Ha'apai 11-Day Tropical Expedition

"One of the 25 greatest adventures in the world for 2004!" - National Geographic Adventure Magazine, Nov-2003

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kayaks on a beach
Package Components
  • Return airport transfers between Salote Pilolevu (Ha'apai) and accommodation property. A transfer surcharge applies to Matafonua Lodge and Sandy Beach Resort, Foa Island upgrades.
  • 2 nights' accommodation (based on double occupancy) at Evaloni's Guesthouse or Lindsay Guesthouse (subject to availability). Optional upgrade to Matafonua Lodge or Sandy Beach Resort.
  • A 45-minute orientation talk.
  • Quality double and single fibreglass kayaks and accessories.
  • 8 days kayaking.
  • 8 nights camping.
  • Snacks and 3 meals per day on the kayaking portion of the tour.
  • Camping equipment including tents and mattresses.
  • A celebratory dinner at Serenity Beaches Resort, Uoleva Island.
Itinerary Overview

Note that the following sample itinerary is subject to alterations and delays owing to weather, sea conditions and/or logistical considerations.
B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner

Day 1: Arrival / Orientation

Meals: On own.

Accommodation: Evaloni's Guesthouse or Lindsay Guesthouse (subject to availability).

A driver awaits your arrival at Salote Pilolevu Airport on Lifuka Island, Ha'apai and transfers you to your accommodation. Shortly after check-in, your guide welcomes you and confirms the time (normally 4:00pm) and venue for this afternoon's 45-minute orientation briefing. It is important that all participants attend this informative talk.

Day 2: Kayaking

Meals: L, D (B on own).

Destination: Uoleva Island.

Paddling Time: 3-4 hours.

Transport departs early this morning (exact time is tide-dependent) from your accommodation property to our launching site. Here, the guides give a safety briefing before departing for the first of eight nights of camping in the Lifuka Archipelago. We paddle along the leeward shores of Lifuka and Uoleva Islands, skirting pristine reefs and beaches. Tonight's camp is at the southern end of Uoleva Island, rated by Outside Magazine amongst the top ten most beautiful beaches in the world! Here, too, is a magnificent ledge smothered in soft corals - a snorkeller's paradise.

Day 3: Kayaking

Meals: B, L, D.

Destination: Tatafa Island / Uiha Island.

Paddling Time: 2-3 hours.

At slack tide, we paddle across a wide channel to Tatafa, a tiny uninhabited island visited only by locals. Here, we stretch our legs and have a snack before paddling eastward to neighbouring Uiha Island. The view from our campsite on the southern tip of Uiha affords a preview of the alluring southern Lifuka Islands. This afternoon we explore Felemea village, a quaint fishing village, and re-supply with fresh water in anticipation of spending the next few days, weather and other environmental conditions permitting, in the remotest part of the Archipelago.

Day 4: Kayaking

Meals: B, L, D.

Destination: Uanukuhahaki Island (Base Camp).

Paddling Time: 3-4 hours.

Our paddle plan today is southward along the inside of a fringing reef across shallow aqua waters to Uanukuhahaki Island, nesting grounds for the green turtle. Base camping three nights on Unanuku allows us to fully enjoy the remoteness of this idyllic South Pacific Island.

Day 5: Kayaking

Meals: B, L, D.

Destination: Uanukuhahaki Island (Base Camp).

Paddling Time: 2-3 hours.

We can snorkel for hours on end in the crystal clear waters, a virtual aquarium of colourful reef fish, off Uanuku. This remote, uninhabited island, our favourite in the Archipelago, is definitely not in the guidebooks! Nor is Uanukuhihifo Island, a short paddle southward. 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.

Day 6: Lay Day

Meals: B, L, D.

Destination: Uanukuhahaki Island (Base Camp).

Today, Sunday, is by Tongan law a day of rest and worship. Tour operators are not permitted to offer guided physical activities anywhere within the Kingdom on a Sunday. Bathing in the warm sea, beachcombing, reading, eating and socializing are pleasant diversions on this enforced lay day.

Day 7: Kayaking

Meals: B, L, D.

Destination: Tatafa Island.

Paddling Time: 4-5 hours.

Retracing our paddle strokes, we return to Uiha Island and re-provision with fresh rainwater. Tonight's camp is on the adjacent uninhabited island of Tatafa, from where your guides may conveniently assess the sea conditions for our channel crossing tomorrow morning. Troll with a hand line for long tom or snapper on the way back to camp. If you or your guides catch fish along the way you can look forward to helping prepare a traditional underground 'umu feast.

Day 8: Kayaking

Meals: B, L, D.

Destination: Luangahu Island / Uoleva Island (Base Camp).

Paddling Time: 2-3 hours.

This morning we break camp and paddle offshore to Luangahu, a tiny uninhabited island visited only by local fishermen and nesting sea snakes whose presence precludes camping on the island! 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 Tonga's whaling days. Following a refreshing swim and snorkel, we paddle northward to Uoleva Island.

Day 9: Kayaking

Meals: B, L, D.

Destination: Uoleva Island (Base Camp).

Paddling Time: 1 hour.

Take advantage of todays more relaxed pace to explore Uoleva Island. In the cooler hours of the morning stretch your legs with a walk through low-lying bush to the windward side of the island. After lunch, join an optional paddle across the bay to Taina's Beach Resort situated at the tip of a beautiful white sand crescent beach. Back at camp, snorkel a reef drop-off at the edge of Auhangamea channel. Confident swimmers may follow the guides on a drift snorkel along this spectacular coral wall. There are also pockets of coral and reef fish closer to shore for the less confident snorkeller. A stroll down the beach takes us to Serenity Beaches Resort, a boutique eco-resort, for sunset drinks and dinner featuring fresh seafood and locally grown organic foods.

Day 10: Kayaking

Meals: B, L, D.

Destination: Lifuka Island.

Paddling Time: 3-4 hours.

Accommodation: Evaloni's Guesthouse or Lindsay Guesthouse (subject to availability).

On this final day of paddling, we retrace our strokes and paddle northward skirting Uoleva and Lifuka Islands villages back to Pangai where we started our journey nine days ago. From here, transfer by taxi back to your accommodation.

Day 11: Departure

Meals: On own.

The trip concludes today with transfers to Salote Pilolevu Airport.

At a Glance
  • Ha'apai Islands, Tonga
  • 11-Day Package
  • 8 Days Kayaking
  • 8 Nights Camping
  • Snorkelling
  • 2 Nights Guest House Accommodation
  • Grade: Moderate+


NZ$ 3895


NZ$ 3995

Prices are New Zealand dollars inclusive of 15% Tonga Consumption Tax.

Private group departures upon request subject to guide availability.

Please read our flexible booking policy and booking how-to for more information

Departure Dates


  • 13 - 23 July
  • 10 - 20 Aug
  • 31 Aug - 10 Sep
  • 05 - 15 Oct


  • 12 - 22 Jul
  • 09 - 19 Aug
  • 30 Aug - 09 Sep
Download Details

Pre-post-tour accommodation can be arranged upon request. See our package accommodation page for details.