Amazing Activities in ‘Eua
Located in the south of Tonga, just 40km (15 miles) from Tongatapu, ‘Eua is a rugged slice of paradise. The 40-million-year-old island is Tonga’s oldest, which has formed an array of amazing natural features. Think natural archways and the South Pacific’s largest underwater cave! Not only does the island attract curious travellers looking to get off the beaten track, but it attracts humpback whales between July and October, as well as resident parrots and noisy fruitbats. See what amazing adventures you could be getting up to on the island in this list of things to do in ‘Eua!
1. See the Laku Fa’anga Cliffs, Rock Gardens and the Li’Angahuo ‘a Maui Arch
‘Eua is home to an array of amazing hikes to unusual natural features. While we list some of the best hikes in the 5 Best Hikes in ‘Eua, the walk to the Laku Fa’anga Cliffs is an easy one for just about anyone to tackle, even to do self-guided. Highlights of the walk include unusual rock formations, wild horses, red shining parrots, the Li’angahuo ‘a Maui Natural Archway, the dramatic Laku Fa’anga Cliffs and cooling off at the nearby Ha’aluma Beach.
Location: Southern coast of ‘Eua. Pick up maps and information from your accommodation. Accommodations provide transport to and from the walk.
2. Explore the Amazing Beaches
‘Eua is blessed with some glorious beaches, most of which are often completely secluded. ‘Eua’s beaches are ideal for walking, collecting shells (if you have kids or just like shells, dammit), watching whales from, exploring tidal pools with some even big enough to snorkel in like your own human-sized aquarium! Check out Ha’aluma Beach on the south coast for its long white sandy shores and ancient Tongan stone cuts. Tufuvai Beach is also picturesque and easy to access from The Hideaway and Blue Water Retreat accommodations. ‘Ufilei Beach is just north of Ohonua is a good beach for swimming. Otherwise, guided hikes to the remote Fangatave Beach and Lokupo Beach on the east side of the island are amazing rewards after trekking through caves and the rainforest. See more activities like this in the 6 Romantic Activities in ‘Eua for Couples.
Location: Find the locations of each beach mentioned in the 5 Best Beaches on ‘Eua.
3. Do the Forest Plantation Hike
More hiking! The Forest Plantation Hike takes you deep into a planted forest with a huge variety of trees, from pines to cedars, gum trees to sandalwood with pockets of original forest to admire too. But the main reason to do this walk is to visit the Hafu Pool and the huge banyan tree known as the ‘Ovava Tree. See the tree’s roots delve deep into a sinkhole, which you can actually climb down partway before the cave gets too narrow. If you do the entire walk, you’ll reach the Lokupo Lookout and Laua Lookout for awesome views over the ‘Eua National Park. Make sure your guide also takes you to Rats Cave! Learn more about this walk and others in the 5 Best Hikes in ‘Eua.
Location: Eastern side of ‘Eua. Down the road east of Taina’s Place.
4. Swim With or Watch Humpback Whales
Tonga is renowned for being one of the only places in the world where you can legally swim with whales. With that, ‘Eua provides some amazing whale swimming experiences in small fishing boats for a less intrusive experience. The waters around ‘Eua are famous for the whales’ “heat runs”, meaning you’ll find lots of action whether it’s watching the whales from a boat tour or even from shore. Learn more about the whale experiences in The Best Whale Tours in ‘Eua.
Location: Whale swimming operators offer transfers from ‘Eua accommodation.
5. Do a 4WD Island Tour
See the natural and cultural highlights of ‘Eua on a 4WD island tour. Accommodations, such as The Hideaway, Ovava Tree Lodge and Taina’s Place, offer tours that involve short hikes to a range of must-see attractions across the island. Climb to stunning viewpoints for epic photo opportunities, stop for a swim and a snorkel at secluded beaches, see the astonishing 800-year-old ‘Ovava Tree, peer into the amazing sinkhole of the Smoking Cave, visit the southern Rock Gardens and wild horses, the Li’angahuo ‘a Maui natural archway, watch the locals weave mats and make traditional tapa cloth, and the list goes on! We also list this activity in the 5 Things To Do in ‘Eua with Kids.
Location: Available from The Hideaway, Taina’s Place, Blue Water Retreat, Ovava Tree Lodge and Seta Homestay.
6. Learn Traditional Crafts, Dancing and Drink Kava
‘Eua isn’t just all about nature, but the island is home to a rich culture too. Accommodations can organise classes and workshops with the local community so that you can dive a little deeper into the Tongan culture. Learn how to weave a basket or fan, paint your own work of art on a piece of tapa cloth (cloth made from the bark of a mulberry tree), learn how to do traditional Tongan dancing known as a “lakalaka”, and taste kava at one of the village kava parties. See more experiences like this in the 10 Free & Cheap Things To Do in ‘Eua.
Location: Inquire at your accommodation.
7. Go Scuba Diving in Huge Caves
Experienced divers have access to some of Tonga’s best dive sites at their doorstep in ‘Eua. Tackle the renowned Cathedral Cave, the South Pacific largest underwater cave at 100m/330ft long, 50m/165ft wide and 30m/100ft deep. The incredible visibility and beams of sunlight shining through the ceiling allow divers to see the cave dwellers, including sharks, groupers and large schools of fish. Outside of the cave are more diving delights such as huge drop-offs teeming with coral and thousands of tropical fish.
Location: Dives are available from ‘Eua and Tongatapu. Compare scuba diving operators in The Best Scuba Diving Tours in ‘Eua.
8. Fish with the Local Fishermen
Fishing is a way of life on the island of ‘Eua, which also just happens to be an exciting sport. Join one of the local fishermen for the morning on a boat fishing trip to the outer reefs. You’ll get local guidance on the hotspots and learn about what bait to use on the tropical fish that frequent ‘Eua’s waters. While reef fish are a popular catch, you might be lucky enough to catch game species like wahoo, mahimahi and marlin! See more activities like this in 5 Adult-Only Activities in ‘Eua.
Location: Taina’s Place, Blue Water Retreat, The Hideaway and ‘Alakoka Tahi Moana Guest House can arrange fishing trips for you.
9. Look Out for the Red Shining Parrot
That’s right, not only is the underwater world of ‘Eua full of interesting wildlife, but the land provides too! The red shining Parrot, also known as the “koki” is the icon of the island with ‘Eua being the only place in the world you can find this species. It’s often seen and/or heard on the forest walks of the island, as well as along the south coast on the Laku Fa’anga Cliffs Hike (see point #1).
Location: ‘Eua National Park forests and Laku Fa’anga Cliffs.
10. Do Some Rock Climbing
Finally, a more specialised activity, the rock climbing on ‘Eua is incredible for experienced climbers. Ascend the dramatic cliffs of Fangatave Beach, which boast steep limestone climbing in the range of grades 18 to 23. More than 50 routes have been established in ‘Eua so far with more being discovered as the sport develops on the island. Climbers will need their own equipment, exclusively using titanium hardware.
Location: Fangatave Beach, east side of ‘Eua. Transfers and the registration for climbing can be done through Ovava Lodge and Blue Water Retreat.