Tonga has more than 170 islands – with around 40 of them inhabited – and we intend to make one of them home for the next few days. The boat ride to Fafa Island Resort only takes 20 minutes. We slowly come to an idyllic-looking island with white sand and palm trees, straight out of Robinson Crusoe.
Waking up in Tonga is waking up in paradise – coffee included. We find a canister of hot water on the porch so we can get our morning caffeine hit before we’re even dressed. After gorging on fresh mango and pineapple for breakfast we get the boat back to the main island for a day of exploring.
Our next stop is a place you most definitely do not want to go swimming. You can hear the pounding of the waves at the Houma blowholes, on the west of the island, long before you see them. The coastline here is pummelled by a fierce swell that, over the years, has carved its way into the rocks until blowholes have appeared. The water shoots out up to such heights my first instinct is to duck away as the spray heads our way. If the wind was blowing in the wrong direction I would be needing my togs, whether I liked it or not.
- Friends Cafe in the centre of town has its own tourist centre and is a great place to plan your Tonga experience with a wide range of activities throughout the Kingdom.
- ‘Otu ‘ika is a favourite recipe of locals and visitors alike – fresh raw fish marinated in lemon juice and coconut milk.
- There are a handful of tour guides – we went with Rick’s Tours – but it’s just as easy to get around on your own. There are several walking tours, but if that’s not your thing, rental cars and scooters are available.
- Sunday is a complete day of rest, when even going for a run is not allowed and working is illegal.
- June and July are the best times of the year to go whale watching.