Luxurious Things to Do in Tonga
Imagine sailing a tropical island archipelago in a private yacht, exploring otherworldly coral gardens and swimming with humpback whales. Sounds only like the thing of dreams, but this is, in fact, what a luxury getaway to The Kingdom of Tonga can look like. Islands rich in culture and history await, where some of the uninhabited ones are home to nothing but seabirds and a boutique island resort. We go into how to plan such a trip in The Luxury Guide to Tonga, but for more of the type of wonderful experiences you could be having in The Kingdom, check out this list of luxury activities in Tonga.
1. Swim with Majestic Humpback Whales
One of the very few places in the world where you can have this experience, Tonga offers travellers the opportunity to swim with humpback whales. Each year between June and October, humpback whales migrate to Tonga’s warm waters to breed and calve. During the season, licenced whale swimming operators can take you out on their small-boat tours to snorkel with these gentle giants – a life-changing experience. Learn more in The Guide to Whale Swimming in Tonga.
2. Scuba Dive in Crystal Clear Waters
Tonga offers some incredible dive sites, from the South Pacific’s largest sea cave to fantastical coral arches. There are dive operators in each of the main island groups who can take you out to discover Tonga’s underwater world through visibility rarely less than 30m (100ft). Whether you’re a beginner looking to get qualified or an experienced diver looking for your next exciting dive, there are scuba operators and dive sites to suit most. Check out The Guide to Scuba Diving in Tonga for more information.
3. Reel in Game Fish on a Fishing Charter
All of the South Pacific’s pelagics can be found in Tonga’s waters, which provides some adrenaline-fuelled fishing! Passionate locals and expats are keen to take you to their fishing grounds to reel in the tuna, marlin, mahimahi, wahoo, giant trevally, Spanish mackerel and more. Charters are typically for one group only, so enjoy this exclusive private experience with the people you choose. Check out The Complete Guide to Fishing in Tonga for more advice.
4. Charter a Yacht and Sail Vava’u
Vava’u is one of the most renowned sailing grounds in the South Pacific thanks to its labyrinth of inlets, bays and compacted islands. If you don’t have your own yacht, there are charter yachts to hire from Vava’u, whether it’s for one day or 10. You’ll get the whole yacht to yourself, some charters offering an onboard personal chef while others are licenced to allow you to swim with whales. Learn more in the 5 Best Sailing Charters in Tonga and check out more experiences in Vava’u in the 10 Luxury Activities in Vava’u.
5. Kitesurf Across the Lagoons of Ha’apai
Watersports enthusiasts do not want to miss Ha’apai. Not only is this central island group a scene from a postcard with its palm-filled islands, white sands and azure waters, but it provides the ideal conditions for watersports. Aside from kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding, Ha’apai is a fantastic destination for kitesurfing with consistent tradewinds to harness and butter-flat lagoons to skim over. Learn more in The Guide to Kitesurfing in Tonga.
6. Wake Up to a Morning Yoga Class
Forget Bali or Thailand, Tonga provides an off-the-beaten-track destination for yoga retreats. But even if you’re not ready to commit to a yoga and wellness retreat, there are resorts in Ha’apai and Vava’u that have their own yoga pavilions and shalas for guests to practice yoga in a stunning island setting. There are often yoga instructors on hand to help you with your technique. If interested, check out the 5 Beautiful Places to Experience Yoga in Tonga.
7. Indulge in an Island Massage
Speaking of rest and rejuvenation, another luxurious way to get some R&R in Tonga is with an island massage. Some resorts offer in-house massage services where you’ll be taken into a state of bliss in the resort massage fale. Otherwise, Nuku’alofa is home to some of Tonga’s most comprehensive spas, offering body wraps, massages and beauty treatments. Check out the 6 Best Spas in Tonga and see more luxurious ways to spend your time in the capital in the 7 Luxury Activities in Nuku’alofa.
8. Shop for Truly Unique Tongan Arts and Crafts
There are many captivating aspects of the Tongan culture, but a piece you can take home with you is the incredible handicrafts. Tongans are skilled craftspeople making gorgeous carvings, woven clothing and practical items, and tapa-painted decorations. What’s more, everything you see at the local markets is individually handcrafted so you know that what you’re getting is unique and authentic. Check out 10 Amazing Souvenirs to Get in Tonga for examples of arts and crafts.
9. Do a Private Tour of the Tongatapu Sights
Tonga’s main island, Tongatapu, has many treasures to discover. From the natural wonders of the Mapu ‘a Vaea Blowholes to ancient megalithic structures like the Ha’amonga ‘a Maui, there’s a huge range of attractions to see that can easily fill a whole day. Make that whole day an exclusive experience with one of the private sightseeing tours of Tongatapu. Find out more, plus get more ideas for things to do on the island, in the 10 Luxury Activities on Tongatapu.
10. Have a Private Island Experience
Imagine having a piece of island-paradise all to yourself. Resorts in Ha’apai, especially, can make this happen, whether it’s a trip to a private island for the day complete with a picnic or literally staying on a small island, just you and your loved one, for a whole 10 days! Find out more in the 10 Luxury Activities in Ha’apai.