Ha'apai 11-Day Classic: Kayaking & Snorkeling Adventure Tour in Remote Tonga

   
 

Ha'apai 11-Day Classic: Kayaking & Snorkeling Adventure Tour in Remote Tonga

BY FRIENDLY ISLANDS KAYAK COMPANY
www.fikco.com

UPDATED

12 months ago

DURATION

11 Days

SEASON

July - January

RATES

NZD 3,695.00 per person

EXPIRES

Dec 31, 2017
Ha'apai 11-Day Classic: Kayaking & Snorkeling Adventure Tour in Remote Tonga
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DESCRIPTION

Learn More @ www.fikco.com

Our longest expedition, the Ha'apai Classic remains our flagship adventure tour in this very special Conservation Area. Weather and sea conditions permitting, we paddle the length of the Lifuka Archipelago. Our base camp at the southernmost uninhabited island of Uanukuhahake is about as remote as one can get in Tonga! Even the ubiquitous coconut tree struggles to survive in this wild, windswept environment. Though nothing stops the nesting green turtle's annual return. Includes 2 nights' accommodation pre-/post-kayak tour.

ADDITION RATE INFORMATION

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Rates based on double occupancy. Single Supplement: $POA.

ITINERARY

Day 1: Arrival & Orientation
Ha'apai, Tonga
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Meals: On own.

Accommodation: Matafonua Lodge (or Fins 'N' Flukes Beach House subject to availability).

A driver awaits your arrival at Salote Pilolevu Airport in Ha'apai to escort you to your accommodation. Please ensure that you send us your full flight itinerary so we may arrange transport. Today is an opportunity to acclimatize and, for those travelers arriving from far-away places, to recover from jet lag. Your guides present a 45-minute orientation talk commencing 4:00pm at your accommodation property. It is important that all participants attend this informative talk.

Day 2: Kayaking
Uoleva Island, Ha'apai, Tonga
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Meals: B, L, D.

Destination: Uoleva Island.

Paddling Time: 3-4 hours.

Transport departs early this morning (exact time is tide-dependent) from your accommodation property to our launching site approximately five kilometres north of Pangai. Here, the guides give a safety briefing before we depart for the first of nine days of kayaking. Today we paddle along the leeward shores of Lifuka and Uoleva Islands skirting pristine reefs and beaches. Tonight's camp is at the southern end of Uoleva Island, rated by Outside Magazine as one of the top ten most beautiful beaches in the world. Here, too, is a magnificent coral ledge smothered in soft corals - a snorkeller's dream.

Day 3: Kayaking
Uiha Island, Ha'apai, Tonga
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Meals: B, L, D.

Destination: Uiha Island.

Paddling Time: 1-2 hours.

At slack tide, we paddle across a wide channel to Tatafa, a tiny uninhabited island visited only by locals. Here, we stretch our legs and have a snack before paddling eastward to neighbouring Uiha Island. The view from our campsite on the southern tip of Uiha gives a preview of the remote southern islands to which we journey tomorrow. This afternoon we explore Felemea, a quaint fishing village, and re-supply with fresh water in anticipation of spending the next few days, weather and other environmental conditions permitting, in the remotest part of the Lifuka Archipelago.

Day 4: Kayaking
Uanukuhahaki Island, Ha'apai, Tonga
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Meals: B, L, D.

Destination: Uanukuhahaki Island (Base Camp).

Paddling Time: 4-5 hours.

Our paddle plan today is southward along the inside of a fringing reef across shallow aqua waters to Uanukuhahaki (Uanuku) Island, nesting grounds for the green turtle. Base camping three nights on Unanuku allows us to fully enjoy the remoteness of this perfect South Pacific island.

Day 5: Kayaking
Uanukuhahaki Island, Ha'apai, Tonga
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Meals: B, L, D.

Destination: Uanukuhahaki Island (Base Camp).

Paddling Time: 1-2 hours.

We can snorkel for hours on end in the crystal clear waters, a virtual aquarium of colourful reef fish, off Uanuku. This remote, uninhabited island - our favourite in the Archipelago - is definitely not in the guidebooks! Nor is Uanukuhihifo Island, an optional short paddle to the south.

Day 6: Kayaking
Uanukuhahaki Island, Ha'apai, Tonga
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Meals: B, L, D.

Destination: Uanukuhahaki Island (Base Camp).

Paddling Time: 1-2 hours.

An optional paddle in empty kayaks to a nearby sand bar, with nothing on it but sand and shells, enhances one's sense of the remoteness of this very special area. Whilst paddling, we may be fortunate enough 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.

Day 7: Kayaking
Tatafa Island, Ha'apai, Tonga
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Meals: B, L, D.

Destination: Tatafa Island.

Paddling Time: 3-4 hours.

Retracing our paddle strokes, we return today to Uiha Island and re-provision with fresh rainwater. Tonight's camp is on the adjacent uninhabited island of Tatafa, from where our guides may conveniently assess the sea conditions with tomorrow's channel crossing in mind. Troll with a hand line for long tom or snapper on the way. If you or your guides catch fish along the way you can look forward to helping them prepare a traditional underground 'umu feast.

Day 8: Kayaking
Uoleva Island, Ha'apai, Tonga
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Meals: B, L, D.

Destination: Uoleva Island (Base Camp) via Luangahu Island.

Paddling Time: 2-3 hours.

This morning we break camp and paddle offshore to Luangahu, a tiny uninhabited island visited only by local fishermen and nesting sea snakes (which preclude camping here)! After a picnic lunch, we circumnavigate the island on foot observing makeshift fishermen's shelters and their octopus drying trees. Those with sharp eyes may find remnants of whale bone in the sand dunes from Tonga's whaling days. Following a refreshing swim and snorkel, we paddle northward to Uoleva Island.

Day 9: Kayaking
Uoleva Island, Ha'apai, Tonga
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Meals: B, L, D.

Destination: Uoleva Island (Base Camp).

Paddling Time: 1-2 hours.

Take advantage of today's more relaxed pace to explore Uoleva island. In the cooler hours of the morning stretch your legs with a walk through low-lying bush to the windward side of the island. After lunch, snorkel a reef drop-off at the edge of Auhangamea channel. Confident swimmers may follow the guides on a drift snorkel along this spectacular wall smothered in soft coral. There are also lovely pockets of coral and reef fish closer to shore for the less confident snorkeller. A sunset stroll down the beach takes us to Serenity Beaches Resort, a small eco-resort, for dinner featuring fresh seafood and locally grown natural foods.

Day 10: Kayaking
Pangai, Ha'apai, Tonga
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Meals: B, L, D.

Destination: Pangai township.

Accommodation: Matafonua Lodge (or Fins 'N' Flukes Beach House subject to availability).

Paddling Time: 3-4 hours.

On this final day of paddling, we retrace our paddle strokes north along Uoleva and Lifuka Islands back to Pangai township where we started our journey nine days ago. From here, we transfer by taxi back to your accommodation, hot water showers and a sumptuous farewell dinner!

Day 11: Departure
Ha'apai, Tonga
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Meals: On own.

The trip concludes today with transfers to Salote Pilolevu Airport and a warm farewell from your guides.

WHAT'S INCLUDED

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  • Return airport transfers between Salote Pilolevu Airport (Ha'apai) and your accommodation.
  • 2 nights' accommodation (based on double occupancy): 1 night before and 1 night after the kayak tour at Matafonua Lodge (or Fins 'N' Flukes Guest House subject to availability). Optional upgrade to Sandy Beach Resort upon request.
  • A 45-minute orientation talk.
  • Use of quality double and single fibreglass kayaks and accessories.
  • 9-day kayak tour of the islands with professional guides (guide:guest ratio = 1:6).
  • Snacks and 3 meals a day on the kayaking portion of the tour.
  • Camping equipment including tents and mattresses.
  • An evening meal at an outer island resort.
  • A farewell dinner at a local restaurant.

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