Tropical Kayak Adventures in the Kingdom of Tonga
Entering our 23rd season, Friendly Islands Kayak Company is a model South Pacific eco-tourism operation committed to protecting the local culture and natural environment. Our indigenous guides provide a friendly, professional service.
The concept of sea kayaking
is still new to many people who may have visions of paddling in small unstable kayaks typically used on river trips. In contrast, we use stable, seaworthy double kayaks (Necky Tofino) especially suited to novices and the ocean environment. No previous kayaking
experience is required, but a moderate level of fitness is necessary. Single kayaks are available for experienced paddlers. Non-swimmers are welcome since everyone is required to wear a life vest.
A moderate level of physical fitness and a sense of adventure are important. The guides endeavour to balance the group by pairing slower paddlers with stronger, more experienced paddlers. However, the slower paddlers always dictate the pace.
Base camps offer the luxury of paddling empty kayaks or a lay day for exploring and relaxing. Paddling into a trade wind of 13-18 knots requires extra effort and can make the distance we travel feel longer. Those who engage in regular exercise such as walking, cycling or swimming tend to derive more enjoyment from their adventure. Physical conditioning exercises and camping experience are recommended.
On our Tonga sea kayaking expeditions we strive for a healthy balance between relaxation and adventure. A typical day entails two to three hours of paddling interspersed with rest stops. We generally paddle in the mornings leaving the afternoons free for snorkelling amidst colourful coral and inside legendary marine caves; exploring lush tropical bush; and, observing the traditional village lifestyle. The pace of life in Vava’u is slow and relaxed - much like it was a century ago. We spend our evenings on deserted beaches beneath swaying palm trees and the Southern Cross bathed by a warm South Pacific breeze.
Age range, type of group
Our trips attract adventurers from all over the globe so one is likely to encounter a variety of nationalities on tour. Similarly, we cater to all ages from children to seniors. Our family trips are exclusive departures (i.e. we do not normally mix adults with children). In this way, the paddle plan may be structured according to the children's unique needs and abilities. Children of all ages are accepted provided they feel comfortable on the water.
Exclusive family trips are our specialty. Vava'u, with its sheltered waterways and favourable climate, is the ideal place for young people to develop their paddling skills.
Sleeping and meals
The majority of our packages include 2 - 5 nights accommodation at guest houses, lodges and resorts. Tents and mattresses are included for the camping portion of the tour. All tours include snacks and 3 meals a day. Camp cuisine has an international theme (Thai, Indonesian, Italian, Mexican and Polynesian). The meals are predominantly vegetarian supplemented with fresh fish. We try to make extensive use of the delicious tropical fruits and vegetables and fresh seafood caught by our Tongan guides. We also try our best to please every palate. Please let us know well in advance of the tour of any food and/or drink allergies and/or dislikes. The resort based kayak tour
includes 6 nights resort accommodation and predominantly restaurant meals.
Participants must possess a moderate level of fitness and full limb mobility.
Rates & Availability
Rates are in New Zealand dollars and include 15% tax:
Vava'u 3-Day Starter - NZ$1055 per person
Vava'u Discovery - NZ$1795 per person
Vava'u 6-Day Classic - NZ$1895 per person
Vava'u 8-Day Classic - NZ2495 per person
Vava'u 9-Day Adventure - NZ$2695 per person
Vava'u 10-Day Classic - NZ2995 per person
Vava'u 7-Day Superior - NZ$3795 per person
Ha'apai 7-Day Eco-Resort - NZ$3150 per person
Ha'apai 9-Day Adventure - NZ3490 per person
Ha'apai 12-Day Classic - NZ$3790 per person
The climate of Tonga is very pleasant, being slightly cooler and less humid than most tropical areas. From June to November temperatures range from 22˚ to 30˚C the mean humidity hovers around 74%; and, the trade winds blow an average of 13-18 knots - often perfect weather for paddling and adventuring.
During the wetter summer months (December to May) the weather is hotter (25-32 degrees C), more humid and changeable with a slightly increased risk of tropical cyclones. However most cyclones either brush past Tonga leaving little or no damage or miss Tonga altogether
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20% Family Discount
20% Group Discount (6-12 people)
15% Early Booking Discount (8 months in advance)
The above discounts apply to direct bookings only.
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