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Tonga – The Friendly Islands

Travel / Historical Documentary

Tonga – The Friendly Islands

The Kingdom of Tonga, an archipelago of islands in the South Pacific, was visited by Captain James Cook in 1773 and due to the warm welcome that he received he named these islands “The Friendly Islands“; little did he know that they treated him kindly because they wanted to kill him. His life was spared on that day and he later returned; gifting Chief Tu’i Tonga a turtle from the Galapagos Islands. In the Ha’apai island group is where the Mutiny on the Bounty occurred, in 1789, and Captain Bligh was set adrift.

Fale ngatu, or tapa cloth, is still commonly made in Tonga and the continuous rhythmic beats of the women beating the tapa mallet is a sound heard from morning to night while the men share in a mild narcotic drink, kava.

Tonga’s islands are a treasure to explore. Experience adventures at Mariners Cave, Swallows Cave, Ano Beach for the colorful starfish and traditional Tongan feast or bath in the lagoon with the reef sharks and rays.

Tonga has long faced natural disasters from earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions and cyclones yet in the season from May to October it is a tropical paradise with calm seas, sunshine, tropical breezes and the perfect place to walk the white sand beaches.

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Telling the North from the South of Tonga

–  Te Arikinui Te Atairangikaahu:

Carefree and unaware I stay, And never was there thought, Of the complex cycle of time

Suddenly a big wave has crashed. The airwaves sounded the alarm, Telling the North from the South

Swells crashing through rough seas, The cause of my crying in words. Dearest Ngaruawahia is deserted.

Nieafu 41 lookout point

Nieafu, Tonga

Ano Beach 11

Ano Beach – Tonga

Nieafu 30 Safari tour


Swallows Cave 1

Swallows Cave, Tonga

Ano Beach 5

Ano Beach – Wyntersea at anchor