A driver is waiting at Lupepau'u Airport in Vava'u to escort you to your accommodation. Please ensure that you send us your full flight itinerary so we may arrange transport. Your guides will present a 45-minute orientation talk (normally commencing 4:00pm at The Adventure Centre in Toula Village, 2.5 km southeast of Neiafu). Your guide will advise on the time and location of this orientation talk. It is important that everyone attends this informative talk.
Overnight: Boathouse Apartments or Pulekoleva Guesthouse (subject to availability).
Transport is provided to Kayak Base for a safety briefing commences 9:00am at before departing for 5 nights of camping in the Vava’u Archipelago. Our journey begins in the Port of Refuge, reputedly the most protected and beautiful harbour in the Pacific. We paddle into renowned Swallows Cave, snorkel and picnic at Kapa Island and finish off the day by skirting several islands on the western side of the island group. Tonight's camp is on uninhabited Vaka'eitu Island facing Nuapapu Island.
Paddling Time: 3-4 hours.
Following a leisurely hot breakfast, we paddle across the lagoon to the village of Matamaka on nearby Nuapapu Island. Back at camp we snorkel amidst stag horn coral gardens teeming with reef fish. A short hike before dinner to the island's summit may be rewarded by a view of the setting sun and possibly humpback whales (July-October) in Pulepulekai channel.
Paddling Time: 2 hours
After breaking camp, we paddle northeast via Sisia Island towards the distinctive tabletop island of ‘Euakafa. En route 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. Following a picnic and snorkeling at an offshore reef we paddle on to inhabited Taunga Island. This evening, the villagers host an authentic Tongan feast consisting of fresh root vegetables, octopus, fish, vegetarian dishes, and tropical fruits such as papaya in coconut milk, all steamed in an underground oven or 'umu. Following this sumptuous feast, tasting kava, Tonga’s traditional ceremonial drink, and stories around the kava bowl provide an insight into the local culture.
Paddling Time: 3-4 hours
Today, Sunday, is by Tongan law a day of rest and worship. Those who choose to attend the morning church service in Taunga village will be impressed by the splendour of the Tongan people’s elaborate attire and harmonized singing. Tour operators are not permitted to offer guided physical activities anywhere within the Kingdom on a Sunday. However, as with guests staying at resorts, you may use the kayaks as transport to access recreational areas such as beaches and bays. 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 rest day. Overnight: Taunga Island camp
This morning we break camp and paddle across a wide deep channel to nearby Eueiki Island. Here we picnic, snorkel and, at low tide, explore an immense cave with Tarzan-like vines cascading down through a hole in the cave ceiling. Thirsty paddlers may order cold drinks at Treasure Island Eco-Resort, named after the television survivor reality show filmed on location a few years ago. Back in our kayaks we paddle across a channel to neighbouring uninhabited ‘Euakafa Island, tonight’s campsite. The afternoon is free for snorkeling, beachcombing and gathering dry coconut husks and fronds for this evening’s bonfire. Bring along marshmallows and chocolate for a sweet treat!
Paddling Time: 1-2 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, our guide narrates the legend of how the queen met her fate. On our paddle westward back to the Port of Refuge we stop for a picnic lunch and snorkel at Mala Island. Once the home 8 of a cannibal demi-god who ate passing outrigger canists, Mala is now home to a friendly tourist resort! Confident swimmers can snorkel across a channel to the entrancing Japanese Gardens. Back at Kayak Base, transfer by taxi to your accommodation and hot showers in preparation for tonight’s farewell dinner.
Overnight: Boathouse Apartments or Pulekoleva Guesthouse (subject to availability)
Paddling Time: 3-4 hours
The trip concludes today with a transfer to Lupepau'u Airport and a warm farewell from your guides.