We took a couple days to get checked in with the Tongan officials, rest and reprovision. The weekend was coming up and Saturday was looking like it was going to be a nice day. Our taxi driver, Inoki, suggested he could take us on a tour of the island for a special price of $150 Pa’anga (about $100Cdn). We had always planned to do it, so we agreed.

King’s Palace in Nuku’alofa
Traditional Tongan dress for a funeral procession
Abel Tasman’s landing site in 1643 on the northwestern corner of Tongatapu.
Tsunami Rock

The plaque said “Researchers hypothesize that this large coral boulder, which is believed to be the largest tsunami rock in the world, was brought 100m inland from the surrounding coral reefs by a massive tsunami that hit Tonga approximately thousands of years ago.”

Captain Cook’s landing site in 1777. A stage is set up for local performances for visiting cruise ships.
Plaque commemorating Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Philip and Princess Anne’s visit to the site in 1970. Impressive! 🙂
Three-headed coconut tree. Supposedly the only coconut tree with three separate crowns!
Ha’amonga ‘a Maui Trilithon

This monument is the South Pacific’s equivalent of Stonehenge. It is credited to Tu’itatui, the 11th Tu’i Tonga. Each weighing 40 tonnes, the three large coralline stones are arranged into a trilithic gate.

This stone was Tu’itatui’s backrest and shield against attackers while he watched the construction of the gate. These chiefly backrests were apparently common in Polynesia.
‘Anahulu Cave was lit and had some stairs and ropes to hold onto for more safely exploring deeper. It wasn’t anything like caves we saw in Vietnam, but it was better than expected. A small entry fee was charged, presumably to keep the lights on.
Monty going for a dip in the fresh water pool after a few Tongan boys had finished their diving fun.

Our favourite attraction was the Mapu’a ‘a Vaca Blowholes along the southwestern coast.

Waves approaching the Mapu’a ‘a Vaca Blowholes
For 5km, the coast is lined with blowholes.
Capturing the moment!

One more attraction to visit on our way back to the dock! We asked the driver to stop by the new Costlow, Tonga’s answer to Costco. It will be serious competition to the Chinese run stores.

Even carried American wines and some Kirkland products! Notice the Tongan focus in the spice selection: Turmeric, Black Pepper and Dried Onion.
Tempting treats!

We went away with a bag of frozen Hot Buffalo Wings and frozen prawns, a few bags of Cheez Doodles, a couple jars of green olives and mixed nuts. Cravings!

More of Tonga, but from more of a cruiser’s perspective, coming soon.