Friendly Islands Kayak Company

Water Sports Company of the Year - Tonga / Luxury Travel Guide Asia & Australasia Awards 2017

Multi-day Tours

Vava'u 8-Day Classicback
"A fantastic trip which lived up to my high hopes. Thoroughly enjoyed each day ... and couldn't get enough of the beautiful Tongan setting (including the whales!). Thanks so much for a great time." - Michael, Australia

Package Components

  • Return airport transfers between Lupepau'u Airport (Vava'u) and accommodation property. A transfer surcharge applies to Tongan Beach Resort or Mystic Sands Resort upgrades.
  • 2 nights' accommodation (based on double occupancy) at the Boathouse Apartments or Vava’u Harbour View Resort or Hilltop Hotel (subject to availability). Optional upgrade to Tongan Beach Resort or Mystic Sands Resort (subject to availability).
  • A 45-minute orientation talk.
  • Quality double and single fibreglass kayaks and accessories.
  • 5-6 days kayaking.
  • Snacks and 3 meals per day on the kayaking portion of the tour.
  • Camping equipment including tents and mattresses.
  • A traditional 'umu feast in an island village.
  • A farewell dinner at a local restaurant.

Itinerary Overview

Note that the following 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: Boathouse Apartments or Vava’u Harbour View Resort or Hilltop Hotel  (subject to availability).

A driver awaits your arrival at Lupepau'u Airport in Vava'u 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 talk. It is important that all participants attend this informative talk.

Day 2: Kayaking

Meals: L, D (B on own).

Destination: Vaka'eitu Island (Base Camp).

Paddling Time: 3-4 hours.

A safety briefing commences 9:00 a.m. at The Adventure Centre before departing for 5 nights of camping in the Vava’u Archipelago. Our journey begins at the entrance to the Port of Refuge, reputedly the most protected and beautiful harbour in the Pacific. Inside renowned Swallows Cave, don your mask and snorkel, slip over the edge of the kayak and marvel at the schools of tiny zebra fish and iridescent neon fish. Paddling southeast across a large bay, we reach our lunch stop on the southern side of Kapa Island where snorkellers can enjoy vibrant coral and fish life in the channel. We finish off the day skirting several small islands on the western side of the island group eventually reaching a large lagoon. Tonight’s camp is on uninhabited Vaka’eitu Island facing Nuapapu Island.

Day 3: Kayaking

Meals: B, L, D.

Destination: Nuapapu & Hunga Islands / Vaka’eitu (Base Camp).

Paddling Time: 1-2 hours.

Following a leisurely hot breakfast, we paddle across the lagoon to the village of Matamaka on nearby Nuapapu Island and or to Hunga village situated on a hillside above a small lagoon accessible via a canoe passage. Back at camp we snorkel amidst stag horn coral gardens teeming with reef fish. A short hike before dinner to the island's summit may be rewarded by a view of the setting sun and possibly humpback whales (July-October) in Pulepulekai channel.

Day 4: Kayaking

Meals: B, L, D.

Destination: ‘Euakafa Island / Taunga Island (Base Camp).

Paddling Time: 3-4 hours.

After breaking camp, we paddle northeast via Ovaka and Ovalau Islands towards the distinctive tabletop island of ‘Euakafa. En route we may be fortunate enough to sight turtles, dolphins or humpback whales. The latter migrate annually to Tonga's warm sheltered waters (July-October) to breed and calve. Following a picnic and snorkelling at an offshore reef we carry on to inhabited Taunga Island. This evening, the villagers host an authentic Tongan feast consisting of roast suckling pork complemented by fresh root vegetables, octopus, reef fish, vegetarian dishes, and tropical fruits such as papaya in coconut milk, all steamed in an underground oven or 'umu. Tasting kava, Tonga’s traditional ceremonial drink, and stories around the kava bowl provide an insight into the local culture.

Day 5: Lay Day

Meals: B, L, D.

Destination: Taunga Island (Base Camp).

Today, Sunday, is by Tongan law a day of rest and worship. Those who choose to attend the morning church service in Taunga village will be impressed by the splendor of the Tongan people’s elaborate attire and harmonized singing. Tour operators are not permitted to offer guided physical activities anywhere within the Kingdom on a Sunday. However, as with guests staying at resorts, you may use the kayaks as transport to access recreational areas such as beaches and bays. Exploring on foot the inter-tidal zone of Taunga, Ngau and Pau Islands, interconnected by a sand bar at low tide, is a must. Bathing in the warm sea, reading, eating and socialising are also pleasant diversions on this enforced lay day.

Day 6: Kayaking

Meals: B, L, D.

Destination: Eueiki Island / ‘Euakafa Island

Paddling Time: 1-2 hours.

This morning we break camp and paddle across a wide deep channel to nearby Eueiki Island where we picnic, snorkel and, at low tide, explore an immense cave with Tarzan-like vines cascading down through a hole in the cave ceiling. Thirsty paddlers may order cold drinks at Treasure Island Eco-Resort, named after the television survivor reality show filmed on location a few years ago. Conditions permitting, we can circumnavigate neighbouring ‘Euakafa island. The afternoon is free for snorkelling, beachcombing and gathering dry coconut husks and fronds for this evening’s bonfire. Bring along marshmallows and chocolate for a sweet treat!

Day 7: Kayaking

Meals: B, L, D.

Destination: The Adventure Centre.

Paddling Time: 3-4 hours.

Accommodation: Boathouse Apartments or Vava’u Harbour View Resort or Hilltop Hotel (subject to availability).

In the cool hours of the morning, our local guide leads us through lush bush up the mount, explaining traditional Polynesian culinary and medicinal applications of diverse plants along the way. Reaching the site of a royal tomb within the fortress of a Tu'i Tonga king our guide tells the legend of how the queen met her fate. On our paddle westward back to the Port of Refuge we stop for a picnic lunch and snorkel at Mala Island. Once the home of a cannibal demi-god who ate passing outrigger canoeists, Mala is now home to a friendly tourist resort! From the beach confident swimmers can snorkel across a channel to the entrancing Japanese Gardens. Back at The Adventure Centre, transfer by taxi to your accommodation property and hot showers in preparation for tonight’s farewell dinner.

Day 8: Departure

Meals: on own.

The trip concludes today with a transfer to Lupepau'u Airport.


* Tour Cost: FIKCO reserves the right to amend the tour cost to reflect significant increases in exchange rates, airport transfers, accommodation rates, meal charges and/or any other ground costs beyond our control. However, once we receive a tour deposit, the tour cost will not alter.

** Single Supplement: Applies to single participants if they prefer a private room or if we are unable to pair them with another participant.