The Most Beautiful Beaches in Tonga
You didn’t come all the way to the remote islands of the South Pacific not to see beaches! Luckily, the islands of Tonga have many, mostly found in the island groups of Ha’apai and Vava’u, while the most easily accessible beaches are found in Tongatapu and ‘Eua. Check out some of the most stunning beaches in Tonga in the list below!
1. Ha’atafu Beach (Tongatapu)
Easy to access, a surfing and snorkelling hotspot and home to a marine reserve, Ha’atafu Beach is a top choice for many visiting Tonga. Although one of the hardest-hit beaches from the 2022 tsunami, Ha’atafu Beach is still one of the most popular beaches on Tongatapu. It is a clean and sandy beach with a surrounding reef. Enjoy safe swimming and snorkelling at high tide within the beach’s lagoon. Learn more about this beach in the 25 Best Beaches on Tongatapu.
Location: Ha’atafu (access road off Hihifo Road at the southern end of Ha’atafu village), west side of Tongatapu.
2. Houmale’eia Beach (Ha’apai)
A stretch of sand at the tip of Foa Island, Houmale’eia Beach is one of many breathtaking beaches in the islands of Ha’apai. The beach has a marine reserve just off its shores where you’ll find superb snorkelling. It’s backed by Matafonua Lodge and the Sandy Beach Resort, where you can pop in for a bite to eat at their restaurant, hire watersports gear, and, of course, stay for a dreamy island getaway! For more about this island group, check out Sightseeing in Ha’apai: Top 10 Sights in Ha’apai.
Location: The northern end of the main road, Loto Foa Road, Foa Island.
3. Keleti Beach (Tongatapu)
Another picturesque beach on Tongatapu, Keleti Beach lies at the south of the island, featuring white coral sand with tiers of blowholes sheltering a lagoon. The beach can be accessed via a path through the old Keleti Beach Resort (which is no longer open, FYI). Explore a couple of sandy bays with white sand, a rocky coastline to scramble over, and surrounding reefs with blowholes. It’s possible to swim within the lagoon – just don’t go too far out.
Location: Keleti (access road off Liku Road, just south of Veitongo village), south coast of Tongatapu.
4. Fangatave Beach (‘Eua)
One of the most rewarding beaches to get to, Fangtave Beach is accessible after a hike down a hillside full of limestone caves on the island of ‘Eua. A guide for this walk is recommended, which you can learn more about in the 5 Best Hikes in ‘Eua. The remote beach is enclosed by high limestone cliffs and offers a good place to cool off in the water close to shore. What’s more, the limestone cliffs have established rock climbing routes for those with their own rock climbing equipment.
Location: Signposted along the dirt road heading east at the northern end of Houma village, northeast coast of ‘Eua. A guide is highly recommended.
5. Ha’aluma Beach (‘Eua)
Situated in the south of ‘Eua on the way to the famous Rock Gardens and Lakufa’anga Cliffs, Ha’aluma Beach is a reasonably accessible beach if you can get a lift from your accommodation or hire a car (whatever you do, don’t drive down the access road; it’s best to park your vehicle at the top). The reward is a long white sandy beach backed with verdant vegetation. The beach is excellent for snorkelling, especially in some of the larger tidal pools where there are lots of tropical fish to admire. Swimming is generally safe here but just be careful of the outgoing tide and look out for strong currents. Other features of the beach include ancient Tongan stone cuts and stunning sunsets. See more beaches on this island in the 5 Best Beaches on ‘Eua.
Location: Ha’aluma Beach access road is at the intersection just before the main road continues along the southwest stretch of the island toward the Lakufa’anga Cliffs and Rock Gardens. The beach is down a very steep sandy-coloured access road. The road is approximately 645 m (700 yards), so is doable and safer on foot.
6. ‘Otua Lea Beach (Vava’u)
After a steep descent down a concrete pathway in Vava’u, you’ll emerge on the breathtaking white sands of ‘Otua Lea Beach. The scenic beach makes for some stellar photos with its cliff formations and rock mounds, while the water is usually pleasant for a swim on a calm day. Legend has it that when the waves crashed onto the shore of this beach at their loudest, it was a signal to local warriors that their enemies were coming. Warriors would prepare an ambush on this beach, not allowing for their enemies to make their way inland. That’s why the beach is called ‘Otua-lea meaning “the god who speaks”.
Location: East coast of Ta’anea village, ‘Utu Vava’u, Vava’u. From Ta’anea, take the road east at the eastern end of the village. It’s approximately 800 m (875 yards) until you reach the upper car park for ‘Otua Lea Beach.
7. Uoleva Island (Ha’apai)
10.2 km (6.3 mi) of bright white sands encircle the island of Uoleva in Ha’apai, which can be enjoyed by the lucky few staying at one of the four boutique off-the-grid resorts here. The resorts are well-equipped to help you make the most of this picture-perfect beach, from paddleboarding to snorkelling or even prepping a picnic lunch to take for an island walk. Sounds like the dream? Check out some of the resorts in the 10 Best Resorts in Ha’apai.
Location: Uoleva Island, Ha’apai. Resorts provide transfers for guests. Otherwise, boat charters to Uoleva depart from both Taufa’ahau Wharf and the jetty just south of the Visitor Information Centre, Pangai, Lifuka Island.
8. ‘Ufilei Beach (‘Eua)
‘Ufilei Beach presents another easily accessible beach on ‘Eua just north of Ohonua. The beach can be accessed along a hard-packed sand track that closely follows the coast from the road leading north from Nafanua Wharf. If you’re iffy about driving on the beach, however, you can always park at the southern end and enjoy a pleasant walk on the sand with the pekapeka (swiftlets) darting overhead. ‘Ufilei Beach is one of ‘Eua’s better swimming beaches, especially at the northern end of the beach, making it a popular spot with the locals. Discover more experiences on the islands in the 50 Best Things to Do on ‘Eua.
Location: Approximately 600 m (656 yards) north of Nafanua Wharf, ‘Ohonua on the west side of ‘Eua.
9. Likuone Beach (Vava’u)
Likuone Beach makes a stunning photo opportunity from the ‘Utula’aina Lookout in Vava’u. It’s a bit of a rough gravel road to get there, but it’s worth it if you’re feeling confident in your driving ability, are cycling or are on a tour. Learn more about this lookout and more in the 50 Best Things to Do in Vava’u.
Location: The ‘Utula’aina Lookout is well-signposted from the north of Holonga village, ‘Utu Vava’u. From Holonga, follow the gravel road north for approximately 1 km (0.6 mi) and turn left at the fork. The lookout is another 650 m (710 yards) down this road.
10. Nuku Island (Vava’u)
A popular stop on many boat tours in Tonga, Nuku Island Beach on Nuku Island is a small spit of sand with some good snorkelling – look for the eels in the sand! If you don’t feel like snorkelling, then at least it’s a picturesque photo opportunity.
Location: Nuku Island, west of Kapa Island, Vava’u.
11. Hufangalupe Beach (Tongatapu)
Back on Tongatapu, Hufangalupe Beach is one of many stunning sights seen from the Cliff Lookouts in this area. There is a well-hidden track down to the beach should you want a closer look. Nearby, don’t miss the Hufangalupe Landbridge.
Location: Access off Hufangalupe Road, southeast coast of Tongatapu. Note that the last 250 m (270 yards) of this road gets very rough, so you might want to park up on the side if you’re in a low-clearance 2WD vehicle.
12. Malinoa Island (Tongatapu)
There are so many uninhabited islands in Tonga with pristine beaches, that there are certainly many more contenders that could be added to this list. However, since we have a photo of this beach, we know the name of the island, and it’s one that’s visited on many boat tours, specifically whale watching tours, from Tongatapu, Malinoa Island is just one of many breathtaking islands in Tonga with beaches encircling the island.
Location: Off-shore island north of Nuku’alofa, Tongatapu.
13. Euakafa Island (Vava’u)
The outer island beaches are spectacular in Vava’u and one that we personally love is the beach encircling Euakafa Island. Between the white sands, turquoise waters, dense forest and the ultra-boutique and simplistic Dream Island Resort, the island provides the ultimate castaway experience. Learn more about the resort in the 10 Best Resorts in Vava’u.
Location: Euakafa Island, southern part of the Vava’u Group next to ‘Euaiki Island.
14. Oholei Beach (Tongatapu)
A private beach at the Oholei Beach Resort, Oholei Beach not only boasts idyllic white sands but also the famous Hina Cave. Explore the large cave with an opening in the ceiling and see Hina herself laid to rest while still waiting for her lover to return (or at least, the rocky outline of her). Although Oholei Beach is only good for swimming in calm conditions, it’s a scenic beach to visit nonetheless. At the time of writing, the beach is free to visit but a small fee may be introduced when the resort reopens its accommodation.
Location: Oholei Beach Resort, well signposted from Lavengatonga, east side of Tongatapu.
15. Sele’s Secret Beach (Ha’apai)
A stunning beach on Foa Island, Sele’s Secret Beach is the name that we personally give to this beach because we’re still trying to find a local who knows its real name. Until then, we’re calling it after the guy who showed us this hidden gem. With pavement-like rock formations, bright blue waters and coconut palms lining the white sands, this picture-perfect beach is one you’ll be glad to discover at least for a few photos.
Location: On Loto Foa Road (the main road on Foa Island, Ha’apai), take the driveway/road toward the coast after the turn-off to Sandy Beach Resort when heading south. The last section of the dirt road is rough, so park up and walk the rest of the way. Otherwise, this beach is easy to walk to from Sandy Beach and Matafonua Resorts via the road or western beach.
16. Hulu’ i Paongo Point (Ha’apai)
And at the southern tip of Lifuka, you’ll find amazing views where the road ends at Hulu’ i Paongo Point. Admire the scenery of a sweeping white sand beach, as well as Uoleva Island across the channel. Just before you reach Hulu’ i Paongo Point, there is also the Hulu’ i Paongo Tomb, a burial site of a long line of chiefs. Learn more about how to find the tomb in the 5 Best Historical Sites in Ha’apai.
Location: At the very southern end of the main road, Hala Holopeka, Lifuka Island. The last kilometre of road is a dirt road, but it’s still suitable for 2WD vehicles.
17. ‘Ene’io Beach (Vava’u)
Located just down the road from Vava’u‘s renowned ‘Ene’io Botanical Garden, ‘Ene’io Beach is a private beach that’s open for visitors for free except on Sundays. Relax on the sand and enjoy the manmade “swimming pool” area where rocks and coral have been cleared for safer swimming, especially for kids. While you’re there, join the reputable garden tour, as described in the 5 Best Guided Island Land Tours of Vava’u.
Location: East side of ‘Utu Vava’u (the main island), south of Tu’anikivale. Keep left at the fork in Tu’anikivale and ‘Ene’io is approximately 900 m (980 yards) down this road.
18. Katea Beach (Tongatapu)
Lining the southernmost tip of Tongatapu, Katea Beach is not only a sandy haven but features photo-worthy cliff formations such as an archway right across its golden sands. This is one that you’ll have to pay for (approximately TOP$20 per person), but the beach offers great swimming and snorkelling, as well as the benefit of the resort restaurant at Katea Retreat to refuel throughout the day. Needless to say, guests at the retreat get free access to the beach throughout their stay – see The Top 25 Resorts in Tonga.
Location: Nakolo (access road off Liku Road, just south of Nakolo village), southeast coast of Tongatapu.
19. Tali e Hau Beach (Vava’u)
A real hidden gem on the southeast coast of Koloa Island, connected to ‘Utu Vava’u (the main island of Vava’u) via a causeway, Tali e Hau Beach is a privately owned and well-kept beach ideal for swimming, snorkelling and relaxing. Not to be confused with the beach in Talihau village on ‘Utungake (see the 10 Best Beaches in Vava’u), this beach is a little further south of ‘Ene’io Botanical Garden & Beach. Note that you should avoid swimming too close to the reef for your own safety. Also, note that this is a private beach, so ask the Visitor Information Centre (Neiafu) to call ahead on your behalf. You may be asked to make a small donation for maintenance (around TOP$10).
Location: At Holeva village, continue on the main road south for approximately 500 m (550 yards) and turn left onto the first plantation road. Continue on the plantation road for approximately 460 m (500 yards) and the beach access road is on your right. Southeast coast of Koloa Island, Vava’u.
20. … And Just About Any Beach in Ha’apai
Finally, if you’re a bit of a beach bum and want to spend a lot of time on the beach, then just about any beach in Ha’apai is bound to take your breath away. So many of the 62 islands in this island group have beaches sweeping around the entire islands. Learn more about Ha’apai in The Complete Guide to Ha’apai.
More About Beaches in Tonga
That’s it for the best beaches in Tonga, but it’s by no means the end of our advice! Check out more beaches and swimming hotspots to discover in the guides below:
- The Most Beautiful Swimming Holes in Tonga
- 10 Best Places to Snorkel in Tonga
- 10 Best Beach Resorts in Tonga