Situated approximately 240 kilometres north of Tongatapu, the Vava'u Island Group is a smattering of 50-odd islands, in an area 23 by 25 kilometres, protected by a semi-circular reef. The islands are separated by reefs or open water, but are not great paddling distances apart. In his book, The Happy Isles of Oceania: Paddling the Pacific, author Paul Theroux describes sea kayaking in Vava'u thus: "It was a perfect area for paddling a kayak - perhaps the best in the Pacific. There was a surfy side and a safe side to each island - the lee shores usually had the beaches - all were secluded, all were lovely."
Day 1: Arrival / Orientation. Meals: On own. Accommodation: Hilltop Hotel, Port Wine Guest House or Harbour View Resort (subject to availability).
Upon arrival at Lupepau'u Airport in Vava'u you will be transferred to your accommodation. Please ensure that you send us your full flight itinerary so we may arrange transport appropriately. Your guides will phone you at your accommodation this morning to welcome you and discuss the schedule of events for the next few days. Your guides present a 45-minute orientation talk commencing 4:00 pm at The Adventure Centre in Toula Village, a two-minute taxi ride from your accommodation. It is important that all participants attend this informative talk.
Day 2: Kayaking. Meals: L provided (B, D on own). Accommodation: Hilltop Hotel, Port Wine Guest House or Harbour View Resort (subject to availability). Excursion Time: 9:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. A safety briefing commences 9:00 a.m. at The Adventure Centre, Toula Village. Our journey begins at the entrance to the Port of Refuge, reputedly the most protected and beautiful harbour in the Pacific. We paddle into renowned Swallows Cave, snorkel and picnic at Kapa Island, returning to The Adventure Centre late afternoon. From here, we transfer by taxi back to your accommodation and hot showers!
Day 3: Land Tour. Meals: L provided (B, D on own). Accommodation: Hilltop Hotel, Port Wine Guest House or Harbour View Resort (subject to availability). Excursion Time: 9:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. Today we set off in a mini bus to explore Vava'u Island's villages, historic sites, plantations, lookouts and beaches. The highlight of our tour is 'Ene'io Botanical Garden on the scenic eastern shore of Vava'u Island. Our botanist host, Haniteli, takes us on a strolling Eco-tour through his lush tropical paradise demonstrating the medicinal, culinary and cultural uses of this impressive collection of native and exotic species. Some of these natural ingredients are found in our delicious lunch prepared by Haniteli's wife, Lucy, and the villagers. After lunch, enjoy a refreshing swim or snorkel or simply stroll along the beach before transferring back to your accommodation.
Day 4: Whale Watching / Snorkelling. Meals: L provided (B, D on own).
Accommodation: Hilltop Hotel, Port Wine Guest House or Harbour View Resort (subject to availability). Excursion Time: 10:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
At 10:00 this morning our whale watch operator picks us up from our accommodation. Their team of whale educators discuss humpback whale migration, mating, surface activity and song. From July through October we can observe the impressive acrobatic displays of these magnificent mammals who migrate from Antarctica annually to breed, give birth and nurse their new-born calves in Tonga's sheltered, warm waters. Outside the whale watch season, we enjoy a day of snorkelling, picnicking and sightseeing in the beautiful Vava'u Islands.
Day 5: Diving or Sailing. Meals: L, D provided (B on own). Accommodation: Hilltop Hotel, Port Wine Guest House or Harbour View Resort (subject to availability). Excursion Time: Diving 8:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.; Sailing 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Join our preferred water sport operators, for an active morning of scuba diving (two tanks) or a more restful day sailing aboard the trimaran, Orion. Vava'u is a natural playground for diving and sailing, and reputedly one of the best destinations in the South Pacific for both activities. This evening your guides join you for dinner at a fine restaurant in Neiafu.
Day 6: Departure. Meals: On own. The trip concludes today with transfers to Lupepau'u Airport and a warm farewell from your guides.
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Australia and Oceania Tonga Outdoor: Water Drifter Canoeing/Kayaking/Rafting Boating and Sailing
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