Islands Resort Kayaking

South Pacific Tonga: (ZZ-SKEC-20)
URL: http://www.hiddentrails.com/tour/outdoor_sea_kayaking_tonga_vavau_islands.aspx

Introduction
South Pacific Tonga


Resort-based Kayaking Adventure

The 7-day Tonga Islands Kayaking package is a great choice for non-campers and families as well that do not have 10 days to spend. Paddle the lee side of the Lifuka Archipelago to Serenity, an Eco-resort situated on picturesque Uoleva Island, renowned for its expansive white sandy beaches. Island walks, whale watching, snorkeling and a day paddle to offshore Luangahu Island feature in this resort based package.

Situated approximately halfway between Vava'u and Tongatapu, the Ha'apai Islands are everything you might imagine of a tropical island paradise.
On our Tonga sea kayaking expeditions we strive for a healthy balance between relaxation and adventure. We generally paddle in the mornings leaving the afternoons free for snorkeling amidst colorful coral and inside legendary marine caves; exploring lush tropical bush; and, observing the traditional village lifestyle. The pace of life in Vava’u is slow and relaxed - much like it was a century ago.

 

Accomodation

You will be spending 2 nights at Evaloni’s Guest House or Lindsay Guesthouse and 4 nights at Serenity Beaches Resort or Sea Change Eco Retreat (subject to availability).

Evaloni’s Guest House – Pangai (Ha'apai Island)
The guesthouse is located in only a two minute walk from the center of Pangai and has 8 clean rooms (some ensuite and some with shared facilities) and 2 ensuite fales (Tongan for “house"). All rooms have mosquito nets, fans and power plugs. Single and double rooms are available at this property with the possibility to add one extra bed in each room, for bigger group or families. No wifi available. Cold water only.

Lindsay Guesthouse – Pangai (Ha'apai Island)

It is a place full of pleasant surprises and is a ten minute walk from the center. It has 12 quaint, clean rooms (8 with shared facilities and 4 with private facilities). All rooms (single, double and triple rooms available) have power plugs and mosquito nets and fans are available on request. The big sitting area and airy veranda create good relaxing spots. No wifi available. Cold water only.

Serenity Beaches Resort - Uoleva Island

This charming rustic eco resort offers 11 fales, each with an ocean view,  porch,  separate area with a queen-sized bed and ensuite bathroom. A hot solar shower bag is delivered between 4:00 and 5:00pm daily. 

Electricity is collected from the sun. Wifi is available free of charge

 

Sea Change Eco Retreat - Uoleva Island

The fales have been carefully designed and well-spaced to provide privacy while being only meters away from the beach. We offer two different types of fales:

-          Our spacious safari tent fales are approximately 3.6 metres wide by 2.7 metres long and more than 2 meters tall. Each tent fale comes with a queen size bed as standard. Or two XL single size beds can be requested instead if available. They also include a private bathroom with instant hot water showers, basin/sink and a composting toilet – and solar lighting within the tent and bathroom.

-          Our new large wooden fales have a very large interior living area of 4 by 6 metres, large wooden decks and private bathrooms with basins/sinks, toilets and showers. Bedding arrangements come with a queen size bed plus a king single which can be arranged for families with children. 

Although we are located on a remote island, we offer wifi access (complimentary 100mb per day for guests staying here), and there is mobile/cellular access. However we encourage our guests to try and “unplug” as much as possible, and we are happy for you to say to others that you cannot be reached while on your holiday!

Single occupancy:

Tour package accommodation is based on double occupancy. A single supplement applies to those who prefer a private fale/room or who cannot be paired with another single participant.

 

 

Meals

All meals stated in itinerary are included and eaten at the accommodations. When, on an excursion, lunch is picnic-style.

Food is usually homegrown and you will get to try home-style dishes.

Alcohol is not included but guests can purchase some at the hotel restaurant or bar.

Riding

Itinerary

Note that the following itinerary is a sample only and is subject to alterations and delays owing to weather, sea conditions and/or logistical considerations. B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner

 

Day 1: Arrival / Orientation

A driver awaits your arrival at Salote Pilolevu Airport on Lifuka Island, Ha’apai and transfers you to your accommodation. Situated in the quaint township of Pangai, locally owned Evaloni’s and Lindsay Guesthouses offer clean accommodations with a Tongan flavour. Shortly after check-in, your guide welcomes you and confirms the time (normally 4:00pm) and venue for this afternoon’s 45-minute orientation talk. It is important that all participants attend this informative talk. Dinner this evening will be at either your guesthouse or at a local café.

Meals: D.
Accommodation: Evaloni’s Guest House or Lindsay Guesthouse (subject to availability).

 

Day 2: Kayaking

Transport departs early this morning (exact time is tide-dependent) from your accommodation property to our launching site near Pangai township. Here, the guides give a safety briefing before launching our kayaks. Today we paddle along the leeward shores of Lifuka and Uoleva Islands, skirting villages and beaches. Our base for the next 4 nights is Serenity Beaches Resort, a small island hideaway situated on a crescent white sand beach on the leeward shore of Uoleva Island. An eco-resort, Serenity features fresh rain water, solar and wind generated electricity, natural foods and private showers open to the stars. In the event that Serenity is fully booked, our accommodation will be Sea Change Eco Retreat featuring beachfront wooden fales and elevated luxury tents with decks, hammocks and private bathrooms.

Accommodation: Serenity Beaches Resort or Sea Change Eco Retreat (subject to availability).
Meals: B, L, D.
Destination: Uoleva Island.
Paddling Time: 2-3 hours.

 

Day 3: Kayaking

Weather permitting, we paddle offshore to Luangahu, a tiny uninhabited island visited only by local fishermen and nesting sea snakes! Whilst paddling, we may be fortunate to sight turtles, dolphins, and humpback whales, the latter of which migrate annually (July through October) to Tonga's warm sheltered waters to breed and calve. After a picnic lunch, we circumnavigate the island on foot observing makeshift fishermen's shelters and octopus drying trees. Those with sharp eyes may find remnants of whalebone in the sand dunes from Tong's whaling days. After a refreshing swim and snorkel, we paddle back to our resort in time for happy hour.

Accommodation: Serenity Beaches Resort or Sea Change Eco Retreat (subject to availability).

Meals: B, L, D.

Destination: Luangahu Island.
Paddling Time: 2-3 hours.

 

Day 4: Whale Watching

This morning we depart from our resort aboard Serenity’s 30’ boat in search of humpback whales! Their team of whale educators discuss humpback whale migration, mating, surface activity and song. From July through October we can observe the impressive acrobatic displays of these magnificent mammals, who migrate from Antarctica annually to breed, give birth and nurse their new-born calves in Tonga's sheltered, warm waters. Outside the whale watch season, enjoy a day of snorkeling, picnicking and sightseeing in the beautiful Lifuka Archipelago.

Accommodation: Serenity Beaches Resort or Sea Change Eco Retreat (subject to availability).
Meals: B, L, D.
Destination: Lifuka Archipelago.
Excursion Time: 4-5 hours.

 

Day 5: Lay Day

Today, Sunday, is by Tongan law a day of rest and worship. Tour operators are not permitted to conduct guided physical activities anywhere within the Kingdom on a Sunday. Take advantage of today's more relaxed pace and explore Uoleva Island. In the cool hours of the morning we stretch our legs with a stroll through low-lying bush to the windward side of Uoleva Island. Following lunch back at the resort, a short walk to the southern tip of Uoleva takes us to a reef drop-off at the edge of Auhangamea channel. Confident swimmers may drift snorkel along a spectacular coral wall. There are also lovely pockets of coral and reef fish closer to shore. Reading, eating and socializing are also pleasant diversions on this enforced lay day.

Accommodation: Serenity Beaches Resort or Sea Change Eco Retreat (subject to availability).
Meals: B, L, D.
Destination: Uoleva Island.

 

Day 6: Kayaking

On our final day of paddling, we paddle north along the leeward shores of Uoleva and Lifuka Islands back to Pangai township where we started our journey 5 days ago. From the kayaks we observe traditional village life including fish nets and traps; pandanus leaves soaking in the sea to soften and bleach in preparation for weaving mats; and colourful commuter boats piled high with baskets of market produce and cheerful locals. From Pangai, we transfer by taxi back to your accommodation and, later on, enjoy a sumptuous farewell dinner!

Accommodation: Evaloni’s Guest House or Lindsay Guesthouse (subject to availability).
Meals: B, L, D.
Destination: Lifuka Island.
Paddling Time: 2-3 hours.
.

 

Day 7: Departure

The trip concludes today with transfers to Salote Pilolevu Airport.

Meals: B.

 


Rates and Dates for Islands Resort Kayaking

Rates include:

6 nights accommodations, return transfers between Salote Pilolevu airport and Pangai township, 45-minute orientation talk, double and single fiberglass kayaks and accessories, 3 days kayaking, 1 day whale-watching (July-Oct) or snorkeling (Nov-June), all meals stated in itinerary and farewell dinner.

Packages and Options



  • SeasonYearDescriptionNZ$ ~US$
    A
    20197-day eco-resort kayaking, AP$3595$2375
The US Dollar Rate is Based on Exchange Rate of 0.66
Minimum Deposit: ~$1,750.00 per person

* prices are per person based on double/twin occupancy

Transfer and Other Charges:



 Description
2019 Transfer from/to Salote Pilolevu (Ha'apai) included
2019 Single supplement- please inquire

Season Tour Dates  Min / MaxReserve
A 2019 06/26 - 07/02 7d / 6n 7-day eco-resort kayaking, A... 4 /16 Reserve
A 2019 08/07 - 08/13 7d / 6n 7-day eco-resort kayaking, A... 4 /16 Reserve
A 2019 09/18 - 09/24 7d / 6n 7-day eco-resort kayaking, A... 4 /16 Reserve
A 2019 10/16 - 10/22 7d / 6n 7-day eco-resort kayaking, A... 4 /16 Reserve

Dates Note:

Rates do not include:

Beverages with exception of complimentary farewell drink. Meals not mentioned in the itinerary. Expenses incurred as a result of delays due to inclement weather, delays of scheduled aircraft, logistical delays, and resultant changes to the itinerary. Gratuities to guides. Personal travel insurance is not included in the trip cost and is a pre-requisite for trip participation.

Other Info
Meeting: Salote Pilolevu Airport
Airport: Salote Pilolevu Airport
Transfer: Salote Pilolevu Airport

Climate:


Pangai area

Month

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Average High Temperature (°F)

85

85

85

84

82

80

79

78

79

81

83

84

Average Low Temperature (°F)

76

77

77

75

73

72

70

69

70

72

74

75

Average High Temperature (°C)

29

30

30

29

28

27

26

26

26

27

28

29

Average Low Temperature (°C)

25

25

25

24

23

22

21

21

21

22

23

24

Source: NOAA
 

Seasons
The climate of Tonga is very pleasant, being slightly cooler and less humid than most tropical areas. From June to November the mean humidity hovers around 74%; and the southeasterly trade winds average 12-18 knots - ideal weather for paddling and camping. May through January is the best time for kayaking in Tonga.

During the wetter summer months (December to May) the weather is hotter, more humid and changeable with an increased risk of tropical cyclones. Most cyclones either brush past Tonga leaving little or no damage or miss Tonga altogether.


Special note – insects
We try wherever possible to camp in breezy spots as wind tends to keep mosquitoes at bay. They are only a nuisance after a rainfall and or when there is little wind. A good mosquito repellant is an effective prophylactic for the majority of people. However, if you are especially sensitive to mosquitoes it would be wise to wear long sleeves and pants in camp. Wasps are generally not a nuisance. Our guides carry oral anti-histamine and an anaphylactic shock treatment kit, but if you know that you are allergic to wasps it is a good idea to bring your own personal supply.

 

 

What To Bring: Women are advised to dress conservatively (i.e. high necklines, covered shoulders, loose skirts, dresses or pants) in the villages. Lowcut tops, sheer and/or tight clothing should be avoided. Swimsuits are acceptable on the beach; covering up with a lava-lava (wrap-around cloth) is a polite gesture to approaching villagers. Men should wear long shorts in the daytime; long pants or a lava-lava at night-time. Men are also required by law to wear a shirt in public except when on the beach. Footwear is removed before entering a Tongan fale (home).

List of things to bring:
We recommend bringing your own snorkeling gear to ensure a good fit.
Lightweight cotton or quick-dry clothing is recommended for Tonga’s warm tropical climate. Long-sleeved shirts with a collar offer good sun protection. Lava-lavas (2 meter wrap-around cloth) may be purchased in Tonga. It is a good idea to bring along two lava-lavas, one for wearing over shorts or a swimsuit when entering villages and a clean one for other occasions.
If you have any questions about clothing or equipment, consult your local canoe or outdoor equipment retailer or contact us. Any excess baggage can be left at our base in safekeeping.

--  Passport,
 --  Travellers’ cheques, small notes (pa’anga)
 --  Basic first aid kit
 --  Toiletries
 --  Toilet paper (preferably unbleached)
 --  Sun screen (SPF30+)
 --  Lip screen (SPF30+)
 --  Insect repellent
 --  Sun hat (stiff brimmed) with chin strap
 --  Sunglasses (preferably polarized) with neck strap
 --  Pack towel (viscose or polyester / polyamide)
 --  Drink bottle (1-2 litres)
 --  Cotton-lycra swimsuit, sports bra & briefs
 --  Lightweight rain jacket with hood
 --  Lightweight fleece jacket (i.e. Polartec 100)
 --  Cotton T-shirts (long & short sleeved)
 --  Quick dry shorts & pants
 --  Calf-length skirt/dress
 --  Lava-lava (can be purchased in Tonga)
 --  Cotton socks & underwear (for duration of trip)
 --  Heavy-duty rubbish bags (for lining stuff sacks)
 --  Waist pack
 --  Ziploc bags (medium & large)
 --  Flashlight/headlamp, spare batteries, lighter
 
 Optional Items
 --  Binoculars
 --  Hand sanitizer, handy wipes
 --  Talcum powder and/or Vaseline (for preventing chafing)
 --  Camera, film, spare batteries
 --  Favourite snacks, drink crystals
 --  Fishing lures & hand line
 --  Pocket knife, sewing/repair kit
 --  Reading & writing materials
 --  Small brush (for sandy feet)
 --  Summer weight sleeping bag/quilt /blanket (June-Sept)
 --  Half wetsuit 3mm (June-Sept)
 --  Cycling gloves (without fingers)
 --  Lightweight quick dry top (e.g. polypropylene)
 --  Reef shoes or old running shoes
      (for intertidal walks)


SECURITY
Theft is not common in Tonga. However, in a culture where “what’s mine is yours” and items are “borrowed” indefinitely, unattended personal belongings and valuables are at risk. We recommend you bring your passport and airline tickets in a dry bag on the kayak trip so that, in the unlikely event of evacuation, your guides can readily access these documents.

PHOTOGRAPHY
Photographic opportunities abound in Tonga! Tongan people are very photogenic and enjoy having their photo taken (except when they are eating). Asking their permission first is a polite gesture. Fujichrome Velvia professional film does justice to the tropical blues and greens of the water and foliage. We recommend that all film be processed in your home country for best results. A zoom lens is handy especially for photographing whales. However, bear in mind that the humidity and salt water can damage camera lenses and electronics. For this reason, some prefer to leave their expensive camera at home and bring an inexpensive disposable or waterproof camera instead. If you do decide to bring an expensive camera, store it in a dry bag or waterproof case with silicon packs and insure your camera. Bring plenty of spare film and batteries.

GEAR AND CLOTHING
Owing to the shape of a kayak, space inside the watertight hatches is limited so please try to restrict your gear to a minimum. Large dry bags, duffel bags and backpacks cannot be accommodated in the hatches. Please bring no more than two large (20L) dry bags: one for clothing, the other for miscellaneous items; plus one small (10L) dry bag for items you need to access in the cockpit (e.g. wallet, documents, sun screen etc). A mesh bag containing your snorkelling gear is additional to the above items. Nylon stuff sacks lined with heavy-duty rubbish bags are a more affordable option if you do not already have dry bags. However, a dry bag for the cockpit is essential. Camera and optical equipment should be waterproofed and insured.