Best Diving in Tonga

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Tonga, is a miniature kingdom in the heart of Polynesia, is one of the world’s few remaining constitutional monarchies. Ruled by His Majesty King Taufa’ahau IV Tonga, Tonga preserves ancient traditions alongside policies designed to stimulate economic development and improve the well-being of the 96,000 Tongans. Tonga is famous for the humpback whale migrations through its waters.

Every year humpback whales undertake one of the longest migrations known to man, which takes one population from their feeding grounds in Antarctic waters to their Tongan breeding grounds. These whales form part of an Antarctic feeding population south of New Zealand and Australia but little is known about the migration path of this small population and their movements between the Southwestern Pacific Islands. A chance to see these majestic animals is an experience of a lifetime. You also cannot beat the diving in Tonga. The waters are crystal clear with the visibility averaging 100 ft plus. A big plus for the diving is the incredible variety found all in one group of magnificent islands. Tonga diving offers hard corals that truly are untouched, and soft coral gardens with rainbows of colors. One of the best life size Gorgonia fan dives in the South Pacific is located in Vava’u, a small island group in the north of the Kingdom of Tonga. Unique caves and caverns, spectacular underwater archways, large black coral trees, and wall dives that vanish into the inky blue. Also the wreck of the Clan McWilliam which sank over 65 years ago sitting upright and is still intact. There are over 50 islands in the Tonga group so one can only imagine all the wonderful dive sites that are still being discovered and explored.

Best Diving Destinations in Tonga

When you are not whale watching here are some dive sites all located in Vava’u.

King Neptune’s Sea Fan Grotto

The size of the sea fans on this dive are beyond belief. Flute fish and butterfly fish swim gracefully through the fans as the Clown Fish triggers dart back and forth. After passing the fans you enter “Clown Fish Heaven” home for hundreds of anemones and every size of clown fish possible. This dive is a photographer’s dream.

Mariner’s Cave

This cave can not be seen above water, it can only be found underwater. There are two entrances to the cave, the diver’s entrance at 50 ft and the snorkeler’s entrance at 12 ft. Once inside that cave you slowly surface into the most magnificent 40 ft high chamber with beautiful rock formations and stalactites. Inside the chamber it will turn into a blue-green fog then clear as the swell goes in and out making you think your mask has fogged up. Only seconds later the air is crystal clear again. The adventure repeats itself with each swell. Magic! Truly Magic!

Hunga Magic

This is the dive site for the soft coral lover. Deep magenta, pastel pink and sunny yellow soft corals abound throughout this dive.

The Clan McWilliam

The beautiful old copra steamer sank in the 1920’s with brass portholes, mast and crows nest still in place. The wreck is teaming with bat angelfish, and snappers galore. Legend has it that the Captain and Chief engineer went down with her. Some say as they descend onto the upper deck they can feel the presence of the Captain watching over his mighty ship.

Split Rock

This dive is appropriately named. This 40 x 40 ft rock looks as if God took an ax and split the rock in half. Divers can swim through the middle of the split. The hard coral reef is adorned with Christmas tree worms of every color. A couple of friendly white tip reef sharks bid you farewell from their cave near the end of the dive. sharks bid you farewell from their cave near the end of the dive.

When to Visit Tonga

The Season for Humpback whale trips is from July – November. The scuba diving season is best from March – May.

Dive Sites Reviews in Tonga

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Liveaboard Reviews in Tonga

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Miki August 23, 2017

I’d like to book whale Swimming and one diving from 30th Aug to 2nd Sep.
Is that available?


Xu August 25, 2017

Dear Paul & Karen,

I’m Xu, and my friends and I are really interesting about going to Tonga next August. Four of my Chinese friends came to Tonga 6 years ago, and they recommended you. We can’t make sure how many ppl we will have for the trip, but probably 5-10, and we’d like to do 3 days for whale watching and 1 day for scuba diving. Could you please recommend us a cost-effective hotel near your store? And if it’s possible, could you please provide some discount? Thank you so much! Looking forward your replying!


samira August 27, 2017

Hi 🙂
I am visiting Tonga from the 19th – 30th September and would love to go diving and swimming with whales. How far in advance should I book with you? Is it possible to just show up and book?
Thank you!


Paige August 28, 2017


I’m a solo traveller and I’m looking to dive on 21 September swim with whales on 22 and 23 September. Do you have availability then?

Thanks 🙂


Andrew August 28, 2017


Me and my girlfriend will be arriving in Tonga from September 12 to September 16, 2017. We will go whale snorkeling / free diving. Do you have any good offer for us to do whale swimming?

Thank you.

Kind regards.



Crystal August 31, 2017

Hi I’m Crystal. My husband and I will be in Vava’u September 15th to the 20th. We would really like to swim with the whales or maybe just watch if we’re not brave enough to swim. I’m wondering if you have any availability for whale swimming during that time period?

Thank you


Carmen and Michael September 04, 2017

Malo e lelei,
we are interested in a Whale watching/swimming tour on 24th or 25th October 2017. Are you still operating and do you have 2 places available?
Ofa atu, Carmen and Michael


Crystal September 10, 2017

Do you have any availability for Whale swimming Sept 14, 15, 16, 18, or 19?


Margaret September 11, 2017

I read about you in 50 Places to Dive Before you Die.
Well I have a simple note on my desk for some time now and it says “Tonga Whales” !
I am thrilled to have a contact. I have been diving for many years. My dream is to be in the water either diving or snorkeling with whales.
Preferably diving. My husband and I would love to set up a privately guided event . We are both older but quite fit.
What would be the best time to come to Tonga to realize this dream.
And is this something you can facilitate for us?
Looking very forward to hearing from you! My husband and I feel life is not a dress rehearsal , we want this experience very much!


Toby September 12, 2017

Hi we would like to book a whale swim on 25 September – would you have any vacancies?
We arrive on the ship Pacific Jewel at 8am and need to be back on board at 6pm.
Toby and Jo


Xu September 14, 2017

Hey, I’m Xu and I’m really interested in diving with whales. We are planning to go Vava’u next August (probably Aug.22th-25th). We’d like to do 3 days of whale watching and dives. Can I ask if you have availability for those days? We probably will have 8 ppl. Best regards! Looking forward your replying.


Margaret September 14, 2017

This is Margaret and Mike touching base again. Would like to set up a dive experience to dive with the whales. If you could let me know what the potential for this is and when would be the best time? Looking forward to hearing from you! Thank you in advance.
Mike and Margaret


PAUL September 25, 2017


Do you have any availability to dive for 2 people on Thursday 28th September?



Ian October 23, 2017

We are looking for a new dive and whale watch company in vavau and have been recommended your dive operation




XINGYIN November 07, 2017

I wanna check availability for whale swim on 11 Aug,13 Aug,14 Aug 2018, thanks.


Sandra November 11, 2017

I would like to book 3 divers on 12 January 2018
3 divers twin dive
2 snorkellers
Weights and tanks
Thanks you


Shawna November 15, 2017

Hello! My fiance and I will be spending our honeymoon in Tonga the week of August 13th, 2018 and would love to go swimming or diving with whales. What is your availability and cost? Thanks!


Dennis November 16, 2017

We would like to go snorkeling on Jan 3 or 4. There are two us. Is it available and what is the cost?



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