Tonga the real Polynesia

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Vava'u Island, Tonga

The 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 Vava’u 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. Vava’u 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 Vava’u is local, family oriented and charmingly unprofessional.

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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.

Climate on your tropical vacation

Tonga is slightly cooler than most tropical areas, with an annual average temperature of 23C / 77F. The average daytime high temperature hovers around 25-26C (77-80F) from May through September. It rises to 29C (85F) October through April and the humidity is highest in January and February. The average sea temperature is 25C (79F). SE trade winds (15-25 knots) predominate during the Austral winter (May-Sept). In summer, breezes are lighter (10-20 knots) and more often from the NE. From November through June; the water is warmer and better for swimming and snorkeling and you will have most anchorages to yourselves.



Melinda Sea Adventures