10 Best Caves in Tonga© TongaPocketGuide.com
10 Best Caves in Tonga

10 Best Caves in Tonga

© TongaPocketGuide.com

Where to Find Caves in Tonga

Tonga is full of surprises; one we’re admittedly about to ruin for you with this list of incredible caves in Tonga! Many visitors to The Kingdom in the South Pacific might only come for the humpback whales or to experience the Tongan culture, but the natural landscapes like Tonga’s caves never fail to surprise and amaze. From limestone caves with natural swimming pools to underwater caves only accessible through scuba diving, there are plenty of amazing caves to explore. Take a look at our top picks in the list below!

1. ‘Anahulu Cave (Tongatapu)

A limestone cave and the only freshwater cave in Tongatapu, ‘Anahulu Cave not only amazes with its limestone features but also provides a refreshing dip. Pay a small entrance fee to duck inside this 400 m (1,300 ft) long cave, lit up with artificial lighting to help take in all its stalactites and pillars. Follow the well-formed walkway and guide ropes to find a freshwater pool ideal for a swim. Learn more about this attraction and many more in the 10 Best Natural Wonders in Tonga.

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

10 Best Caves in Tonga© TongaPocketGuide.com

2. Swallows Cave (Vava’u)

A large sea cave carved into the side of Kapa Island, Swallows Cave is a popular snorkelling site in the Vava’u Group. Many of the boat tours in Vava’u have Swallows Cave on the itinerary, where a snorkel into the cave is highly recommended. Swim among the large school of fish sheltering in the cave and also admire the formations all around. There are also reef fish to admire at the entrance. Learn more about this spot in the 10 Best Places to Snorkel in Tonga.

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

10 Incredible Caves in Tonga© TongaPocketGuide.com

3. Fangatave Caves (‘Eua)

Not just one cave, but tens of limestone caves can be explored in the cliffs backing Fangatave Beach on the island of ‘Eua. A guide is recommended for this hiking excursion (learn more in The Best Guided Tours in Tonga), which will take you down limestone cliffs to explore multiple caves on the way down to the beach. Check out more natural wonders on this magical island in the 50 Best Things to Do on ‘Eua.

Location: Signposted along the dirt road heading east at the northern end of Houma village, northeast coast of ‘Eua. A guide is highly recommended.

10 Incredible Caves in Tonga(c) Tonga Ministry of Tourism

4. Mariner’s Cave (Vava’u)

Another cave in the Vava’u Group, Mariner’s Cave is a worthy cave to explore for strong snorkellers who can swim underwater for about 4 m (13 ft). You’ll emerge in an airtight chamber with an eerie fog created by the outgoing surge which makes the pressure and temperature drop. There is also a lower entrance at 16.5 m (54 ft) for scuba divers. The cave can be accessed on snorkelling tours, as listed in the 10 Best Snorkelling Tours in Tonga.

Location: Tours depart from Fangafoa Marina (near Mango Cafe), Neiafu, ‘Utu Vava’u, Vava’u.

10 Incredible Caves in Tonga(c) Tonga Ministry of Tourism

5. Veimumuni Cave (Vava’u)

A more easily accessible cave, Veimumuni Cave is a small cave with a freshwater pool on the main island of Vava’u, ‘Utu Vava’u. A short walkway leads down to a viewing platform of the coast, as well as the cave’s entrance where you’ll find a freshwater pool. A refreshing dip is made all the more inviting by the steps leading into the pool, even if the cave does look a little spooky. According to legend, the cave was the bathing place of the maiden goddess, Vei. Discover more attractions in the area in the 50 Best Things to Do in Vava’u.

Location: Signposted from the main road in Toula village, ‘Utu Vava’u.

10 Incredible Caves in Tonga© TongaPocketGuide.com

6. Rats Cave (‘Eua)

The ancient island of ‘Eua has had many rocky features carved into its landscape over the millions of years it has been here, with one interesting feature being Rats Cave (‘Ana Kumā). The cave is named after the small tunnel to crawl through before a small hole opens up into the cliffside abyss below – not for the faint-hearted!

Location: Located in the ‘Eua National Park, east coast of ‘Eua. A guided tour of this area is highly recommended as not all of the appropriate turn-offs are signposted the entire way. Otherwise, look up directions in our guide to Sightseeing on ‘Eua: Top 10 Sights & Natural Attractions.

10 Incredible Caves in Tonga© TongaPocketGuide.com

7. Hina Cave (Tongatapu)

Found on the private beach of the Oholei Beach Resort, Oholei Beach not only boasts idyllic white sands but also hides the famous Hina Cave. Explore the large cave with an opening in the ceiling and see Hina herself laid to rest while still waiting for her lover to return (or at least, the rocky outline of her). Take some time to relax on the stunning beach while you’re there. At the time of writing, the beach and cave are free to visit but a small fee may be introduced when the resort reopens its accommodation. Check out more amazing beaches across The Kingdom in the 20 Best Beaches in Tonga.

Location: Oholei Beach Resort, well signposted from Lavengatonga, east side of Tongatapu.

10 Best Caves in Tonga© TongaPocketGuide.com

8. Cathedral Cave (‘Eua)

Only accessible through scuba diving, Cathedral Cave was discovered in 2001 and is the largest sea cave in the South Pacific. The cave under ‘Eua is one of the best dive sites in Tonga, which makes for an impressive sight at 100 m (330 ft) long, 50 m (165 ft) wide and 30 m (100 ft) deep. Daylight beams through the holes in the ceiling, making for spectacular light displays throughout the dive. Learn more about scuba diving here in The Guide to Scuba Diving in Tonga.

Location: North coast of ‘Eua.

10 Incredible Caves in Tonga(c) Tonga Ministry of Tourism

9. Shark’s Tooth Cave (Vava’u)

For more caves to explore underwater, dive at Shark’s Tooth Cave in Vava’u. The cave has three openings joined by a 16.5 m (54 ft) tunnel. Inside the cave are several chambers, two of which are above sea level. Look out for schools of fish decorating the waters, as well as crayfish, nudibranchs, butterflyfish and more. See more amazing dive sites like this in the 10 Best Dive Sites in Tonga.

Location: Northeast side of Kitu Island, Vava’u.

10 Incredible Caves in Tonga(c) Tonga Ministry of Tourism

10. Hot Spring Cave (Ha’apai)

An interesting and unique cave for divers to check out, Hot Spring Cave has a hydrothermal vent gushing hot water into the cooler waters of the cavern. The dive site in the Ha’apai Group has a 15 m (49 ft) high ceiling, as well as interesting sponges and corals near the entrance. See more dive sites in this island group in the 5 Best Dive Sites in Ha’apai.

Location: Ofalanga Island, Ha’apai.

10 Incredible Caves in Tonga(c) Tonga Ministry of Tourism

More About Caves in Tonga

That’s it for the best caves in Tonga. For more of The Kingdom’s natural wonders, check out 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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