Sailing in Vava'u - Tonga

Sample 10-Day Yacht Charter Itinerary

Day 1: Neiafu to Kapa

After your boat orientation and chart briefing, depart Neiafu harbour and sail to Kapa Island. This is a great anchorage with a beautiful white sandy beach at low tide, ideal for your first happy hour ashore!

Day 2: Kapa

Snorkel the north side of A'a Island, sail to Nuku and anchor off Falevai.

Day 3: Falevai to Hunga

Sail out the Faihava Pass to Hunga, where the fishing is excellent. Make sure you pack your favourite lures & handline. Anchor in Hunga Lagoon

Day 4: Hunga to Vaka'eitu

Enjoy a short sail to Foeata for snorkelling, then on to Vaka'eitu for the night

Day 5: Day Trip to Luahaipu

Head south for a day sail to Luaafuleheu or Luahaipu, both beautiful and uninhabited. Cruise back to Vaka'eitu and snorkel the reef.

Day 6: Vaka'eitu to HInakawea Beach

Sail to Euaiki, then on to Hinakawea Beach to experience aspects of Tongan culture - a fine Polynesian feast and traditional dance.

Day 7: HInakawea Beach to Kenutu

Sail to remote Maninita for lunch and snorkelling, then on to Kenutu for the night. .

Day 8: Kenutu to Taunga

Leave early for Fanuatapu Pass. Anchor on the north side of Taunga and snorkel the reefs of Tauta

Day 9: Taunga to Olo'ua

Sail carefully through the reefs to visit Mafana and Olo'ua

Day 10: Olo'ua to Kapa

Head for Nuapapa and Mariners Cave and on to explore Swallows Cave on Kapa.

Final Morning: Kapa to Neiafu

Return to Base for check-in and debrief before noon

Cruising Notes

Restricted sailing zone

Information on these is covered in the chart briefing. Clients are asked to stay away from the exposed windward (eastern) side of the island Group. The area of charter comprises the islands of Vava'u Group.

Charter base marina in Neiafu

Facilities include a provisioning service, fuel, ice, laundry, boutique, restaurant, shower, café and bar. There are no shops or stores on any of the outer islands, but some do have small restaurants.


From this central location you can cruise to no less than forty recognised anchorages, many of them within two hours' sailing. Don't miss the Swallows Cave on the island's northwest tip. It is a spectacular sight that is similar to the Blue Grotto in Capri. Port Maurelle on Kapa is the spot where the Spanish explorer Maurelle,who in 1781 was the first European to see Vava'u, anchored his ship. It is a lovely and protected natural anchorage.

Nuapapu, Hunga and Vaka'eitu

To the west are the islands of Nuapapu, Hunga and Vaka'eitu. Hunga's huge lagoon, formed by the crater of an extinct volcano, can only be reached through a 200ft-wide pass. Here a traditional Tongan village shares the shoreline with the 'Island Style' Club Hunga Resort. Further along, on the western coast of Nuapapu is the fascinating Mariner's Cave, an underwater cavern which good swimmers will be able to visit. At Vaka'eitu you will find a safe overnight anchorage.


Mananita is surrounded by reefs that provide some of the best snorkelling in the area. Careful navigation through the reefs will be rewarded by the discovery of perfect white, powdery sand beaches. A stroll inland will take you into a luxuriant natural temple filled with the brilliant green light provided by the large-leafed puko trees.


Kenutu is an idyllic lagoon perfect for an overnight stay, with an attractive beach, excellent diving for experienced divers on the reef and a walk on the exposed ocean side to see the caverns and blowholes.


A delightful small island surrounded by a sandy beach, Mounu is the idyllic South Pacific island. There is a small resort on the western end of the island. Call ahead on the VHF and make your reservation for a gourmet meal.


A tiny island with a cosy anchorage alongside an idyllic sandspit, Nuku is possibly the most photographed island in the Kingdom of Tonga. A perfect place for a day stop. Safe swimming and snorkelling allow beginners to gain their confidence. Nuku becomes a favourite with all who visit Vava'u.


Between Nuku and Port Maurelle, A'a provides some amazing snorkelling and diving, particularly along the western shoreline. The mid afternoon sun highlights the natural colours of the coral and fish life, with the depth dropping away to around 200 feet.

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