An Adults-Only Getaway to Ha’apai
The great thing about Tonga’s central island group is that there isn’t really a need for “adult-only” resorts. All of the accommodation here is boutique, either offering rooms exclusively for couples, solo travellers and groups of three, with usually just one fale (beach hut) for families or simply none at all! Ha’apai is certainly an off-the-beaten-track destination, where being “surrounded by kids” will be the least of your worries. What’s more, the experiences here are aimed more toward adults, whether it’s swimming with whales in the open water or honing your kitesurfing skills. We’ll guide you through all the advice for an adult-only escape with this adult-only guide to Ha’apai.
Adult-Only Activities in Ha’apai
- Explore the unspoiled reefs in a scuba diving trip
- Glide across the shallow lagoons in kitesurfing
- Hit the awesome reef and beach breaks straight from your resort
- Catch some big ones on a fishing charter
- Try the national drink, Kava
- Or enjoy some sundowners are one of the island’s bars
- Indulge in a relaxing island massage
- Join a yoga class or a yoga retreat
- Treat your loved one to a private island picnic
- Explore the islands by bike
Find out more about each experience in the 10 Adult-Only Activities in Ha’apai.
How to Get to Ha’apai
Ha’apai is the central island group of Tonga covering an area of 110km2 (43 miles2). The more intimate way to get there on an adult-only holiday is by flight from Tongatapu. Otherwise, ferries are available from Tongatapu and Vava’u. Learn more in the 5 Ways to Get to Ha’apai (& Around Ha’apai).
Ha’apai by Plane
The best start to an adults-only holiday to Ha’apai is by taking a 50-minute flight from Fua’amotu Airport on Tongatapu to Salote Pilolevu Airport on Lifuka Island. Flights run two and sometimes three times a day, except on Sundays. Learn more about flying in Tonga here.
With the islands of Ha’apai being so remote with limited infrastructure, most travellers rely on their chosen accommodation for transport. Resorts will pick you up and drop you off at the airport, which needs to be arranged before arrival. Otherwise, resorts can offer boat trips for island-hopping or transfers to the main island (Lifuka) if you’re staying on a different island.
Although there is no car hire in the Ha’apai islands, your next best bet for getting around independently is by hiring a bicycle. Resorts like the Sandy Beach Resort, Matafonua Lodge, Ha’apai Beach Resort and Billy’s Place, offer complimentary bike hire. Some of the guest houses in Pangai, as well as the Mariner’s Cafe also hire bikes out for the day for a small fee.
Learn more about getting around Ha’apai in the 5 Ways to Get to Ha’apai (& Around Ha’apai).
Ha’apai Activities for Adults
Whale swimming excursions, private island picnics, fishing charters, kitesurfing, surfing, island hikes and more… There’s plenty of amazing experience directed adults on Ha’apai. Here are just a few ideas.
Scuba Diving in Ha’apai
Ha’apai is home to some amazing unspoiled hard coral bommies, soft coral gardens and awesome underwater tunnels to explore. With children having to be at least over 10 years old to take part in scuba diving in Tonga, rest assured you’ll have the experience either with your group or like-minded travellers. Once you’re in the water, you feel like you’re in a world of your own among the vibrant coral species and tropical fish! PADI scuba diving is available with the Sandy Beach Resort and Matafonua Lodge, while SSI scuba diving is available from the Ha’apai Beach Resort. These resorts offer trips for non-guests too.
Reeling in monsters like Wahoo, Mahimahi, Giant Trevally and Tuna are best left to the grown-ups. A fishing charter is a great way to get out on the water and see the islands while engaging in an exciting sport! Whether you’re a newbie or an experienced angler, the Sandy Beach Resort and Matafonua Lodge have the expertise and the equipment for an epic trip trolling for bluewater fish or reef fish. Alternatively, your host at the Captain Cook Hideaway on Uolevu Island also offers fishing trips for guests.
Surfing & Kitesurfing
Admittedly, the surfing and kitesurfing conditions in Ha’apai are suitable for most ages. Nevertheless, these extreme sports are more aimed toward the older crowd, with resorts like Fanifo Lofa Kitesurf Tonga offering instruction to up your game, as well as day trips to their “secret spot” where you can just surf exclusively with your group. Alternatively, the surfing is also pretty epic in Ha’apai where waves are blissfully uncrowded. Some of the best places to surf from include from the Serenity Beaches Resort and Matafonua Lodge where it’s possible to surf straight from the beach.
For more inspiration, see the 10 Adult-Only Activities in Ha’apai.
Nightlife in Ha’apai
Ok, so there isn’t really a nightlife scene on Ha’apai that you would find in Tongatapu or Vava’u. However, visitors can enjoy a few drinks at selected island resorts and try the national drink, Kava.
Bars in Ha’apai
Ha’apai’s central bar and meet-up hotspot is the Mariner’s Cafe & Bar in Pangai. The Mariner’s Cafe serves up all kinds of refreshing beverages, from Tongan beers on tap to homegrown coffee to fresh coconuts.
Sandy Beach Resort offers a spectacular upmarket restaurant and bar exclusively for guests, pouring a range of beers, wine, soft drinks, coconut water and “Juergi’s Coconut Cocktail”!
There’s also a great bar at the Ha’apai Beach Resort providing a cool and airy place to hang out, use the free WiFi and enjoy a few drinks with your mates.
Kava Drinking in Ha’apai
For a more cultural experience, why not try Kava? Kava is a slightly narcotic drink made from the ground-up root of a pepper plant grown across the South Pacific. Drinking Kava can be experienced at resorts like the Serenity Beaches Resort, as well as the locally-run budget resort, Taiana’s Resort.