The Best Snorkel & Scuba Dive Tours in Tongatapu©
The Best Snorkel & Scuba Dive Tours in Tongatapu

The Best Snorkel & Scuba Dive Tours in Tongatapu & Nuku’alofa


Snorkelling and Scuba Diving in Tongatapu (and Nuku’alofa)

After landing on Tonga’s main island, Tongatapu, you don’t have to travel far to be in the midst of mesmerising marine life. Tongatapu offers amazing dive sites and snorkelling spots among its five marine reserves and two island parks protecting marine life. Jump on a dive boat or a snorkelling tour to experience the tropical underwater world for yourself. Learn more about how you can experience it all for yourself in this guide to the best snorkel and scuba dive tours in Tongatapu and the island group’s capital, Nuku’alofa.

Note that there is only one registered scuba diving and snorkelling operator on Tongatapu. We will update this guide when more tours become available. 

5 Quick Facts About Snorkelling and Diving from Tongatapu

Before we get started on the best scuba diving and snorkelling tours in Tongatapu and Nuku’alofa, here are some quick facts to show how amazing these experiences can be:

  1. The water temperature is 25-29°C (77-84.2°F) year-round for comfortable snorkelling and diving
  2. All snorkel and dive tours depart from Nuku’alofa
  3. Scuba diving and snorkelling tours tend to not operate between July and October as boats are used for whale swimming tours.
  4. Note that there is often some time for snorkelling above coral as part of whale swimming tours
  5. Sights on Tongatapu dive trips include hard and soft corals, turtles, manta rays and sharks among the 1,500 species of fish – learn more about marine life in A Traveller’s Guide to Wildlife in Tonga.

Learn more about diving in Tonga with The Guide to Scuba Diving in Tonga and snorkelling inThe Guide to Snorkelling in Tonga.

The Best Snorkel & Scuba Dive Tours in Tongatapu©

Deep Blue Diving

Join a long-established dive, snorkel and whale swim operator in Nuku’alofa for a scuba diving or snorkelling expedition in tropical waters. Deep Blue Diving operates dive and snorkel tours from Tongatapu on one of the largest dive boats available on the islands, the MV Kiunia, which runs at a relaxed and comfortable pace with plenty of room to get divers and snorkelers ready. There’s also a toilet on board! Although not used as often, Deep Blue also has a smaller aluminium boat used for some trips if appropriate.

Note that scuba diving and snorkelling tours are only available between November and June (in other words, outside of the whale season).

Scuba Diving with Deep Blue

Deep Blue Diving offers two-tank dives with all equipment hire (but it’s always best to bring your own if you have it), as well as a homemade lunch in reusable containers and refreshments throughout the day. The team offer outer and inner reef dives. Although PADI-affiliated, Deep Blue does not currently offer dive courses. Learn more about dive sites in the 10 Best Dive Sites in Tonga.

Ask about “Sam’s Corner“, which was not ready at the time of writing but is a planned glamping/scuba diving multi-day experience on one of Tongatapu’s outer islands.

The Best Snorkel & Scuba Dive Tours on Tongatapu(c)

Snorkelling with Deep Blue

Outside of the whale season, Deep Blue offers snorkelling tours to the breathtaking ‘Atata Island within Tongatapu’s inner reef. Although the island and surrounding reef have suffered some tsunami damage in recent years, marine life is protected as part of the ‘Atata Special Management Area (SMA) allowing life to regenerate so that it’s still one of the best places to snorkel in Tongatapu.

Snorkelling tours with Deep Blue include all the gear that you’ll need for snorkelling, including snorkel, masks, fins and a wetsuit, as well as snacks and a homemade cooked lunch in reusable containers (a rarity in Tonga).

Learn more about snorkelling hotspots in the 5 Best Places to Snorkel in Tongatapu.

The Best Snorkel & Scuba Dive Tours in Tongatapu & Nuku'alofa© Pixabay

Pangaimotu Island Day Trip

Although not a fully guided snorkelling tour, snorkelling gear is available to hire on the Pangaimotu Island Day Trip which makes it another viable option for travellers seeking a snorkelling experience.

Catch the Pangaimotu Island boat from Faua Wharf for a day of sand, sea and (hopefully) sun! Also known as King’s Island, Pangaimotu Island is your quintessential tropical island where you can spend the day snorkelling at the reef, walking on the beach, and finding yourself a shady spot to relax under a coconut tree (watch your head)! Snorkelling gear is available to rent for a small fee. Bring your own lunch, water and any other supplies you may need.

Boat transfers only operate when there are at least 10 people booked, so it’s best to book ahead for weekday visits. On Sundays, the boat departs from Faua Wharf (Vuna Road) at 11 am and 12 pm and returns at 4 pm and 5/6 pm.

More About Snorkel and Scuba Dive Tours in Tongatapu and Nuku’alofa

That’s right, snorkel and scuba dive tours in Tongatapu and Nuku’alofa are limited but there’s a lot more to do in Tongatapu in between dives. Check out more experiences in the guides below:

Finally, if there’s anything we’ve missed, you’re likely to find it in The Complete Travel Guide to Tongatapu.


Laura (Lola) S.

This article was reviewed and published by Laura, editor in chief and co-founder of Tonga Pocket Guide. Since arriving solo in the South Pacific over 10 years ago with nothing but a backpack and a background in journalism, her mission has been to show the world how easy (and awesome) it is to explore a paradise such as Tonga. She knows the islands inside-out and loves sharing tips on how best to experience Tonga’s must-dos and hidden gems. Laura is also editor of several other South Pacific travel guides.

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