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Addtion to Fiji trip: Vanuatu or Tonga?

Discussion in 'The Pacific Islands' started by kaaralex, Oct 12, 2010.

  1. kaaralex

    kaaralex Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Shanghai
    We are going to Fiji beginning NOVEMBER and we are thinking of incorporating one more nearby place, either Vanuatu, or Tonga, and spend some 4-5 more days there. Tonga has whales, Vanuatu has wrecks.. from diving point of view it seems both should be great. Logistically it seems the flights to both places from Fiji are also similar price.

    Personally I m by a tiny bit more in favor of going to Tonga, as Vanuatu is closer to Solomon or New Caledonia, so it can be incorporated to some other diving trip more easily than Tonga. So my questions are:
    Is beginning November good season for Tonga?
    Is it easy to arrange diving (with whales) at the last-minute?
    Is Tonga good diving even if not on live-aboard?
    Any good diveshop/accomodation there? (We prefer "a straw hut on forgotten romantic beach" to a "luxurious resort".)

    I would really appreciate your advice or recommendations or some recent experiences :)

    Thanks, L.
  2. Mark Guccione

    Mark Guccione Master Instructor

  3. bubbles09

    bubbles09 Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Brisbane, Australia
    i'd choose tonga for whales/fishlife/coral and vanuatu for wrecks - i reckon you should choose your destination based on your diving preference! If you do the Coolidge in vanuatu be sure to do a night dive on the wreck - INCREDIBLE!!
  4. BSOD

    BSOD Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: San Francisco, CA
    Was in Tonga a few months ago. This info's probably too late (since this thread got bumped probably after your trip), but whale season in Tonga is over - and it's primarily (only?) snorkeling with whales, not diving with them.

    As far as accommodations, Mounu Island looked absolutely beautiful when the dive boat dropped off some people there. It is a bit far out from town, so you may wanna factor that in (though it seemed like most/all of the ops will pick you up/drop you off). I had a great time with Dive Vava'u, although my time was roughly 80% whale watching/snorkelling, 20% diving.

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