10 Places to Snorkel in Vava'u(c) tongapocketguide.com
10 Places to Snorkel in Vava'u

10 Best Places to Snorkel in Vava’u

(c) tongapocketguide.com

Where to Snorkel in Vava’u

The 50 islands of Vava’u provide some stunning snorkelling in Tonga. For those who want to discover the underwater world through the ease of snorkelling, then you’re bound to be amazed by the dramatic caves, coral bommies and reefs in the island group. From snorkelling from shore at your resort to taking a snorkelling boat tour, there are plenty of ways to get your snorkel on in Vava’u. Check out this list of places to snorkel in Vava’u to be inspired for your next snorkelling destination.

For more snorkel talk, check out The Guide to Snorkelling in Tonga and the 10 Best Snorkelling Tours in Tonga.

1. Swallows Cave

Arguably the most popular snorkelling spot in Vava’u, Swallows Cave is a must-do! It’s almost a guaranteed snorkelling spot on any snorkelling trip taken from Neiafu, where you’ll swim into the entrance of a huge sea cave not only lined with tropical reef fish at the entrance but harbouring a huge school of fish inside the cave. The light displays beaming through the cave entrance also makes this an awesome underwater photo opportunity.

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2. Japanese Coral Gardens

Located just off Mala Island, the Japanese Coral Gardens or just “Japanese Gardens” is another spot that many snorkelling tours will take you to. Swim along the many coral bommies with its own little community of fish species living in harmony. You might even be able to spot clownfish swimming into their anemone.

10 Places to Snorkel in Vava'u(c) tongapocketguide.com

3. Mariner’s Cave

Inside Nuapapu Island, Mariner’s Cave is a fun place to discover if you’re a super strong snorkeller/swimmer. The entrance of the cave is through a short underwater tunnel which you’ll need to dive through to emerge inside the airtight chamber. Some snorkelling tours will take you here on request if you prove to be a strong enough swimmer.

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4. Coral Gardens

Some snorkel tours in Vava’u will take you to the wonderful Coral Gardens, home to a variety of fish and diverse coral. It will feel as if you are swimming through valleys of coral as the current drifts you along.

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5. Nuku Island

Admittedly, this is not the best snorkelling spot in Vava’u, but it’s a cool place that many snorkel tours show to guests. The beautiful spot has a small beach, as well as a few fish to check out when snorkelling. Look out for elusive eels that can sometimes be spotted in the sand.

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6. ‘Euakafa Island

For guests staying at the Treasure Island Eco Resort, you have the opportunity to take a snorkelling tour to the neighbouring ‘Euakafa Island. The tour gives you the opportunity to snorkel in the caves of the island – definitely one of the least-visited snorkelling caves in Vava’u so you’re likely to have this piece of paradise all to yourself. Learn more about the resort in the 10 Best Resorts in Vava’u.

10 Places to Snorkel in Vava'u(c) Pixabay

7. The Beach House (Shell Garden)

Those staying at The Beach House on Fofoa Island have safe snorkelling within the lagoon right by the accommodation. There, it’s possible to spot rays, turtles and a variety of fish. Confident swimmers can make their way to the fringe of the reef to see amazing coral displays. The accommodation also offers boat trips to explore Swallows Cave and Mariner’s Cave and is 10 minutes away from the Coral Gardens.

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8. Mounu Island Resort

For more excellent snorkelling straight from the resort, try Mounu Island Resort which has good snorkelling straight off the beach from just about any fale on the island where it’s possible to see a range of fish and coral. The resort can also arrange boat tours for snorkelling at some of the snorkelling spots already listed in this article.

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9. Tongan Beach Resort

The Tongan Beach Resort offers some of the best snorkelling from the main island in Vava’u, ‘Utu Vava’u, which is worth a visit as a casual visitor but is great if you’re a guest! Straight off the beach, you’ll likely see large schools of fish swimming among the kelp, as well as the resident turtle if you’re lucky.

10 Places to Snorkel in Vava'u(c) tongapocketguide.com

10. Mala Island Resort

Finally, those staying at Mala Island Resort are not only a short boat ride away from some of the other snorkelling spots we’ve mentioned, but there’s also great snorkelling right off the beach. Hire a kayak and borrow some snorkelling gear from the resort and head out to explore the amazing underwater world around this island.

10 Places to Snorkel in Vava'u(c) tongapocketguide.com


Laura 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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