Ha'apai is an island group of about 60 islands in Tonga, south of the Vava'u group and north of Tongatapu. Only 20 islands are constantly inhabited. Close to one of the islands, Tofua, in the west of the group, is where the Mutiny on the Bounty occurred in 1789. The total population is approximately 5,500, out of which 2,500 live on the main island of Pangai. There are plenty of sandy beaches plus good diving and snorkelling and the opportunity to see some whales. But, basically, Ha'apai is a place to relax and get away from the rat race.

The Rush Hour in downtown Pangai

Get in

By plane

International flights arrive on Tongatapu.

There are daily flights by Chathams Pacific, Tonga's Domestic Airline to Ha'apai and a link to / from Vava'u a couple of times a week. Chathams Pacific generally fly a fully restored vintage DC3 (24 seat aircraft which returned to service Sept 2010) on the Ha'apai sector backed up by the Convair 580 (50 seats). Chathams Pacific operate a total of six aircraft within the Kingdom and all of these are used on the Ha'apai route from time to time. Details of their aircraft can be found on their website. The DC3 is not a pressurised aircraft and therefore flys at lower altitudes than the Convair. Passengers tend to enjoy the lower altitude as it makes the scenic flying aspect rewarding given the Kingdom's many islands, reefs and islets. Flight time Tongatapu - Ha'apai is about 30 minutes.

By ferry

The MV Outuanga'ofa travels once a week from Nuku’alofa, Tongatapu to Pangai, usually departing on Monday and arriving on Tuesday. It makes a return journey to Nuku’alofa on Wednesday evening.

Get around




Mariner's Cafe - central Pangai. Wide selection of tasty meals including home-made pasta, pizza, burgers,fish and daily specials. Ice cold alcoholic beverages available.Mariner's is THE meeting place for travellers and can provide tourist information. Also has bikes and snorkelling gear for hire.

Talahiva Tongan Cafe - behind the petrol station in Pangai, T$5 for very big portions of BBQ, KFC and Curry. Langi Langi guesthouse lobster feast, $T30 for more than you could possibly eat - advance booking required.



There is a range of accommodation on the Ha'apai islands, from budget to luxurious. Note that payment in cash is usually preferred and some of the smaller places do not accept credit cards.




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