The 4 island group of
Tonga has been left behind by hustle and bustle of the modern
world. Tonga is the only remaining Polynesian Kingdom
and is not a mass destination. It is one of the few
places in the world where you can snorkel or scuba dive
with whales up close.
Diving highlights in
Vava'u Group: Whale
watching, swimming and snorkelling with humpback whales, if
you're lucky you see them while diving. Humpback whales
migrate from their feeding ground in Antarctica to the
Kingdom of Tonga where they stay from July through
October to court, mate and calve.
Wreck diving: The
Clan McWilliam is a 128 m (423 ft) freighter, launched in October 1918. In June 1923 she damaged
her propeller and in January 1924 she was towed into
Panama with engine trouble. She sank in the harbour of Neiafu on December 24th, 1927 due to fire in her forward
hold and it is claimed that the Captain and Chief
Engineer went down with her.
Diving: The Swallows caves and Mariner's cave are
interesting and unique, with spectacular
underwater archways and tunnels.
Ha'apai Group: These islands
offer a great variety of dives including walls, caves,
channels, tunnels, drifts, drop offs and healthy hard
coral gardens with a great variety of fish.
Minerva Reef: The Minerva
Reefs are part of the Kingdom of Tonga and definitely
has the best diving in Tonga. The surrounding circular reef is nearly submerged at high tide and lies 270nm
away from Nukualofa, the capital of Tonga. Drifting
along the drop off in the entrance pass was my best dive
in Tonga. Lots of fish schools, from the smallest
colourful to the large game fish, hang out on the beautiful hard
and soft corals.