Note that the following itinerary is a sample only and is subject to alterations and delays owing to weather, sea conditions and/or logistical considerations. B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner.
Day 1: Arrival. Meals: On own. Accommodation: Matafonua Lodge (or The Resort at Billy's Place subject to availability). A driver is waiting at Salote Pilolevu Airport in Ha'apai to escort you to your accommodation. Please ensure that you send us your full flight itinerary so we may arrange transport. Your guides present a 45-minute orientation talk commencing 4:00pm at your accommodation property. It is important that all participants attend this informative talk.
Day 2: Start Kayaking. Meals: B, L, D. Destination: Uoleva Island. Accommodation: Serenity Beaches Resort (or Diana's Beach Resort subject to availability). Paddling Time: 3-4 hours. Transport departs early this morning (exact time is tide-dependent) from your accommodation to our launching site near Pangai. Here, the guides give a safety briefing before we depart for the first of 4 days of kayaking. Today we paddle along the leeward shores of Lifuka and Uoleva Islands skirting pristine reefs and beaches. Tonight's accommodation is at Serenity Beaches Resort, a small island hideaway situated on a narrow piece of land between the windward east facing beach and the crescent white sand beach on the leeward side of Uoleva Island. An eco-resort, Serenity features fresh rain water, solar and wind generated electricity, natural foods and private showers open to the stars. Close by, at the southern tip of Uoleva Island, is a magnificent coral ledge smothered in soft corals - a snorkeller's dream.
Day 3: Kayaking. Meals: B, L, D. Destination: Luangahu Island. Accommodation: Serenity Beaches Resort (or Diana's Beach Resort subject to availability). Paddling Time: 2-3 hours. Weather permitting, we paddle offshore to Luangahu, a tiny uninhabited island visited only by local fishermen and nesting sea snakes! Whilst paddling, we may be fortunate to sight turtles, dolphins, and humpback whales, the latter of which migrate annually (July through October) to Tonga's warm sheltered waters to breed and calve. After a picnic lunch, we circumnavigate the island on foot observing makeshift fishermen's shelters and octopus drying trees. Those with sharp eyes may find remnants of whalebone in the sand dunes from Tong's whaling days. After a refreshing swim and snorkel, we paddle back to our resort in time for happy hour in the Bounty Bar.
Day 4: Whale Watching - Snorkeling. Meals: B, L, D. Destination: Lifuka Archipelago. Accommodation: Serenity Beaches Resort (or Diana's Beach Resort subject to availability). Excursion Time: 5-6 hours. At 10:00 this morning our whale watch operator picks us up at our resort. 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 Lifuka Archipelago.
Day 5: Kayaking. Meals: B, L, D. Destination: Uoleva Island (southern tip). Accommodation: Serenity Beaches Resort (or Diana's Beach Resort subject to availability). Paddling Time: 1-1.5 hours. Take advantage of today’s more relaxed pace to explore Uoleva island or work up an appetite paddling, fishing, snorkelling and/or beachcombing for this evening's resort meal. In the cool hours of the morning we stretch our legs with a walk through low-lying bush to the windward side of Uoleva Island. Following lunch back at the resort, a short paddle to the southern tip of Uoleva takes us to a reef drop-off at the edge of Auhangamea channel. Confident swimmers may follow the guides on a drift snorkel along a spectacular coral wall. There are also lovely pockets of coral and reef fish closer to shore.
Day 6: Kayaking. Meals: B, L, D. Destination: Lifuka Island. Accommodation: Matafonua Lodge (or The Resort at Billy's Place subject to availability). Paddling Time: 3-4 hours. On our final day of paddling, we paddle north along the leeward shores of Uoleva and Lifuka Islands back to Pangai township where we started our journey five days ago. From the kayaks we observe traditional village life in including fish nets and traps, pandanus soaking in the sea to soften and bleach it in preparation for weaving mats, and colourful commuter boats piled high with baskets of market produce and cheerful locals returning to their villages. From here, we transfer by taxi back to your accommodation and a sumptuous farewell dinner!
Day 7: Departure. Meals: B. The trip concludes today with transfers to Salote Pilolevu Airport and a warm farewell from your guides.
- Return airport transfers between Salote Pilolevu Airport (Ha'apai) and package accommodation.
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Australia and Oceania Tonga Outdoor: Water Drifter Canoeing/Kayaking/Rafting Snorkeling
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