How to Plan the Best Trip to ‘Eua, Tonga
Raw natural beauty awaits on the island of ‘Eua. Pronounced “Ay-wah”, the island with too many vowels and not enough consonants is a nature lover’s paradise between the lush rainforest of the ‘Eua National Park to the jaw-dropping cliffs of Lakufa’anga.
Limestone cliffs are carved into incredible works of art creating attractions like archways and caves that are easy to explore. Bird watching for the red shining parrot or swimming with humpback whales is how you will get your wildlife fix, while accommodations in local communities will get you engaged in the local culture through kava sessions and delicious umu feasts. It’s raw, it’s rugged and it’s the “forgotten island” that you’ll never forget!
Dive a little deeper into experiencing ‘Eua in your style of travel with this complete travel guide to ‘Eua.
Frequently Asked Questions About ‘Eua
We’re here to plan the best trip ever, so we won’t waste any time in giving you the questions that most travellers have when visiting ‘Eua.
Where is ‘Eua Located?
‘Eua is located southeast of Tongatapu in the south of Tonga.
How Old is ‘Eua, Tonga?
‘Eua is around 40 million years old, the oldest island in Tonga and one of the oldest in the South Pacific.
What is the Population of ‘Eua?
The population of ‘Eua is approximately 5,000.
What is the Weather Usually Like on ‘Eua?
The daily average temperature on ‘Eua is 25°C (77°F), while the yearly average rainfall is 1,600 mm (63 in). Find out more in What is the Weather Like in Tonga?
How Do You Get to ‘Eua, Tonga?
International flights from Fiji, Australia and New Zealand land at Fua’amotu International Airport on Tongatapu where travellers can get a connecting domestic flight to ‘Eua or take a ferry from Nuku’alofa. Find out more in the 5 Ways to Get to (& Around) ‘Eua.
How Long Should I Spend on ‘Eua?
We recommend a minimum of 2-3 days on ‘Eua, but there’s enough to do for a 5-7-day trip.
How Old is ‘Eua, Tonga?
‘Eua Island in Tonga is estimated to be around 40 million years old.
What Villages Are in ‘Eua, Tonga?
There are 16 villages on ‘Eua. The villages of ‘Eua are Houma in the north, ‘Ohonua and Tufuvai on the west coast, and Angaha, Pangai, Futu, ‘Esia, Mata’aho, Sapa’ata, Fata’ulua, Mu’a, Petani, Tomgamama’o, Vaitaki, Ha’atu’a and Kolomaile in the centre of the island.
Finally, check out the Information, Shops & Services in ‘Eua for more practical tips.
What to Do on ‘Eua
This 40-million-year-old island has formed some amazing and unusual features over its ancient history, giving you plenty of natural attractions to explore. That’s not to say that you can’t do your Tonga must-dos here, as whale swimming and immersing in the Tongan culture are all on the activity menu.
The Top Experiences on ‘Eua
What are the must-dos? Here are some of the ‘Eua highlights:
- See the Lakufa’anga Cliffs, Rock Gardens, wild horses and the Li’anga Huo ‘a Maui Arch
- Explore the amazing beaches of Tufuvai, ‘Ufilei and Ha’aluma
- See ‘Eua’s famous banyan trees; Big ‘Ovava Trees #1 and #2
- Birdwatch for the red shining parrot (koki)
- Swim with or watch humpback whales
- See it all on a 4WD island tour
- Peer down ‘Ana ‘Ahu (Smoking Cave)
- Mingle with the locals at faikava or church
- Watch the first sunrise from Matamahina Hopo Lookout
- Spearfish for tuna, mahimahi and more…
Where to Stay on ‘Eua
Aside from our top recommendations listed alongside this complete travel guide to ‘Eua (or at the bottom, if you’re reading this on mobile), we’ve compiled the best accommodations and resorts based on price, suitability for families, couples and more. What’s more, each article is written by real people rather than some dodgy algorithm!
- 5 Best Self-Catering Accommodations
- 5 Best Guesthouses
- 8 Best Budget Accommodations
- 5 Best Family Accommodations
- 5 Most Romantic Accommodations
And for a comprehensive list, see Where to Stay on ‘Eua: The Best ‘Eua Accommodations.
Where to Eat on ‘Eua
Compared to elsewhere in Tonga, the food scene in ‘Eua is minimal. With only a tiny selection of ever-changing takeaways, ‘Eua is not exactly known for its restaurants. As for meals in your accommodation, meal services are available which are an authentic representation of what the islanders eat.
The Best Restaurants and Takeaways on ‘Eua
Talei’s Restaurant (north end of Pangai), formerly Fane’s Restaurant, serves all your comfort classics, from ika kelevi (fish in sauce) to fish/sausage/chicken and chips/manioke, and all for a very very affordable price. Enjoy it all in the pleasant undercover seating area or order to takeaway. Available Monday to Friday from 9 am to 5 pm.
Place your order before 1 pm and the team at ‘Alakoka Tahi Moana Guest House (Pangai) can spruce up grilled fish, chicken curry, fish and chips of a vegetarian ensemble at their on-site restaurant for guests and non-guests alike. Available Monday to Saturday.
If you need to pick up something on the go or an emergency ice cream, Lei’ataua Canteen (Pangai) has light bites like meat pies, sandwiches, sushi, ice cream, popcorn and more for sale at their hole-in-the-wall canteen next to their grocery store.
Finally, pop into some of the grocery stores as you travel around ‘Eua, as many of them sell local snacks and baked goods like manioke tama, fai kakai and more. See the 10 Unique Foods in Tonga You Have to Try to learn more.
Things to Do on ‘Eua for Foodies
A few ways to get your foodie fix in ‘Eua is to participate in one of the Sunday umu. An umu is a traditional cooking method using an underground oven to slow-cook root crops and meat, with a staple of the feast being lu, which is meat and coconut cream wrapped in a taro leaf. If you’re invited to an umu by a local, it’s customary to either bring a gift (ice cream from the grocery stores has always been a winner with us, as Tongan families have lots of kids) or feel free to leave some cash behind as a thank you. Otherwise, there will be a fee with accommodation providers. Note that you will also be eating first and separate from your hosts – this is also customary in Tonga. Learn more in our guide to Tonga Etiquette: Respecting the Local Customs.
Self-Catering on ‘Eua
Combine the facilities of one of the 5 Best Self-Catering Accommodations on ‘Eua with the food supplies available at one of the many grocery stores across Pangai or fale koloa (smaller convenience stores) elsewhere and enjoy the privacy and affordability of self-catering on ‘Eua. Learn more about food shopping in Information, Shops & Services in ‘Eua and The Guide to Food Shopping in Tonga.
Budget Holidays on ‘Eua
‘Eua is a backpacker’s paradise thanks to most of the accommodations here being super affordable. Not only that, but you don’t have to empty your wallet to have an amazing time on the island, with many free and cheap things to do. Most guided tours are reasonably priced, while self-guided hikes or hiring a car to explore the island are inexpensive ways to discover the highlights. Find out more about a budget trip to the island in The Guide to ‘Eua on a Budget.
Things to Do on ‘Eua on a Budget
- Spot whales from shore
- Go to a Sunday church service
- Experience a traditional umu
- Do the guided hike through the ‘Eua National Park
- Jump on a 4WD tour of the island.
Learn more about each activity and more in the 10 Free & Cheap Things to Do on ‘Eua.
Cheap Accommodation on ‘Eua
Luckily enough, most accommodations on ‘Eua are extremely affordable, with some of the cheapest private rooms being around TOP$80, while you’ll rarely have to pay more than TOP$100 per person. Find out more about all of the cheap places to stay in the 8 Best Budget Accommodations on ‘Eua.
Family Holidays on ‘Eua
‘Eua Island is certainly one of the most rewarding Tongan destinations for families. It’s a place where kids can engage and learn about the local culture, see amazing landscapes on family-friendly walks and enjoy watching whales from boats or shore. Learn more about taking the kids to ‘Eua in The Guide to ‘Eua for Families.
Things to Do on ‘Eua with Kids
- Watch the whales between July and October
- Explore the island on an exciting 4WD tour
- Tackle one of the island’s family-friendly walks
- Explore beaches and rockpools
- Learn Tongan crafts and do dance lessons with the local villagers.
Find out more about each experience in the 10 Things To Do on ‘Eua with Kids.
Family Accommodation on ‘Eua
Family accommodation is limited but very affordable on ‘Eua. Families have a choice of guesthouses, resort-style units and self-contained units. Find out more in the 5 Best Family Accommodations on ‘Eua.
Honeymoons and Romantic Getaways to ‘Eua
‘Eua certainly makes a more down-to-earth honeymoon or romantic destination in Tonga. It’s a place to connect with nature and each other through amazing hikes, cultural experiences, whale swimming and more. Learn about how to visit ‘Eua with a romantic spin using The Honeymoon & Romantic Getaway Guide to ‘Eua.
Romantic Things to Do on ‘Eua
- Enjoy long walks on ‘Eua’s secluded beaches
- Tackle one of ‘Eua’s amazing hikes together
- Do some bird watching
- Stargaze in some of the world’s clearest skies
- Watch the sunrise or sunset from the island’s legendary vantage points.
Get details on each experience in the 8 Most Romantic Things to Do on ‘Eua.
Couples’ Accommodation on ‘Eua
With most accommodation being basic and budget, you’ll need to have an open mind when it comes to looking for “honeymoon” style accommodation. That’s not to say that there aren’t some charming stays available in the form of glamping and guesthouses. Check them out in the 5 Most Romantic Honeymoon Accommodations on ‘Eua.
Luxury Holidays on ‘Eua
‘Eua is not a place for lavish hotels and five-star resorts. Accommodation and food are basic, but it’s the experiences that are considered more “premium”, such as spearfishing from local boat charters.
Additionally, guided hikes provide a more premium way to experience highlights like the Fangatave Beach and Caves and the ‘Eua National Park. Refreshments, often your guide grabbing a coconut off a tree for you, and lunch is often included.
Finally, being in one of the only places in the world where it’s possible to swim with humpback whales is also a privileged experience. Check out which operators to have this once-in-a-lifetime experience in The Best Whale Tours in ‘Eua.
Adults-Only Holidays in ‘Eua
The adults-only style of travel is becoming more and more of a trend in the South Pacific, but it hasn’t caught on in ‘Eua for good reason. ‘Eua is already a tranquil paradise where other tourists, let alone overenthusiastic children, will be the least of your worries. Nevertheless, if you manage to find a babysitter for the kids or are seeking activities more aimed toward adults, then The Adults-Only Guide to ‘Eua has heaps of advice.
Activities on ‘Eua for Adults
- Hike in the lush forest of the ‘Eua National Park
- Swim with humpback whales
- Fish or spearfish for big ones with the local fishermen
- Rock climb at Fangatave Beach
- Join the local lads for a round of faikava.
Find out more about each experience in The Adults-Only Guide to ‘Eua.
Where to Stay on ‘Eua for Adults
There are no adult-only accommodations in ‘Eua. There is, however, the odd holiday home where guests can choose who they share the home with. So by all means, make it adults-only! For a list of all the accommodations in ‘Eua, check out Where to Stay in ‘Eua. Otherwise, check out other islands with adult-only stays across the Kingdom in the 5 Best Adult-Only Accommodations in Tonga.
More About ‘Eua
That’s it for our complete travel guide to ‘Eua but by no means the end of our ‘Eua advice! Check out the following guides for more ‘Eua goodness:
- The Best Guided Tours on ‘Eua
- The Best Car Rentals on ‘Eua
- 10 Best Sights & Natural Attractions on ‘Eua
- 6 Best Historical Sites on ‘Eua
- The Best Whale Tours in ‘Eua