Luxury Activities and Tours in Vava’u
When visiting a place as unique as the Vava’u Islands, it should be filled with special experiences. Luckily, that’s what Vava’u is all about, boasting some of the best sailing, kitesurfing and sports fishing grounds in the South Pacific! If you’re not into water adventures, then you can always unwind with a yoga session. Otherwise, swimming with majestic humpback whales never fails to amaze… Get inspired for more premium tours and activities in this list of the best luxury experiences in Vava’u!
While you’re here, don’t miss The Luxury Guide to Vava’u to plan every aspect of your getaway to paradise.
1. Scuba Dive Among Stunning Coral
Available year-round, scuba diving is a must in the warm and vividly clear waters of Vava’u! See amazing marine life, like fish, sharks, nudibranchs, crustaceans and hard and soft corals, while exploring incredible underwater seascapes like the Clan MacWilliam Wreck, drop-offs, chimneys, caves, swim-throughs and the list goes on! Most of the dive operators can be found on the waterfront of Neiafu, which you can brush up on in The Best Dive Shops & Operators in Vava’u.
Location: Dive operators depart from Fangafoa Marina, Neiafu, ‘Utu Vava’u.
2. Sail Tonga’s Best Sailing Grounds
Vava’u and the Port of Refuge are renowned for being one of the best sailing grounds in the South Pacific. Of course, most travellers don’t realise what this means unless they step onboard a sailing vessel and discover it for themselves. For instance, TradeWinds offers luxury sailing holidays from Neiafu taking you across the island group to anchor in remote bays and even team up the experience with staying at a private island resort. Learn more about the experience in the 10 Best Boat & Sailing Tours in Vava’u.
Location: Sailing tours depart from Fangafoa Marina, Neiafu, ‘Utu Vava’u.
3. Catch Marlin and GT on a Fishing Charter
So sailing, scuba diving… If we said that Vava’u is also an angling oasis, would you think we are starting to pull your leg? It’s true, Vava’u provides exciting opportunities to catch marlin and giant trevally. Join Hakula Lodge which specialises in game fishing with charters from their private dock. Alternatively, reel in the big ones with Kiwi Magic or Vava’u Sport Fishing Charters. A number of fishing charters can be found along Neiafu’s waterfront offering exciting fishing all year round! Compare your options in The Best Fishing Charters in Vava’u.
Location: Charters depart from Neiafu and Toula. Check out location recommendations in the link above.
4. Swim with Humpback Whales
Most who come to Vava’u have “swimming with humpback whales” on their bucket list. Tonga is one of the very few countries in the world where swimming with these majestic creatures is legal, although there are strict guidelines followed by whale operators to ensure an ethical experience. Getting in the water with these gentle giants is humbling, to say the least, best done on one of the four-passenger small-group tours for a more intimate and premium whale swimming experience. Compare such tours in the 10 Best Whale Swim Tours in Vava’u.
Location: All over Vava’u! See the link above for tour recommendations and their locations.
5. Indulge in Island Cuisine
“Fine dining” is not really a thing in Vava’u (except for those fortunate enough to be staying at The Reef Resort). Nevertheless, more upmarket experiences are available at restaurants like the Bellavista Cafe & Restaurant overlooking Neiafu Harbour where Italy meets the South Pacific. Tongan Beach Resort sets a more upmarket tone with its ambient lighting and gorgeous table decor at its beachfront location. Otherwise, The Harbourview is much closer to town and couples quality cuisine with gorgeous views. For more recommendations, see our full list of the 15 Best Cafes & Restaurants in Vava’u.
Location: All over Vava’u! See the link above for locations, or check out The Food Guide to Vava’u for more information about dining at the outer island resorts.
6. Experience the “Grand Tour” at ‘Ene’io Botanical Garden
Get the premium experience of one of the most reputable landmarks in Vava’u on the “‘Ene’io Grand Tour”. Join the former Director for Agriculture and Forestry, Haniteli Fa’anunu, for an insightful guided tour of his beautifully curated ‘Ene’io Botanical Garden. You’ll be greeted with a fresh floral garland on arrival before embarking on a walking tour of the garden to learn about the fascinating uses of plants and flowers from across the South Pacific. After the guided garden tour, enjoy a demonstration or live show of how plants are processed into valuable products by the local women at the garden’s visitor centre. Continue to a scrumptious Tongan feast with a roast suckling pig and taste local dishes. Relax and enjoy the dazzling display of traditional dancing with a floor show and a live band with folk music to enjoy. Note that a minimum of eight guests are needed for this tour to go ahead.
Location: For the “Grand Tour”, pick-ups are offered from Neiafu. Otherwise, the garden is found south of Tu’anikivale, ‘Utu Vava’u. More in-depth directions are listed in the 5 Best Guided Island Land Tours of Vava’u.
7. Take Part in a Rejuvenating Yoga Session
When you’re on islands as relaxed and beautiful as Vava’u, it would almost be a crime to not unwind with a yoga session. Self-guided yoga can be enjoyed from just about anywhere in Vava’u (how about one of the island lookouts?) but those staying at the Mandala Resort with TradeWinds have the pleasure of doing yoga at the island’s purpose-built beachfront pavilion. More about yoga retreats can be found in the 5 Beautiful Places to Experience Yoga in Tonga.
Location: Mandala Resort, between Mafana and Ofu Islands.
8. Hit Vava’u’s Kitesurfing Hotspots
With protecting reef systems and trade winds experienced all year round, Vava’u provides ideal conditions for kitesurfing. Mounu Island Resort offers kitesurfing lessons, gear hire and sales when given advanced notice. Advanced kitesurfers can launch from the beach, while lessons take place at low tide in a sandy-bottom lagoon. Alternatively, bring your own gear and make the most of the amazing kitesurfing grounds of the Hunga Lagoon, as well as off the coast of Foeata Island where Blue Lagoon Resort is located.
Location: Mounu Island, Foeata Island (Blue Lagoon) and Hunga Lagoon (Hunga Island).
9. Embark on an Island Cruise
There are many breathtaking attractions across the islands of Vava’u. Check out a giant sea cave home to huge schools of fish at Swallows’ Cave, snorkelling at the vibrant Coral Gardens, stop by Port Mourelle and land at a stunning beach at Nuku Island with one of the island cruises. Many of the resorts have their own island tours available, while those from Neiafu are listed in the 10 Best Boat & Sailing Tours in Vava’u.
Location: All over Vava’u! See the link above for recommendations and their locations.
10. Shop for Unique South Pacific Art and Handicrafts
Finally, Vava’u and especially Neiafu provide some unique shopping experiences. Browse gorgeous mabe pearl, coconut and shell jewellery which can usually be customised at the ‘Utukalongalu Market, while more gorgeous carvings and unique gifts await at Kaila Handicraft. Learn more about the best shopping experiences in Where to Buy the Best Souvenirs in Tonga.
Location: Neiafu Market – Halaevalu Wharf, Neiafu. Kaila Handicraft – Fatafehi Road, Neiafu.
More Luxury Experiences in Vava’u
That’s it for the most luxurious of the luxury experiences in Vava’u. But of course, “luxury” means something different for everybody. So, if there’s anything that we’ve missed, you’re likely to find it in one of the following guides:
- 50 Best Things to Do in Vava’u
- 10 Most Luxurious Experiences in Tonga
- 10 Adult-Only Activities in Vava’u
Finally, don’t leave without bookmarking The Complete Luxury Guide to Tonga with the last of our advice for luxury travellers.