Travel Guide Oceania Polynesia Tonga 'Eua

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Introduction

ʻEua is an in island in Tonga just southeast from Tongatapu. It forms a separate administrative division. It has an area of 87.44 km2 (33.76 sq mi), and a population in 2011 of 5,016 people. ʻEua was put on the European maps by Abel Tasman who reached it and Tongatapu on 21 January 1643. He called it Middelburg Island, after the capital of the Dutch province of Zeeland. He did not go on land, but proceeded to the Hihifo district of Tongatapu, which he named Amsterdam Island after the capital of the Netherlands. Captain Cook visited the island in 1773 and 1777

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Geography

ʻEua is a hilly island, the highest peaks are the Teʻemoa (chicken manure) at 312 metres, with the grave of the soldier on top, and the Vaiangina (watersprings) at 305 metres. The island is not volcanic, but was shaped by the rubbing of the Tonga plate against the Pacific plate, pushing ʻEua up and leaving the 7-kilometre-deep Tonga trench on the bottom of the ocean, a short distance towards the east. The soil of ʻEua is volcanic, as is that of Tongatapu, but only the top layer, deposited by eruptions of nearby volcanoes ten thousands years ago. Under it are the solid rocks of pushed-up coral. ʻEua counts many huge caves and holes, not all of which have yet been explored.

ʻEua is the only island in Tonga that has a river, and had the only bridge in the kingdom until Vavaʻu also built one. The river drains into the harbour near the capital of the island, ʻOhonua.

A unique feature is the shore between ʻOhonua and Tufuvai. It is coral reef still close to the sea level. Many small tidal pools are found, named the ʻotumatafena.

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Villages

The villages of the original inhabitants of ʻEua are all in the north Houma, Taʻanga, ʻOhonua, Pangai, Tufuvai.

Haʻatuʻa and Kolomaile are from the original inhabitants from ʻAta, who were resettled there in 1863. The villages just north of that up to Angahā, are from the inhabitants of Niuafoʻou who were resettled there in 1946.

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Sights and Activities

  • Humpback Whales - Watch out for the visiting humpback whales during June to November, they often swim remarkably close to the island of ʻEua.
  • Bushwalking - ʻEua national park offers some of the best walks through the natural rainforest of Polynesia.

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Events and Festivals

‘Eua Tourism Festival

Held on the island of ‘Eua, this is one of the first festivals of the annual calendar. It is held in the second week of May and attracts visitors from around the globe to experience and learn about traditional Tongan culture.

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Weather

'Eua has pleasantly warm but humid tropical climate. Daytime temperatures are around 30 °C while night are still wel above 20 °C. The wet season lasts from November to April while the period from May to October sees less rain and more sun. Still, some heavy showers are possible during this time but it is the best time to visit Tonga if you want to avoid most of the rainy days.

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Getting There

By Plane

Tonga's domestic airline Real Tonga provides frequent service from Tongatapu. It takes only eight minutes to fly from Tongatapu making it one of the world's shortest commercial flights.

By Boat

A 2 1/2- to 3-hour ferry ride from Tongatapu is available.

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'Eua Travel Helpers

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This is version 2. Last edited at 8:16 on Aug 22, 18 by Utrecht. 2 articles link to this page.

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