tonga whale swimming HPA


HUMPBACKS : magical experience !


Tonga is located on Humpback whale migration route from antartica and has become a Whale Sanctuary. Our Lodge is located on a remote Island, which gives us access to one of the best whale areas in Ha’apai. With female Humpbacks coming back to the same locations to give birth and nurse their new born calves. Come enjoy the majesty of the mighty Humpback Whale as they migrate to our warm tropical waters for the winter months.  Enjoy comfortable vessels to watch and swim with these gentle giants, indulge in awesome food and relax in paradise.

1.Departure Date

  • for 2024:

please  contact us as we have limited availabilities now.

  • for 2025:

bookings are open please contact us

(G) = guided


8 days (incl. transport to departure point and from arrival point) - 7 nights and  3 days whale watching

3.Group Meeting Point:

Sydney (Australia) or Tongatapu (Tonga)

4.Who can go?

a.Min age: 18yo

b.Physical condition: must be healthy

c.You will need to:

  • know how to swim and preferably be a confident swimmer
  • Like the ocean and boating
  • Be patient
  • Love the sun

d.Group size: min 2 max 8 pax

5. Trip overall Rating [where 1 is 'easy' and 10 'is very tough'] = 5.8 /10

Difficulty = 5

Isolation = 7

Danger = 5

6.This activity involves (%):

Swimming = 60%  Boat = 40%

Survival skills = 0%

Orienteering = 0%

Group Autonomy = 0%


Day 1:Meet at Fuamotu International Airpot, Tongatapu, Tonga, and take a local flight to Ha’apai.  Settle in to the accommodation and explore the surrounds.

Day 2: Swimming with whales. You will go out on our boat with a Maximum of eight people and locally accredited guides to find humpback whales and their calves, and swim with them.

Day 3:Swimming with whales. You will go out on our boat with a Maximum of eight people and locally accredited guides to find humpback whales and their calves, and swim with them.

Day 4:Snorkel, paddle-board, kayak, go for a hike or simply relax today.

Day 5: Enjoy the sabbath in Tonga, where very little happens. Dress up and head to church for a true cultural experience, feast on local cuisine, and relax.

Day 6: Swimming with whales. You will go out on our boat with a aximum of eight people and locally accredited guides to find humpback whales and their calves, and swim with them.

Day 7:Explore the island by bike, swim and snorkel in the pristine waters over untouched coral

Day 8:Breakfast at resort and take local flight back to the mainland (Tongatapu). Fly home, or stay in Tonga at your choosing.

8.Weather / local conditions / Terrain:

The climate is tropical with a distinct warm period (December–April), during which the temperatures rise above 32 °C, and a cooler period (May–November), with temperatures hardly rising above 27 °C. The wettest period is around March with on average 263 mm. The average daily humidity is 80%. We travel to Tonga outside of the Cyclone season. But heavy showers and cloudy days can happen. An evening breeze will dissipate the heat and confirm you are in paradise.

Terrain: Tonga is made of 174 islands in 4 archipelagos. We will be staying on the most southern or the middle one. Both are quite flat and hills are seen a mountains here!



Will be on a 3 star island resort in traditional fales (bungalows) set up as Double Fales that have a king size bed or 2 singles or Family Fales have two rooms and can be made up as a king bed and 2 singles, 2 king beds or 4 singles, we can also add a baby crib or pullout bed. All houses are Pacific style fales with absolute beachfront and a covered terrace onto the sandy beach.

Because the island only lives on rain water collection, the bathroom is a shared gender specific hygiene block.


This is a remote island and most fresh food needs to be brought in from the other archipelagos. But like the rest of the experience at the resort, food is truly memorable here! The owners are talented cooks and you feel it! The restaurant uses available fish and veggies from to market and turns nothing into magic memories! Both international and Tongan cuisines are available, on this lovely terrace overlooking the lagoon.


Airplane flown by Real Tonga are under New Zealand regulations.

Airport pickups and drop offs are made in mini vans.

Whale Watching, swimming and diving are done in motor boats geared with 4 strokes engines (silent and fuel efficient). Boats are specially designed for whale watching, swimming and scuba diving. They are equipped with latest generation marine electronics and radios.

12.What to expect

Relax and tune in the pacific way of life, in a paradise like setting.

Ha’apai is the way the South Pacific used to be…. The peace and tranquillity of deserted beaches, uninhabited islands to explore, whale encounters, world-class snorkelling, incredible diving and some of the best swimming beaches in the South Pacific. The resort is located on the quiet northern tip of Foa Island with access to a picture perfect lagoon on one side, and a white sandy beach on the other.

Swimming with whales is a wild encounter; given the remote location of the resort, it has access to one of the best whale nursery areas in Tonga, and it has a strong track record of making these amazing encounters happen because humpbacks come back to the same location to give birth and nurse their new born calves before heading back to Antartica. 

The swimming with whale trips leave daily and include a delicious lunch, home baked snacks, and soft drinks. The day is spent watching, swimming and learning about the whales with our experienced and accredited guides. We generally stop anchor at a shall reef or deserted island for lunch and snorkelling. If you are prone to seasickness, or if you are unsure, we recommend bringing sea sickness tables, and/or a packet of ginger nut biscuits.

13.Safety and security

We take safety very seriously.

All boat operators we use are licensed and have the necessary equipment for emergency and rescue.

In water operation are ran by experienced whale watching licensed guides and they are very strict with whale approach protocols, both for the mammal's well being and your safety.

At this time of the year there are no major weather risks, but regardless of the forecasts, simple and proven emergency protocols are there to minimize these risks/dangers should they occur.


  • one English speaking guide per group of 8.
  • consider limited to no internet/mobile phone network for 8 days.
  • remember that you never are seasick safe and be ready for it.


per person in a group of 8, Based on twin/double share, for 3 days whale watching and swimming.

  • 2023 = AUD 2990 (additional AUD 350 per person for Guided trips in a group of 8)
  • 2024 = AUD 3290 (additional AUD 400 per person for Guided trips in a group of 8)
  • 2025 = AUD 3490 (additional AUD 450 per person for Guided trips in a group of 8)

16.Inclusions and exclusions


  • domestic flights with Real Tonga (TBU-HPA-TBU)
  • airport and boat transfers
  • food and meals for all period incl 'rest days'
  • snorkeling (mask, snorkel, suits, etc)
  • 8 days & 7 nights accommodation
  • 3 days whale watching and swimming
  • wi-fi, bikes, kayaks
  • free Visa for Australia and NZ
  • a group leader when Guided trips


  • international flight to & from destination (TBU)
  • personal expenses (beverages, entertainment, etc)
  • tips to local guides
  • personal equipment (we will send you a comprehensive kit list when booked)
  • non forecasted activities (such as scuba diving, kite surfing, etc.)
  • on land meals if customer does not participate for personal reason in WWS activity as forecasted
  • cost of Visa for other nationalities to be confirmed

Should you have any questions please contact us