The Complete Kayaking Guide to Tonga
Gliding across turquoise waters, close encounters with spinner dolphins, turtles and glimpses of whale flukes in the distance, visiting uninhabited islands, stopping off for a snorkel… There’s no better place to kayak than the islands of Tonga (then again, we are quite biased here at Tonga Pocket Guide).
If you dream of paddling in this South Pacific paradise, then your best options for kayaking in Tonga are either kayaking from one of the many resorts with kayaks or taking it to the next level on a guided kayaking tour. We go into detail on both options in this guide to kayaking in Tonga.
Quick Tips for Kayaking in Tonga
- Most resorts offer kayak rental for guests for free. If you are not a guest, you can often still hire a kayak for a fee
- Some accommodations don’t have children’s lifejackets, so be sure ot inquire before you leave home without one if needed
- If hiring a kayak from a resort, ask staff for the best places to explore by kayak (they’ll also probably inform you of places to avoid too)
- You don’t need prior kayaking experience to enjoy kayaking tours in Tonga. Guides will give you a quick instruction on how to paddle efficiently. Sea kayaks used in tours are very stable
- The best time for multi-day kayaking tours is between May and January where sea conditions tend to be at their calmest.
For elaboration on each tip, check out the 10 Tips for Your First Time Kayaking in Tonga.
Resorts with Kayak Hire
One of the simplest ways to enjoy kayaking during your getaway to Tonga is by staying in accommodation that offers kayak hire for guests. Almost all of Tonga’s beachfront resorts offer kayak hire for guests free of charge, giving you no excuse but to explore the surrounding coast. Ask your hosts for the best spots for kayaking from the resort.
Resorts in Tongatapu with Kayak Rental
- The Royal Sunset Island Resort
- Liku’alofa Beach Resort
- Vakaloa Beach Resort
- Heilala Holiday Lodge (small rental fee)
- Ha’atafu Beach Resort
Resorts in Ha’apai with Kayak Rental
- Matafonua Lodge
- Serenity Beaches Resort
- Sandy Beach Resort
- Captain Cook’s Hideaway
- Sea Change Eco Retreat
- Taiana’s Resort (small rental fee)
- Fanifo Lofa Kitesurf Tonga
- Ha’apai Beach Resort
Resorts in Vava’u with Kayak Rental
- The Reef Resort
- Tongan Beach Resort
- Mystic Sands
- The Beach House
- Mala Island Resort
- Treasure Island Eco Resort
- Mounu Island Resort
- Blue Lagoon Resort
- Lupetea Apartment
- Lucky’s Beach Houses
- Beautiful Ofu Island Backpackers
For more information about the accommodations with the best places for kayaking, check out the 10 Best Resorts for Kayaking in Tonga.
Guided Kayaking Tours in Tonga
If you want to paddle further afield than the shores of your resort, then your best and the most enjoyable option is to do a guided kayaking tour. Tonga certainly doesn’t overwhelm you with options when it comes to kayaking company’s but the selection there certainly don’t disappoint, with a fantastic variety of tours from Tongatapu, Vava’u and Ha’apai.
Join Taufatahi Charters for their island-hopping day tour by kayak! The team will pick you up from your Tongatapu accommodation and take you to the eastern side of the island to launch your kayak adventure. You’ll paddle across a tranquil lagoon where you’re guide will tell you about the royal Makaha’a island. Your kayak journey then continues to one of the beautiful outer islands of Tongatapu, Pangaimotu, where you’ll stop for lunch at the island resort’s restaurant. You’ll finally cross to Nuku’alofa where your kayaking trip concludes.
Note that this tour was formerly operated by Fatai Kayak Adventures. Taufatahi Charters offers kayak rentals of the eastern lagoon in Holonga village.
Flying Coconut Powered and Paddled Kayak Tours
Operating from the islands of Vava’u, Flying Coconut offers two types of half-day kayaking tour: powered and paddled. Discover some of the less-visited eastern islands of Vava’u over stunning shallow reefs and to uninhabited islands. The powered kayak tour lasts approximately 2h30mins, while the paddled kayak tour takes about 5h30mins and includes snorkelling gear and a packed lunch. There are options to combine your kayak tour with eating at a resort restaurant, enjoying a cultural tour and doing a land 4WD tour.
Friendly Islands Kayak Company
Choose your adventure with Tonga’s most comprehensive kayaking tour company, the Friendly Island Kayak Company. Most of their options come out of Vava’u with both day tours and multi-day excursions available, while multi-day tours in Ha’apai are also an option.
They have tours to suit most tastes, whether you want to experience camping on Vava’u’s islands or stay at a resort, combine the experience with scuba diving or whale swimming, or simply want to enjoy the snorkelling.
For more information on these experiences, take a look at The Best Kayak Tours in Tonga.
More About Water Activities and Kayaking in Tonga
- The Guide to Snorkelling in Tonga
- The Guide to Scuba Diving in Tonga
- The Guide to Whale Swimming in Tonga
That’s it for the guide to kayaking in Tonga. Inspire yourself with more experiences with the 101 Best Things to Do in Tonga: The Ultimate List. Plus, get even more tips in The Complete Travel Guide to Tonga.