TongaPocketGuide.com

9. Flying Foxes of Kolovai (Tongatapu)

In Tongatapu is the village of Kolovai where you’ll find tens, even hundreds, of flying foxes residing in colonies in the village’s trees. Visiting this attraction is as easy as walking around the village and looking up at the trees. It’s well worth it to watch these large fruitbats loving life and making all kinds of crazy noises together. Check out more wildlife encounters like this in the 10 Best Wildlife Experiences in Tonga.

Location: Kolovai, west side of Tongatapu.

10 Best Natural Attractions in Tonga(c) tongapocketguide.com

 10. Hihifo Freshwater Spring (The Niuas)

Finally, for those looking to get well and truly off the beaten track, head to the Hihifo Freshwater Spring. A crystal clear freshwater spring appears to crack open the earth’s surface in Hihifo, the largest village on the far-flung island of Niuatoputapu. A small set of steps leads into the spring, which begs for a dip! Locals also go to the spring for a swim, so it’s best to wear shorts and a T-shirt to be dressed more modestly. Learn more about the island group that no one has ever heard of in The Complete Travel Guide to The Niuas.

Location: Western side of Hihifo village, northwest coast of Niuatoputapu, The Niuas.

10 Best Natural Attractions in Tonga© Eunice Pongipong

More Natural Attractions in Tonga

That’s it for the best natural attractions in Tonga. For more about experiencing the natural wonders of Tonga, take a look at the following:

Finally, inspire yourself with more experiences with the 101 Best Things to Do in Tonga: The Ultimate List. Plus, get even more tips in The Complete Travel Guide to Tonga.


Laura (Lola) S.

This article was reviewed and published by Laura, editor in chief and co-founder of Tonga Pocket Guide. Since arriving solo in the South Pacific over 10 years ago with nothing but a backpack and a background in journalism, her mission has been to show the world how easy (and awesome) it is to explore a paradise such as Tonga. She knows the islands inside-out and loves sharing tips on how best to experience Tonga’s must-dos and hidden gems. Laura is also editor of several other South Pacific travel guides.

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