created on: 2011-06-30
Tonga is supposed to be quite windy from June to October due to the south-easterly trade winds. We were hopeful to find good kitesurfing on the islands.
When we arrived in Neiafu located on the Vavau island group, we heard about a kitesurfing spot on the island Mounu. Unfortunately the only place to stay there is an expensive resort out of our limited budget.
Another place we thought would be interesting for kitesurfing are the Haapai group of islands. These islands are very low and surrounded by shallow water, therefore perfect for kitesurfing. To get there from Vavau or Tongatapu you can either take a plane or a ferry. We chose the ferry because it’s a lot cheaper than flying. There are two ferries operating. About the old one the Pulupaki we heard some horror stories from people living in Neiafu and so we decided to wait for the new one called Otuanga’ofa. It would only cost 10 Tongan Pangan more and be much cleaner and more comfortable. The ferries do the Trip Tongatapu – Vavau and return once a week. Usually they are one time unless you are unlucky like we are and want to travel after a public holiday.
We arrived two days later and in the middle of the night in Pangai on Lifuka Island. Luckily we could self-check in at Fifita’s Guest house. The next day we organized the owner of Taiana’s Guetshouse on Uoleva island to pick us up. This was the place where we expected good kiting according to the description in the travel guides. During the boat ride we could see it: there was a quite large flat, shallow area between Lifuka and Uoleva. We would find out later that it is a pretty long walk from the Guesthouse to the kitespot. Kalafi from Taiana’s told us it would only take 45min which we thought would be ok, but that probably didn’t include carrying heavy kitegear in the heat of the day through soft sand.
The guest house, which included about 6 private huts and a building for the kitchen was quite nice. But the shower had just cold water and there is no electricity. These huts are built in Tongan style. That means they are made of wood, have only one room and light comes from an oil lamp. The location on this beautiful beach with the huts under palm trees, the water only 20 meter away from your door made totally up for the basic comfort.
The kitespot was very nice too. However, next time we would make sure to get a lift with a boat there in the morning. When we arrived there with all our gear we first had a rest in our hammock and enjoyed the beautiful scenery. After we launched our kites and enjoyed kiting on this unique place. The wind is very onshore here, which didn’t bother me much but freaks out kelly. The water was very flat because it was protected by a reef about 100 meters upwind. Also the clarity of the water was fantastic. You can see every coral underneath you while kiting. The depth of the water was from around waist deep to about 1.5 meters. We had around 20 Knots of wind for three days and could therefore fly our 8m kite.
kitesurfing in onshore winds = kite crashing into mangrove trees :(
Hey Guys, Just read your blog! We are building a small resort at the tip of Uoleva Island so that kitesurfers can experience the magic of kitesurfing in Uoleva Island! We are calling ourselves Fanifo Lofa! We will be up and running by the end of 2014. If you want to come back please look us up :) www.kitesurftonga.com