Find Breathtaking 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
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 400m (1,300ft) 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 in 10 Free & Cheap Things To Do on Tongatapu.
Location: Haveluliku, Tongatapu
2. Swallows Cave
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 in the cave is highly recommended. Swim among the large school of fish sheltering in the cave and also admire the formations all around. There’s also reef fish to admire at the entrance of the cave. Learn more about this spot in the 10 Places to Snorkel in Vava’u.
Location: Kapa Island, Vava’u
3. Fangatave Caves
Not just one cave, but tens of limestone caves can be explored in the cliffs backing Fangatave Beach in ‘Eua. A guide is recommended for this hiking excursion, which will take you down limestone cliffs to explore multiple caves on the way down to the beach. Find out more about this adventure in the 5 Best Hikes in ‘Eua.
Location: Northeast coast of ‘Eua
4. Mariner’s Cave
Another cave in the Vava’u group, Mariner’s Cave is a worthy cave to explore only for strong snorkellers who can swim underwater for about 4m (13ft). You’ll emerge in an airtight chamber with an eerie fog created by the outgoing surge making the pressure and temperature drop. There is also a lower entrance at 16.5m (54ft) for scuba divers.
Location: Nuapupu Island, Vava’u
5. Veimumuni Cave
A more easily accessible cave in Vava’u, Veimumuni Cave is a small cave with a freshwater pool on the main island, ‘Utu Vava’u. The freshwater pool is quite shallow, going no deeper than 2m (6ft). There is a sign at the walkway entrance to the cave telling the history and legend behind the cave. Learn more about this cave and other free attractions nearby in the 10 Free & Cheap Things To Do in Vava’u.
Location: Toula, Vava’u
6. Rats Cave
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. While the cave is pretty cool in itself, it’s the view from the cave opening which is bound to take your breath away – a view across the rainforests and beaches of the ‘Eua National Park. See how to hike to this cave in the 5 Best Hikes in ‘Eua.
Location: ‘Eua National Park, ‘Eua
7. Cathedral Cave
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 100m (330ft) long, 50m (165ft) wide and 30m (100ft) 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 Best Scuba Diving Tours in ‘Eua.
8. Shark’s Tooth Cave
For more caves to explore underwater, dive at Shark’s Tooth Cave in Vava’u. The cave has three openings joined by a 16.5m (54ft) 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 in the area in the 10 Best Dive Sites in Vava’u.
9. Hot Spring Cave
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 15m (49ft) 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.
10. Hina Cave
Finally, enjoy this cave in a unique way! Hina Cave is not only an impressive coastal cave on the beaches of eastern Tongatapu, but it’s also the venue for one of the most popular cultural shows in Tonga. Oholei Beach Resort hosts cultural performances in the cave followed by a Tongan feast at the resort every Wednesday and Friday night, as well as every Sunday afternoon. Find out more in The Best Cultural Shows on Tongatapu.
Location: Oholei Beach, eastern side of Tongatapu