Activities on ’Eua are best booked via your guesthouse. Discuss what you want to do and everything will be arranged for you. ’Eua is the second-largest island in Tonga, and while fairly easy to navigate – just one long main road with a string of little villages along it – there's no public transport and distances are deceiving. Hideaway runs 4WD tours to parts of ‘Eua that are virtually inaccessible any other way. It’s a great way to get the lay of the land: cliffs, forests, lookouts, beaches, rockpools...
For a cultural encounter, Hideaway also offers the chance for guests (and nonguests) to participate in community-orientated experiences such as kava ceremonies and basket weaving in the local village, as well as church visits and umu feasts on Sunday.
’Eua has some great hiking trails, particularly in ‘Eua National Park in the ‘mountains’ along the island’s eastern coast. There are a number of options so discuss things with your hosts, get a map and organise a ride to the trailhead. Better yet, hire a guide for the day.
‘Eua has some of the best diving in Tonga – its huge Cathedral Cave is becoming legendary. Book through your guesthouse. Deep Blue Diving, based in Nuku’alofa, also offers diving from its ‘Eua base at Ovava Tree Lodge.
On the wildlife front, ‘Eua is home to cacophony of birds, the star of which is the koki (red shining parrot). Others include ngongo (noddies), white-tailed tavake (tropic birds) and pekapeka-tae (swiftlets). The peka (fruit bat) also hangs around here (upside down in the trees). Whales come in very close to 'Eua. There are both whale-watching and whale-swim tours on offer between June and October, but it's very difficult to ensure that these are not intrusive or stressful experiences for the whales. Disruption to feeding, resting, nursing and other behaviour may have a long-term impact on populations.