Vava'u 8-Day Adventure

"What a perfect trip, wonderful weather, delicious food, excellent guides ... great snorkelling and whale watching. Thank you 'Epeli and Charlie for an excellent time." - Jackie & Ian, Canada

Kayaking in the South Pacific
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.
  • 4 nights' accommodation (double occupancy) at the Boathouse Apartments or Pulekoleva Guesthouse (subject to availability). Optional upgrade to Tongan Beach Resort or Mystic Sands Resort.
  • A 45-minute orientation talk.
  • Quality double and single fibreglass kayaks and accessories.
  • 3 days of kayaking.
  • 3 nights camping.
  • Snacks and 3 meals per day on the kayaking portion of the tour.
  • Camping equipment including tents and mattresses.
  • A day of sailing including lunch or scuba diving (2 tanks) including snacks.
  • A day of whale watching (Jul - Oct) or sightseeing boat tour (Nov - Jun), including lunch.
  • A traditional Polynesian feast in an island village.
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: Boathouse Apartments or Pulekoleva Guesthouse (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: 'Euakafa Island.

Paddling Time: 3-4 hours.

A safety briefing commences 9:00 a.m. at Kayak Base, 2.2kms east of Neiafu township, before departing for 3 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. After lunch our Tongan guide navigates our group of paddlers through reef-strewn turquoise waters and across a wide deep channel towards the distinctive tabletop island of 'Euakafa - our campsite tonight.

Day 3: Kayaking

Meals: B, L, D.

Destination: Taunga Island (Base Camp).

Paddling Time: 2 hours.

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 we hear the legend of how the queen met her fate. This afternoon, we paddle to nearby 'Eueiki Island where we can snorkel and, at low tide, explore an immense cave with Tarzan-like vines cascading down through a hole in the cave ceiling. A short paddle across the channel, and we reach tonight's camp on the scenic isthmus of Taunga Island. This evening, the villagers host an authentic Tongan feast consisting of 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 4: 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 are impressed by the splendor of the Tongans' elaborate attire and harmonized singing. On Sunday tour operators are not permitted to offer guided physical activities anywhere within the Kingdom. 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 5: Kayaking

Meals: B, L (D on own).

Destination: Kayak Base.

Paddling Time: 3-4 hours.

Accommodation: Boathouse Apartments or Pulekoleva Guesthouse (subject to availability).

On our paddle westward back to the Port of Refuge 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. En route 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 Kayak Base, transfer by taxi to your accommodation property and hot showers.

Day 6: Sailing or Scuba Diving

Meals: L provided (B, D on own).

Accommodation: Boathouse Apartments or Pulekoleva Guesthouse (subject to availability).

Excursion Time: Sailing 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.; Diving 7:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Join our preferred water sport operators for a leisurely day of sailing and snorkeling or a more active morning of scuba diving (two tanks). Vava'u is a marine playground for both activities.

Day 7: Whale Watching / Snorkelling / Sightseeing

Meals: L provided (B, D on own).

Accommodation: Boathouse Apartments or Pulekoleva Guesthouse (subject to availability).

Excursion Time: 7:30 a.m.- 3:30 p.m.

A team of whale educators discusses humpback whale migration, mating, surface activity and song. From July through October you 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, enjoy a day of snorkelling, picnicking and sightseeing in the scenic Vava'u Islands. Transfer to your accommodation.

Day 8: Departure

Meals: On own.

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

Guest Testimonials

Thank you for a wonderful cultural experience. The food was amazing and our guides
Ioane and Lelei were positively entertaining. Even their fire dance on Taunga Island
was unique (haha). The feast and church service were fantastic on Taunga and the
isolation was well appreciated. So much fun!

Thank you again
Inka Ackerman & Jenny Lewis, Wollongong, Australia, September 2019

George and Pou: We had a fantastic 4 days paddling with you guys. You’re very lucky
to live in such a beautiful place Thank you for showing us your country and giving us
an insight into your way of life. We’ve made wonderful memories that will always be
with us. If you ever find yourselves in Hong Kong we’d love to show you our home.

Scott & Kyoko, Hong Kong September 2019

At a Glance
  • Vava'u Islands, Tonga
  • 8-Day Package
  • 3 Days Kayaking
  • 3 Nights Camping
  • 4 Nights Apartment or Guest House Accommodation
  • 1 Day Whale Watching
  • 1 Day Sailing or Scuba Diving
  • Snorkelling
  • Grade: Moderate+


NZ$ 3455

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


  • 24 Jun - 01 Jul
  • 01 - 08 Jul
  • 08 - 15 Jul
  • 05 - 12 Aug
  • 19 - 26 Aug
  • 09 - 16 Sep
  • 23 - 30 Sep
  • 30 Sep - 07 Oct
  • 07 - 14 Oct
Download Details

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