Whale Watching in Tonga

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

I’ve posted several reports over the last few days on my recent visit to Tonga, I departed just as Cyclone Ian arrived.

 Whale watching Vava'u 542

▲ Whale watching is the big Tongan tourist attraction although I turned up in the wrong season, July through September is the prime time for the giant humpback whales to appear in Tongan waters, give birth to their young and then head back to Antarctica for the summer.  A Ha’apai whale watching operation reported their last whale sighting for 2013 was mid-October, an earlier departure than usual. This whale painting is on the side of a building in Neifau, the main town in the Vava’u group.

Ha'apai whalebone carving 542

▲ Of course whales can be seen all through the Tongan waters but the Vava’u and Ha’apai island groups are the two main centres for whale watching and whale swimming (yes you can swim with them) operations. This humpback bone carving was hanging on the wall of the Sandy Bay Resort on Foa Island in the Ha’apai group. I’ve not heard yet how it came through the cyclone.