GPS Tracks of Ha’apai Islands in Tonga

Looking through my list of unfinished tasks, I discovered the map of our two week visit to the Ha’apai group of islands in Tonga had never been completed. Our visit started with a stormy passage from Vava’u, you can click on the link above and to the right of each post title to follow each post after that. The Ha’apai group of islands are very special. They have had far less visits from sailors than Vava’u. So, the people are more enchanted with visitors. But, the magic is starting to wear off since their popularity is increasing. Ha’apai is where we arranged to have our friend Paul, from New Zealand, fly to meet us before helping us crew Tahina to New Zealand.

Ha'apai Tracks in Google Earth

We did a fair amount of travel around these islands. We spent more time in the north while we waited for Paul to arrive. You’ll see our favorite spot was near a beautiful secluded small island called Nukunamo. There was also some nice reefs nearby for snorkeling.

The map also marks the customs/immigration offices, the airport, the “Mariner’s Cafe” (which has Internet), and where to park the dinghy on the main island of Lifuku. And, I’ve added links to the geo-tagged photos we posted as well. The Ha’apai islands were amazingly beautiful. Make sure you look at some of the photos.

Since the map has so much data, it’s best to view in Google Earth. Just download our Ha’apai map and view it in Google Earth. One nice thing to note is that Google Earth now has better imagery for the area so Nukunamo (which was previously a blur) is now high-resolution. You can see even better why we loved it.

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2 Responses to GPS Tracks of Ha’apai Islands in Tonga

  1. Wilson says:

    Frank & Karen,

    It has been way too long since I caught up with you on your grand adventure. You are in a part of the world that is at the top of my list and it looks like the two of you are enjoying it and doing great. I look forward to reading more about New Zealand and your plans moving forward.

    I have a question for you about Nukunoma, Tonga. One of your pix of the western beach shows light sand and black layered rocks. Do you know the geology of the place? The dark stuff looks like basalt, but I don’t see any volcanos.

    My best regards to both of you,


    • Frank Taylor says:

      Hi Wilson! Nice hearing from you!

      About Nukunamo – I believe the rocks you see are uplifted coral. Probably either due to storms or due to the instability of the geology in the area. There are many volcanoes (both sub-sea and above sea) in the Tonga region – and there is a big fault-line area nearby. Wasn’t too long ago that a new island popped up in Tonga (a few years ago) – that’s enough to make someone using charts (even modern ones) cringe.

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