Horse Treks and Where to See Wild Horses in Tonga
Visit Tonga in the 19th Century and horses would be a significant part of the landscape. Back then, you would not meet a Tongan who didn’t know how to ride. Today, well, have you heard of cars? Although the magic of galavanting across the islands on horseback has well and truly ended, the remnants of this charming way to explore can still be experienced on one of the few horse riding tours or when watching herds of wild horses freely left to roam. We go through how to enjoy these experiences in this guide to horse riding in Tonga.
5 Things to Know About Horse Riding in Tonga
If you don’t have time to read the whole article, here are some key tips to take away about horse riding in Tonga:
- Horse riding in Tonga is suitable for all ages
- Horse trekking tours are suitable for beginners, as you’ll be paired with the tamest horse
- Although most tours have saddles, traditional horse riding in Tonga is bareback, which you’re usually free to try
- Swimming with your horse is a key feature of Tonga horse trekking tours, however, saddles are usually taken off for this
- Horse riding is currently only available in Ha’apai. However, you can see wild horses on ‘Eua.
Horse Riding in Ha’apai
The only formal horse riding tours in Tonga can be found in the island group of Ha’apai. This island group is renowned for its flat coral islands with idyllic white sands sloping into turquoise waters. Needless to say, it is an attractive setting to enjoy from horseback.
Matafonua Lodge and Sandy Beach Resort Horse Riding Tours
Explore the glorious bush and beach at the northern tip of Foa Island with the sister resorts of Matafonua Lodge and Sandy Beach Resort. The ride takes you on saddleback (or bareback, Tongan style, if you want to give it a go) through the comfortable shade of lush tropical forest before returning along Ha’apai’s silky white sands. Riders have the opportunity to take the horses for a swim (note that saddles will be removed for swimming).
There’s no age limit for these tours and horses will be allocated depending on the rider’s ability. It’s important to note that Tonga’s horses are not the tamest; they are sometimes naughty. So, if you’re feeling a bit skittish and are not prepared to be assertive, then horse riding in Tonga might not be for you.
See the approximate price of horse riding tours in Tonga Travel Budget: How Much Does a Trip to Tonga Cost?
The Wild Horses of ‘Eua
Although there are no formal horse riding tours on ‘Eua, the large island just a 10-minute flight from Tongatapu is famous for its wild horses.
Wild horses can often be spotted on the rugged fields and clifftops of Lakufa’anga Cliffs along the southern coast of ‘Eua. It is thought that the first horses were brought to ‘Eua by Europeans in the 19th Century. Since then, there have been herds of wild horses roaming the rugged terrain of this island.
Learn more about exploring Tonga’s lesser-visited island in the 50 Best Things to Do on ‘Eua.
More About Horse Riding in Tonga
That’s it for our guide to horse riding in Tonga. For more animal encounters, take a look at the following:
- The Guide to Whale Swimming in Tonga
- 10 Best Nature & Wildlife Experiences in Tonga
- 20 Animals & Birds Found in Tonga
Finally, discover more experiences in The Kingdom in the 101 Best Things to Do in Tonga: The Ultimate List.