Two journalists are currently in Tonga profiling the Kingdom for well-known publications in Australia and New Zealand. Ms Rachel Pinder from the New Zealand Press Association is focusing her article on the Tongan way of life including culture, local customs and the Heilala Festival. Mr Ben Stubbs, a freelance journalist from Australia, has been commissioned by the Sydney Morning Herald to write a feature about swimming with the whales in Tonga. In addition, he will publish an independent article about trekking and exploration on Tofua.

Arriving in Tonga on Friday, Rachel travelled to ‘Eua for the weekend. She was pleased to be back in time to attend Monday’s Heilala Festival float parade where she enjoyed interacting with participants before the parade. Rachel left Tongatapu for Vava’u this morning where she will experience diving, snorkelling and other activities as part of her tour. She will then fly to Ha’apai for several days before returning to Nuku’alofa.

This is the second visit to Tonga for Ben who was previously in the Kingdom two years ago writing about kayaking in Vava’u. His article appeared in Australian adventure magazine Get Lost. However it was his second article about ‘Eua, published in the Sun Herald travel section, which was particularly well received. As a result, Ben has again decided to write two articles about his trip in Tonga.

The first, commissioned by the Sydney Morning Herald will spotlight swimming with the whales. Alongside quality images it is anticipated that this article could become a cover story. Ben’s second feature will be about his adventures on remote Tofua. The natural beauty of the volcano makes it an attractive location but Tofua is seldom featured in travel articles due to the logistical difficulties involved in getting there. Ben arrived in Tonga yesterday and will spend most of his trip in Ha’apai with several days in both Vava’u and Tongatapu.

Rachel will be in Tonga until 10 August with Ben flying out on 15 August.