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Tongatapu, Kingdom of Tonga, South Pacific

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   Your online guide to the Ha'apai Island Group, Tonga

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Activities in Ha'apai Island Group, Tonga

Whale Watching/Swimming

Naia Whalewatching
USA Toll Free: 1-888-510-1593

- Swim with the planet's most mysterious and magical marine giants among remote and pristine coral atolls and reefs. NAI'A journeys every year to the exotic Kingdom of Tonga to bring guests the close whale encounters of a lifetime. Join marine naturalists and filmmakers aboard NAI'A and among Tonga's curious and captivating tribe of humpback whales.

The 9-day trips begin in Tonga's capital "city" of Nuku'alofa and extend north into the untrammeled coral atoll wilderness of the Ha'apai Group, where the greatest number of humpback whale pods are found -- but almost no other boats, save the fishing canoes of villagers.

Photo opportunities for Humpback Whales
For more information contact

- Interested in the best possible photo opportunities for humpback whales? Consider joining our special limited-load charter in Tonga, from Sept. 10-20, 2010. This trip will be unique in that it is a photographer-led charter limited to 12 people. The idea behind a limited load trip is simple. Fewer people means more opportunities to swim with and photograph humpback whales for those who participate. What makes the Naia the perfect platform for this kind of trip is the ability to put a radio-equipped crew in the crow's nest 50 feet above the sea, and deploy both zodiacs as needed to spot in different directions. Guests will have the choice to get on one of the zodiacs or relax on the big boat. Once cooperative whales are sighted it's time to swim and we will rotate small groups in and out of the water. While one boat is with whales the others can continue spotting.

The photographers chartering the boat are Douglas Hoffman and Mark Strickland. Douglas has been leading whale trips for 5 years, offers photography workshops, and is the director of a non-profit group organization called Art For Good Cause. Mark also has significant marine mammal experience, is widely published, and is known for leading dive groups to Thailand and Indonesia that include u/w photography workshops. Douglas and Mark will be providing free photo advice throughout the trip and will also offer several evening presentations.

Happy Ha'apai Divers
Whale watching and Swimming
Sandy Beach Resort,
Foa Island, Ha'apai,
Phone +676 69639
Fax +676 69639

Happy Ha'apai Divers website

Tonga is one of the few places in the world where you are allowed to be in the water with humpback whales. To swim with a 45 ton whale in its natural environment is surely one of the biggest thrills and greatest privileges the natural world has to offer.

And yet, with this thrill comes a responsibility, both on the part of the whale watch operator and those who use their services. The responsibility lies in the need to protect these magnificent creatures and their environment from over exploitation.

While not as deadly as the whaler's harpoon, our desire to get up close and personal has the potential to negatively impact on their natural behaviour.

At OceanBlue Adventures we believe that understanding their behaviour is the key to a sustainable and mutually beneficial relationship.

It is our goal to increase our understanding of their natural behaviour through passive observation and interaction, and to provide our guests with the opportunity to participate in this as part of their humpback whale experience.

Fins and Flukes
Skype us
Phone (+676) 8870141 / 13261 or 13549.
The lines are not always reliable, so we apologise if you have trouble contacting us via the phone.

Fins and Flukes website

Every year, driven by the biological need to procreate and fuelled by great reserves of blubber, Humpback Whales migrate north from their feeding grounds in the Antarctic to the tropical waters of Tonga. From July to November, the serene Islands of Ha'apai provide the backdrop for the Humpbacks' annual courtship, mating and calving activites.

Whale watching provides the opportunity to observe these leviathans in their natural state, completely wild and totally free. Keen eyes are needed to locate them first, the tell tale blows each time they surface for breath, which plume three meters into the air, and the far off splashes from massive breaches often betray their presence. Once discovered the whales can then be approached and observed more closely.

Tonga is one of the few places in world where you are allowed to swim with Humpback Whales. These in-water encounters are often possible and prove to be the ultimate whale thrill. However, the welfare of the whales remains a very important factor during any interaction and as such, snorkeling can only be conducted when the whales' behaviour permits.

Whether it's from the boat or in the water, every second you are fortunate enough to witness the majesty of these giants is truely amazing and something you'll never forget.

Ha'apai Whale and Sail
Phone +676 8885800

Join us for a half or full day aboard Gwendolyn, an Endurance 37 sloop.

Take in the sights of beautiful Ha’apai whilst sipping an ice-cold rum punch and listening to the waves gently slapping against the hull. The day will involve an approximately 1,5 hour sail to a suitable location where guests can snorkel, swim, relax and beachcomb. Lunch will be served at anchor before we head back to base

Guests can be picked up from either Uoleva Island or Pangai Harbour.


Last minute hotel reservation.