Vava'u Island, Tonga
Kingdom of Tonga consists of about 170 islands divided into four
main island groups ranging over an area from 15 to 23 degrees south
latitude, and 173 to 177 degrees west longitude, situated 1200 miles
north of New Zealand and just west of the international dateline.
In this age of political volatility, Tonga remains a safe haven,
far off the beaten track, with a popular 200 year old constitutional
monarchy, the only Polynesian country never to have been colonised.
Recently Tonga had its first democratic election for parliament. Tonga is a proud independent nation with a rich cultural history, maintaining
customs and traditions while embracing Christianity. Tongans love
to sing and Sunday mornings the air is filled with the voluminous
sound of enthusiastic choirs. The shy, gentle, dignity of the handsome
people of Tonga reflects a refreshing feeling of timelessness, in
their easy, friendly smiles. Laughing seems to be the national pastime.
The Vavau island group, where we offer our sailing charters, is
situated approximately 240 kilometers north of Tongatapu. There
are about 40 islands in an area 23 by 25 kilometres, which is protected
by a semi-circular reef. The Southeast tradewinds provide excellent
yacht sailing, while the surrounding reef protects the open
waters from ocean swell. Most of the islands we visit are uninhabited
and we are the only visitors. Vavau is still a mostly untouristed South Pacific Travel destination.
Villagers are shy, but quite welcoming if we decide to visit, and
a Tongan Feast in Vavau is local, family oriented and charmingly
Organic Vanilla Beans available
Botannical Garden, Cultural Tours, Art of Tonga
Ene'io Beach and Botannical Garden
About 3,000 years ago, the early Polynesians came to Tonga bringing with them the most vital of things; 30 different plants essential to their survival.These plants provided food, medicine, building materials, clothing and shelter, and were used in traditional ceremonies. In a tour of the Ene'io Botannical Garden you will see locals demonstrate how the early Tongans survived for thousands of years before European contact using these plants which are still used today. There are cultural demonstrations which include the making of Polynesian bark cloth (called tapa) from paper mulberry, coconut milk squeezed from fresh grated coconut meat used for food flavoring, and the coconut leaves woven to make baskets, hats and roof thatches for houses.
Hainite's Cultural Tours
Join one of Hainite's guided tours of Vava'u's historical sites and learn some of the history of Tonga. Visit a village where they will be making handicrafts and preparing a feast. Join in a kava ceremony and feast on some of Tongan's favorites like roasted baby pig, lu, fish in coconut cream and baked papaya.
The Megapode, Tongan Arts
and Craft, Tonga Books
The Megapode is a shop devoted to making the best of Tongan art, crafts and culture available. Traditional handicrafts are making a revival in Tonga with local carvers reproducing traditional designs. Mats and baskets are of especially high quality, mats can be soft as cloth and baskets are sturdy and beautiful.