Premium Experiences 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 or an island massage. Otherwise, swimming with majestic humpback whales never fails to amaze… Get inspired for more premium experiences in this list of luxury activities in Vava’u!
While you’re here, you might also be interested in The Luxury Guide to Vava’u.
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, 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 Snorkel & Scuba Dive Tours in 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. Tropical Yacht Holidays (more info on Viator and Tripadvisor), The Moorings and South Pacific Sea Adventures are based in Neiafu offering day trips to multi-day sailing excursions. Sailing is also available from some of the luxury resorts around Vava’u. Learn more about sailing in Vava’u here.
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 who specialise in game fishing offering charters from their private dock. Alternatively, pop for GTs with Poppin’ Tonga based at Lucky’s Beach Houses. A number of fishing charters can also be found along Neiafu’s waterfront offering exciting fishing all year round! Compare your options in 10 Best Fishing Charters in Vava’u.
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 tours in the 10 Best Whale Swim Tours in Vava’u.
5. Indulge in Island Cuisine
“Fine dining” is not really a thing in Vava’u. Nevertheless, more upmarket experiences are available at restaurants like the Bellavista Cafe & Restaurant overlooking Neiafu Harbour where Italy meets the South Pacific. The Mandala Restaurant at the Mandala Resort offers a romantic dining room and lounge experience open to guests and day-trippers. For more recommendations, see our full article, The Guide to the Best Eats & Restaurants in Vava’u.
6. Take Part in a Rejuvenating Yoga Class
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. Mandala Island Resort offers yoga and reiki sessions in the resort’s waterfront pavilion. They also offer private yoga sessions in your accommodation.
7. Indulge in a Soothing Massage
Another way to unwind and find your inner peace is to relax with a soothing massage. Be pampered with an Indian head massage with reflexology at the Mandala Resort, or choose one of the other treatments available.
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 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, boat trips are available to more amazing kitesurfing grounds on the eastern side of Vava’u. Additionally, those with their own kitesurfing gear can enjoy excellent kitesurfing at the Hunga Lagoon from The Beach House, as well as from Mandala Resort.
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 Japanese 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 include Hakau Adventures, Riki Tiki Tours, Explore Vava’u and more. See The Best Boat Tours of Vava’u for a comparison.
10. Shop for Unique South Pacific Art and Handicrafts
Finally, Vava’u and especially Neiafu provides some unique shopping experiences. Browse gorgeous mabe pearl jewellery at the Vava’u Pearl Centre at the main wharf and Leonati Arts opposite the Tourist Information Centre. See impressive tapa paintings and woven baskets at the Langafonua Handicrafts Shop next to the information centre or the Neiafu Market on the waterfront. The VA Connect Craft Shop next to the Bellavista Cafe is also worth checking out.