A Few Tips About Scuba Diving Holidays in Tonga
If you’ve dived into The Guide to Scuba Diving in Tonga, then you’ll have most the information you need to start planning an awesome scuba diving holiday in Tonga. However, we have a few more Tonga scuba diving tips to share with you to compliment the information in our scuba diving guide, just to help set the right expectations.
1. There’s Never a Bad Season for Diving in Tonga, But…
Tonga’s water temperatures (and air temperatures, for that matter) are consistently warm all year round, as is the water visibility typically at around 30m (100ft). With that in mind, there is never really a bad time to scuba dive in Tonga. Minor differences between the winter and summer seasons in Tonga is that some of the dive operators in Vava’u close for the quiet summer season, so you might not get your first choice in operator. Another difference is if you want to combine your dive trip with seeing Humpback Whales…
2. … If You Want to See Whales, Come in the Winter
Humpback Whales are on many divers’ minds when planning a scuba trip to Tonga. However, you can only see these migrating whales between the months of June and October, but more likely July and October in Vava’u. Swimming with whales is highly regulated, so be sure to check out The Guide to Whale Swimming in Tonga to find out how to have a whale interaction.
3. Book Dives in Advance During the Whale Season
Most of Tonga’s dive operators run whale swimming tours during the whale season (June-October) so if you’re planning a dive holiday during this time, be sure to book trips in advance. Dive boats often get fully booked during this busy time in Tonga.
4. Choose Your Island Group
Tonga is a nation of 190 islands, so choosing “the best place to dive” is an overwhelming task at first glance. Choosing an island group is a good place to narrow down the choice. In short, Vava’u is the island group with the most variety and choices of operators. However, it’s also the busiest island group. Ha’apai is a good option if you want a quieter destination and a more “dive resort” experience. Tongatapu and ‘Eua are good options if you only want to do one or two dives during your visit. Compare the destinations for diving in The Guide to Scuba Diving in Tonga.
5. Not All Dive Operators Offer Courses or Intro Dives
It seems that just about every scuba diving operator offers courses nowadays, but it Tonga, well, that’s not always the case. While some operators in Tongatapu only offer Intro Dives and Bubblemaker courses, some in Vava’u only take certified divers on recreational dives. If you want to learn how to dive in Tonga, look out for operators that offer PADI or SSI dive courses, which we list in the 9 Best Scuba Diving Tours in Tonga.
6. Not All Recreational Dives Include Gear
Scuba diving operators in Tonga, especially in Vava’u, all have different inclusions when it comes to recreational dives. While almost all of them offer hot drinks and snacks between dives (yum!), only some of them actually include equipment rental in the rate of the dive. Many require you to rent the gear at an additional cost, as needed. So when comparing prices, be sure to check whether it includes rental gear if you need it.