10 Best Adventure Tours & Activities in Tonga© TongaPocketGuide.com
10 Best Adventure Tours & Activities in Tonga

10 Best Adventure Tours & Activities in Tonga

© TongaPocketGuide.com

Tonga: The Islands of Adventure

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 tours and activities in Tonga!

1. Swimming with Humpback Whales

Let’s not ignore the elephant in the room… Or the 40-ton humpback whale! 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 July 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.

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

10 Epic Adventure Activities in Tonga(c) Tonga Ministry of Tourism


2. Multi-Day Island-Hopping Kayaking Adventures

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 with Friendly Islands Kayak Co. Kayaking is a rewarding way to get from island to island and witness the stunning archipelago scenery at a natural pace without the disturbance of motors. Although it may sound tough, kayaking tours are very approachable and are classed as a “soft adventure” activity. 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.

Location: Vava’u and Ha’apai.

10 Epic Adventure Activities in Tonga© Friendly Islands Kayak Company


3. 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 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.

Location: Scuba diving operators are based in Tongatapu, Ha’apai and Vava’u. Freediving is also available from ‘Eua.

10 Epic Adventure Activities in Tonga(c) Pixabay


4. Sports Fishing and Spearfishing

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 or spearfishing 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.

Location: Vava’u and ‘Eua.

10 Epic Adventure Activities in Tonga(c) Tonga Ministry of Tourism


5. Surfing

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. Intermediates and experts, however, will never look back once they discover Tonga. Take a look at The Complete Guide to Surfing in Tonga for more tips.

Location: Tongatapu and Vava’u.

10 Epic Adventure Activities in Tonga(c) Pixabay


6. Kitesurfing

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, as well as liveaboard sailing charters for unrestrained kite sports across The Kingdom! Find out more in The Guide to Kitesurfing in Tonga.

Location: Ha’apai and Vava’u.

10 Epic Adventure Activities in Tonga(c) Tonga Ministry of Tourism


7. Off-Roading

While it seems that much of the action in Tonga is out on the water, there are 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. Admittedly, all of Tonga’s off-roading tours are on the jungle-clad island of ‘Eua where its gnarly dirt roads are just about the only way to get to the island’s caves, sinkholes and epic lookouts. See the 5 Best Off-Road Tours in Tonga to check these tours out.

Location: ‘Eua.

10 Epic Adventure Activities in Tonga© TongaPocketGuide.com


8. Hiking

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. The most adventurous hike is the Fangatave Cliffs and Beach hike, which has you navigating ropes down limestone cliffs and checking out caves along the way. Needless to say, a guide is highly recommended, which Kiko’s Land Tours provides at ‘Alakoka Tahi Moana Guesthouse.  Check out more hikes around the islands in the 10 Best Walks & Hikes in Tonga.

Location: Most hikes can be found on ‘Eua, but others also exist in Vava’u and Tongatapu.

10 Epic Adventure Activities in Tonga© TongaPocketGuide.com


9. Rock Climbing

A more specialised activity, rock climbing on ‘Eua is incredible for experienced climbers. Ascend the dramatic cliffs of Fangatave Beach, which boast steep limestone climbing in the range of grades 18 to 23. More than 50 routes have been established in ‘Eua so far with more being discovered as the sport develops on the island. Climbers will need their own equipment. Route guides are available on thecrag.com.

Location: ‘Eua.

10 Epic Adventure Activities in Tonga© TongaPocketGuide.com


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 are no guesthouses 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 a week to its two main islands, Niuatoputapu and 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, as well as more lesser-explored destinations in the 10 Less-Travelled Islands of Tonga.

Location: The Niuas.

10 Epic Adventure Activities in Tonga(c) Eunice Pongipongi

More About Adventure Tours and Activities in Tonga

That’s it for our list of adventure tours and activities in Tonga! For more soft adventure experiences, check out these guides:

Finally, discover more unforgettable experiences in the 101 Best Things to Do in Tonga: The Ultimate List, as well as how to plan a getaway to The Kingdom in The Complete Travel Guide to Tonga.


Robin (Lopini) C.

This article was reviewed and published by Robin, the co-founder of Tonga Pocket Guide. He has lived, worked and travelled across 16 different countries before settling in the South Pacific, so he knows a thing or two about planning the perfect trip in this corner of the world. Robin works and consults regularly with the Ministry of Tourism of Tonga. Robin is also the co-founder of several other South Pacific travel guides and is a regular host of webinars with the South Pacific Tourism Organisation.

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