Experience Adventure in Tonga
Let’s be honest, Tonga isn’t a place to sip on cocktails and do nothing. It’s a place that awakens your adventurous spirit, whether it’s to swim with whales, scuba dive deep into its tropical seascapes, glide across the lagoons on a kitesurfing board or something else. It’s a place where you’ll want to get out and explore through island hikes or 4WD tours. So experience the natural playground that Tonga provides in the most epic ways with these adventure activities in Tonga.
1. Swimming with Humpback Whales
Tonga is renowned for this particular adventure activity: swimming with humpback whales. Yes, in Tonga it is possible to snorkel with some of the largest mammals on earth which is exciting, beautiful and an adrenaline rush all at the same time. Whales frequent Tonga’s waters between June and October, where licensed whale tour operators in the islands of Tongatapu, ‘Eua, Ha’apai and Vava’u can take you out to have a close encounter with these gentle giants. See The Guide to Whale Swimming in Tonga for more information.
2. Scuba Diving
More adventures await in Tonga’s waters, especially among the coral reefs and caves. See hundreds of tropical marine life on a recreational scuba dive in Tonga or even learn to dive with one of the PADI and SSI operators on the islands. Aside from the amazing colourful displays of fish, coral, sharks, manta rays and turtles that are seen in Tonga, the seascape is out of this world with pinnacles, tunnels, archways and more. Check out The Guide to Scuba Diving in Tonga to “dive” a little deeper into the subject.
Sure, you can do a bit of casual paddling from your resort in Tonga, but if you’re looking for a real adventure, join one of the guided kayaking tours. Kayaking is a rewarding way to get from island to island and witness the stunning archipelago scenery without the disturbance of motors. There are day tours to multi-day excursions to enjoy in Tonga, which you can learn more about in The Guide to Kayaking in Tonga.
4. Sports Fishing
Reeling in South Pacific whoppers like blue marlin, mahimahi and wahoo is enough to get the blood pumping, so if you’re looking for adventure in Tonga, why not give sports fishing a go?! Fishing is kind of a big deal in this island nation, where passionate locals and expats are eager to take you out to their favourite “hotspots”, no matter if you’re a newbie or a serious angler. Check out The Complete Guide to Fishing in Tonga for more information.
Admittedly, Tonga isn’t well-known for its surfing and those who do know about it prefer to keep it that way. Some awesome surf breaks can be found on the northeastern tip of Tongatapu, while more adventurous surfers can find some epic reef breaks by taking boat trips out from Vava’u. With powerful surf rolling across the reefs, Tonga isn’t a surfing ground for beginners. Intermediate to experts, however, will never look back once they discover Tonga. Take a look at The Complete Guide to Surfing in Tonga for more tips.
More popular than surfing in Tonga is kitesurfing. If you’re into this extreme sport, then you’ll love skimming across the butter-flat lagoons of Tonga with its consistent tradewinds for kitesurfing all year round. In fact, there are even dedicated resorts for kitesurfing in Ha’apai. Find out more in The Guide to Kitesurfing in Tonga.
7. Off-Road Tours
While it seems that much of the action in Tonga is out on the water, there are actually some awesome landscapes to discover inland. Get off the beaten track and see the more rugged side of the islands on one of the off-road tours in Tonga. There is a self-drive UTV and quad bike tour in Vava’u, while ‘Eua has several options for 4WD tours taking you to caves, sinkholes and epic lookouts across the island. See the 5 Best Off-Road Tours in Tonga to check these tours out.
Sometimes, the best adventures are those you have on your own two feet. If you like hiking then you’ll love the island of ‘Eua, which is home to the wild and wonderful forest of the ‘Eua National Park. You can also hike down limestone cliffs checking out caves along the way or to coastline decorated in rock gardens and occupied by wild horses. Check out more hikes around the islands in the 10 Best Walks & Hikes in Tonga.
9. Mountain Biking
Mountain biking isn’t huge in Tonga, where bikes are more of a means to get between attractions across Tonga’s small islands. However, there is the opportunity for more adventurous mountain biking excursions in Vava’u where you can either join a mountain biking tour or head out on your own. Check out Can You Do Mountain Biking in Tonga? for more information.
10. Travelling to The Niuas
Adventurous for an entirely different reason, travelling to The Niuas is adventurous in the sense that only the most intrepid travellers head there. These far-flung islands in the northern regions of Tonga are islands stuck in time giving you the chance to experience the real South Pacific. There is only one guest house there and no tour operators, so making the most of your time there means getting to know the locals. And it’s not a place that you can just leave when you feel like it, as there is only one flight every two weeks to Niuatoputapu, even less frequently to Niuafo’ou, and a ferry that decides to come when it decides to come. Learn more about this unexplored island group in The Complete Guide to The Niuas.