This is a land of contrasts. Tonga has some of the most exciting natural phenomenon, like the wild surf, and laid back people with a love for their culture you probably won’t find anywhere else. And yes, they love visitors and want very much to show them (you) their land and their blessing.
And the beaches here are out of this world. White, contrasty, with a reef full of life, Tonga was created for our enjoyment.
Tonga – even the word is mysterious. And yet, this island-nation is about as friendly and relaxed as they get. Most visitors come here with a resort reservation in hand hoping to experience sun and sea and get unplugged from civilization. Of our journeys, we felt pretty far away from it all here. You know it really depends on how connected you want to be to back home. Sure, they have Internet here, but if you choose, you can remain disconnected from it all, with a little effort.
Since the island of Tonga takes a little work to get to, most are not overrun by tourists. In fact on Vava’u, we found that even the central city of Neiafu was small and not at all interested in expansion or sprawl. But if you are like we – wanting to explore tiny islands in the middle of the Pacific – Tonga is for you.
Tiny shops, small streets with culture not found elsewhere will beacon you here. It is fun and a real education to talk and listen to locals about there colorful history. How people ended up here in Tonga is fascinating.
One of Tonga’s four main island groups, Vava’u is off the beaten track. We found the beaches sparsely populated and even the towns had few residents. You can certainly be yourself here. This means, you’re not going to find a crowded beach of umbrellas, and will need to bring enough things to keep you comfortable for your time at the beach. If you need to know if it is available on Tonga, ask anyone. They are more than accommodating.
There’s certainly nothing wrong with the Vava’u beaches, though. They are pristine white sand from coral and quartz. Since there are reefs right off shore, the wave action brings a nice beach to line the shore. There are rocks that frame most beaches here. It seemed to us that the rock was a clay-like formation that jutted from the sea. These layers are very evident in most places along the shoreline. The video of Tonga will show what we’re talking about.
One of the most spectacular things off Vava’u are humpback whales which pass by the island June through November. The whales love the water temperature here and calf and mate. The male whales sing and you can hear them when on a whale-watching tour as boats put hydrophones in the water.
The sand here is mid-sized but lightly packed, soft. There is little debris from driftwood and almost no sea grass in the areas we saw on Vava’u. Enjoy this and please try to make some great friends with the locals. All the stories you’ve heard about how friendly they are are really true.