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Diving in Tonga

Tonga is one of only two places in the world where you can see humpback whales in the water. They pass through the islands between July to October each year.

Diving in Tonga

Quick facts

 From July to October Humpback Whales pass through the islands. They are often spotted from the boat, and, if you're really lucky, you just might encounter them during a dive. They come to mate and give birth before heading off to their feeding grounds in the Arctic. Other than humpbacks, divers to Tonga also see Manta Rays and Eagle Rays, as well as many shark species as marine life is very diverse in the area.

When to go

Tonga's climate is tropical with temperatures ranging from 25C - 29C year-round. December to May is nevertheless considered the warm season with water temperatures around 24C/75F, whereas May to December is the cool season with water temperatures around 21C/69F. Scuba diving, snorkelling and freediving are good all year-round in the unique geography around Tonga. Stunning reef systems, drop offs, chimneys, caves and swim throughs are common, alongside some big wrecks (such as Clan MacWilliam, a 140 metre ship) and excellent night diving.

Rain and temperature

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Water temperature

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Where to dive

Tongatapu has a magnificent lagoon and reef, with five marine reserves and two island parks protected by government legislation.

Ha'apai Group - great reef geography. There are caves, canyons, caverns and tunnels with vertical walls, fast flowing passes and colourful coral gardens. Hard corals dominate the reefs but there are also gorgonian fans and soft corals to be found.

Vava'u Group - excellent drift dives along walls and drop offs, as well as the fascinating wreck of a copra steamer, known as The Clan MacWilliam, right off Neiafu. This is an incredible wreck and you can easily spend four dives enjoying it. There are also some good coral reefs with lots of fire coral and several areas with large gorgonian fan grottos. Visibility is usually excellent, often exceeding 40m.

    USD 1,471Per person for 7 nights for 2 divers
    USD 1,028Per person for 7 nights for 2 divers
    USD 1,418Per person for 7 nights for 2 divers
    USD 4,184Per trip

    What to see


    For better readability of the table, pass into the landscape mode.

    Most likely sightingsPossible sightings


    Tonga is in the south Pacific Ocean comprising 169 islands, 96 of them inhabited, stretching over a distance of about 800 kilometres (500 miles). The islands lie south of Samoa and are about a third of the way between New Zealand and Hawaii.

    Tonga is the only surviving monarchy among the island nations of the Pacific Ocean, The islands are also known as the Friendly Islands because of the friendly reception accorded to Captain Cook on his first visit in 1773.

    Only 45 of its islands of the 171 islands are inhabited. About two thirds of the islands' inhabitants live on the island of Tongatapu in the south. The other main islands are the Vava'u Group a little further south, the Ha'apai Group in the middle and Niuas in the far north.


    Note - Travel to any destination may be adversely affected by conditions including (but not limited) to security, entry and exit requirements, health conditions, local laws and culture, natural disasters and climate. Regardless of your destination, check your local travel advisory board or department for travel advice about that location when planning your trip and again shortly before you leave.

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