Sailing and Whale-Watching Charters
A yacht charter with South Pacific Sea Adventures is a dream vacation
by anyone’s definition. We offer fully-crewed sailing charters
as well as sport fishing, diving and whale watch adventures throughout
the islands of Tonga, Fiji, and the South Pacific. Learn more >>
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Where the heck is Tonga?
North of New Zealand and East of Fiji
Tonga is situated in the heart of the South Pacific and bordered by the islands of Fiji to the west and Samoa to the north. The Tonga Trench, the second deepest ocean trench, lies to the east, and New Zealand lies 1,300nm to the southwest. Tonga is the first country west of the International Dateline and calls itself “The place where time begins.”
The country is one of the most scenic and unspoiled of the Pacific island nations. Its geography, ranging from high volcanic to low coral terrain, creates scenic variety seldom matched elsewhere in the world. Comprised of 171 islands, each less than a day sail away from the other, Tonga is the oldest and last remaining Polynesian monarchy. It is the only Pacific nation never brought under foreign rule.
How Do I get There?
Air New Zealand from Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Auckland, New Zealand. Air Pacific or Fiji Airways from Los Angeles or San Francisco. Pacific Blue from Sydney, Australia.
Each airline has regular flights to Nuku’alofa, the capital city located on the island of Tongatapu in the Kingdom’s southern archipelago (airport abbreviation is TBU). Google Flights (https://www.google.com/flights/) is a reliable website and very helpful to locate the least expensive dates for travel.
If you are traveling to Vava’u, Fiji Airways offers direct flights from Nadi International airport beginning April 2, 2016 ( www.fijiairways.com ). Otherwise it will be necessary to fly to Nuku’alofa and schedule an inter-island flight to Vava’u on Tonga’s domestic airline, Real Tonga. Schedules and other information about inter-island flights can be found on Real Tonga’s website, www.realtonga.to.
Cancelled flights from Vava’u to Tongatapu are not unusual and can be a real source of frustration for travelers with international connections. To minimize the risk of missing key connections, do not schedule your return trip to Nuku’alofa on the same day as your International connection. It may be inconvenient, but it is better to schedule it a day earlier.
When is the Best Time to Visit
and What Do I Need?
For whale watching and whale swimming, the migratory season is July through Mid-October, which is Tonga’s Winter and early Spring. Air temperature is normally in the low to mid 70s F (20º-24ºC). The sailing is good throughout most of the year—the exception being if a cyclone is brewing nearby.
The water temperature is usually 72º to 74º F (24º-26º C) year-round. Your time will be spent on a sailboat so pack lightly and choose soft luggage such as a duffle bag or a collapsible bag that is easy to stow away after you have unpacked. Lots of shorts and tee-shirts, bathing suits and a pair of waterproof sandals usually suffice. Reef sandals or wet-suit style “Footies” come in handy as well. You should also bring a light waterproof jacket, a hat is a good idea, polarized sunglasses are recommended and some form of seasick medication if you are prone to seasickness.
We have plenty of towels and equipment such as wet suits and snorkel gear, but if you have a favorite mask and snorkel or a favorite pair of fins, feel free to bring them. Insects are not normally a problem on a sailboat, but you may want to bring a small bottle of repellant.