Haapai - Tongatapu Itinerary suggestions
Replies: 6 - Last Post: Jun 26, 2012 3:34 AM Last Post By: finsnflukes
Apr 18, 2012 12:25 AM
Finally booked flights and will spend 9 days in Tonga.
My main interest is to immerse in the local culture, visit arqueological & historical sites, and explore villages and the interior of the islands rather than beach or resorts. I’m thinking of dividing the trip between Tongatapu and Haapai. However, I’d like to ask for any advise, comment or suggestion in relation to the activities & number of days at each place.
Day 1 will arrive in Nuku Alofa and connect straight away to Haapai. Based on the info from the travel guides, Haano in the north, and Uoleva-Uiha in the south seem to be interesting places to visit apart of Lifuka-Foa. My questions area:
-How tricky is it to get to these places from Pangai or the “main island”?
-How many days is reasonable to spend in Haapai without seeing more of the same or getting bored?
-Any activity/place not to be missed (whales maybe?)?
-Tentatively, I’m considering to spend 5 full days in Haapai…Too much?
With 5 full days in Haapai, day 6 would fly back to Nuku Alofa, and spend days 7 to 9 in Tongatapu, probably intercalating a day trip to one of the nearby islands. Eua is another possibility, but only if shorten the stay in Haapai.
Can anyone give me some inputs on how the trip looks like?
Thanks a lot!
Apr 18, 2012 10:17 PM
1I only got to Uiha and Uoleva.
To Uiha local boats go pretty much daily, whereas to Uoleva you may well have to charter, though you can of course also simply walk across at low tide (less fun with much luggage, of course).
I thought Uiha was unimpressive, and the only accommodation had closed down - good I took my tent! Later I was told Haano is even less nice, so I dropped plans to go there.
Uoleva is great for beach and coral.
5 full days are certainly not too long for Haapai, in fact too short if you want to visit those 5 islands!
I'd also recommend taking a boat at least one way between Tongatapu and Haapai, because I found the remote outer islands of Haapai passed along the way were more scenic than the main islands you've listed.
May 1, 2012 5:39 PM
5 days is good period of time to spend in Ha'apai without getting bored, especially if you want to island hop.
If you are interested in archaeological and historical sites there are a number of things to see. Nuku'namo and Uoleva have pidgeon mounds, these were used by the king for the recreation of hunting pidgeons. Local resorts will be happy to give you info on locating them as they are usually deep in the bush. Uiha has some sites you may be interested in, particularly the royal tombs and the illustrious old church there. Lifuka has a number of historical sites, the Velata fortress, the Port au Prince memorial, the Shirly Baker monument and european cemetary, the Olovehi tombs and royal burial mound. It is also possible to dive the anchor of the Port au Prince. One cannon from the boat still lies on Ha'ano island. I think you would like Ha'ano as it is quite traditional and the islanders are very friendly. Ha'ano has four villages. It is possible to stay at the local church. Lifuka has several villages along the road from the main town of Pangai to the end of Foa Island, you may also find these to your interest. Visit the wharf when the ferry arrives, that is the local main event on a weekly basis, you can sample local food there too sometimes.
All these islands are easily accessible by boat, if you would like to go to Ha'ano you can catch a boat from the village of Faleoloa on Foa, there is a small wharf there. You might have to wait around a bit. Boats to Uiha can be found on the main wharf in Pangai but there is no set schedule. Ask around for a guy called Fehi. Foa is accessible from Lifuka by bike or hitching. It may also be worthwhile to mention that a sea kayak is an excellent way to visit all these islands. The paddling distances are quite short and you can go at your own pace snorkeling the reefs on your way. and resting on the islands between paddles.
A couple of days on Tonga should be fine, Toni's guesthouse does a good tour that takes in most of the sights. Eua is supposed to be great with rainforest and hikes, you may like to lose a day on your Ha'apai segment to see Eua.
If you are coming between July and October then the whales are not to be missed for sure. Also, you should take the chance to snorkel on the reefs, this is a must see too.
Hope that helps, your trip plans looks very feasable and enjoyable.
Thanks for visiting.
May 4, 2012 5:43 PM
Jun 21, 2012 4:16 PM
How do you organise boat travel from Haapai to Tongatapu? We are flying from Tongatapu to Haapai on the way there and want to catch a boat back at the end of our holiday. I have been searching online for weeks for ferries etc but cannot get result. Who did you go with? We are going to Uoleva for a month :)
Jun 26, 2012 2:25 AM
Jun 26, 2012 3:34 AM
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