Hilly and covered in lush rainforest, ‘Eua’s combination of breathtaking beauty and rugged, idiosyncratic landscapes is the perfect destination for travellers in search of adventure and eco experiences. A concise seven-minute flight links Tongatapu to the island of ‘Eua on its southeastern tip, reputedly the world’s shortest commercial airline flight. Passengers probably shouldn’t expect an inflight meal, but they should look forward to landing somewhere very different to the other island groups of Tonga. Geographically ‘Eua is the Kingdom’s oldest island, and is renowned in Tongan legend as where the Polynesian god Maui stood when he fished up the islands of Tongatapu, Ha’apai and Vava’u from the deep Pacific blue. Look forward to the Kingdom’s best trekking with well-marked trails criss-crossing the pristine ‘Eua National Park. Strike out on your own, or join a guided walk with the friendly locals, learning about Tongan history and culture as you explore. Experience the spectacular cliffs, caves and sinkholes of northern ‘Eua, or venture to the rocky southern coastline. Watch sea birds soaring atop the thermal currents swirling around ‘Eua’s dramatic cliffs, or descend through verdant rainforest to the ocean below. Maintain a keen ear for the call of the koki, ‘Eua’s rare red-breasted musk parrot. Markedly larger wildlife includes visiting Humpback whales from June to November, often cruising remarkably close to ‘Eua’s rocky shoreline. For divers, ‘Eua’s most spectacular highlight is one of the Pacific’s largest underwater caverns, with natural light illuminating a huge amphitheatre at a depth of almost 30 metres.
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