Transport in ‘Eua
Sitting some 40km (15 miles) from Tonga’s main arrival island, Tongatapu, ‘Eua Island presents one of the easiest islands to get to for a true outer island experience. ‘Eua, which is Tonga’s oldest and second-largest island, is accessible by domestic flight from Tongatapu, as well as by ferry. However, there are no plane and ferry services on a Sunday. As for getting around the 87km2 (34 miles2) island, there is one main road with some 15 villages scattered alongside it. To get to attractions in the ‘Eua National Park Forest, 4WD roads are your connection. Learn more about the transport in ‘Eua, in this quick guide on how to get to ‘Eua, as well as how to get around ‘Eua.
For more tips on visiting the island, see The Complete Guide to ‘Eua.
1. ‘Eua by Plane
The quickest and often most convenient way to get to ‘Eua is by taking a flight from Tongatapu. Flights are available from the domestic terminal of the Fua’amotu Airport in Tongatapu where there are usually a scheduled three flights per day. Flight times are approximately 10 minutes (but more like seven minutes, making it one of the world’s shortest commercial flights). Be sure to book a window seat in the whale season (July-October) where the low-flying flight makes it ideal for spotting whales from above. Flight cost approximately TOP$100 for a one-way adult ticket and TOP$52 for a child ticket. Learn more about flights to ‘Eua in Where Can You Fly to in Tonga?
2. ‘Eua by Ferry
A cheaper alternative to flying is taking the ferry from Nuku’alofa in Tongatapu to ‘Eua. Two ferry operators, ‘Eua Sea Transportation Council sailing the MV Maui and the MV ‘Onemato and Tofa Ramsay Shipping sailing MV Alaimoana, have ferries departing from Queen Salote Wharf in Nuku’alofa. Journeys are 1 hour to 2h30mins and cost approximately TOP$20-$25 per person. Although ferries run on a schedule, where up-to-date schedules can be accessed via the Nuku’alofa Visitor Information Centre, it’s best to contact before departure as schedules are subject to change. Ferries depart and arrive in ‘Eua from Nafanua Wharf. Learn more about taking the ferry in Tonga here.
3. Accommodation Transport
Public transport is not available on ‘Eua. Nevertheless, accommodation providers fill up the demand, not only offering airport/wharf transfers as a standard but also transporting guests to attractions around the island. Accommodation providers offer guests pick-up and drop-off from many of the hikes around the island, while most accommodations also have island tours via 4WD to see many of the island’s highlights. Learn more about the accommodations on ‘Eua here.
4. Bicycle Rental in ‘Eua
Bicycle rentals are offered in abundance on ‘Eua, which make a fun way to travel along the quiet roads of this 87km2 (34 miles2) island. Hire a bike from accommodations, such as Taina’s Place and The Hideaway, for instance. Bike hire costs approximately TOP$10 for a half-day and around TOP$20 for a full day. It’s best to ask for the newest bike available. Because distances are quite deceiving on ‘Eua, it’s best to seek advice from your accommodation host before you head out.
5. Car Rental in ‘Eua
While accommodations such as Seta Homestay offer car rental on ‘Eua, note that the island only has one main road suitable for two-wheel-drive cars. Most other roads require a four-wheel-drive vehicle. Plus, with cars on ‘Eua not being in the best of shape, you never know what you’re getting when you hire a car in ‘Eua. Note that you need a Visitor’s Driver License before you can legally drive in Tonga, which can be obtained in Nuku’alofa, Tongatapu. See Things to Know About Car Rental in Tonga for a lot more on the subject.