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With Deep Blue you can choose from a range of activities from the adventurous to the more leisurely. We offer: WHALE SWIM, SCUBA DIVING, REEF FISHING, SNORKELING, MAKAHA'A ISLAND DAY TRIPS, AND BOAT CHARTERS.
Want an unforgettable experience?
Humpback Whales travel up from Antartica to Tonga every year between May and November. They come up from south to our warm and calm waters to mate, give birth and socialize. Female humpback whales arrive heavily pregnant. After a month or two of their arrival, they give birth to a baby calf who they will need to nurse and build up their blubber to survive the long journey back to Antarctica in November. Humpback Whales arrive at the two most southern islands of 'Eua and Tongatapu first before any other islands in the Tonga group. Many whales stay in these two southern islands while others travel further north.
Increasingly over the years, Deep Blue Diving observe humpback whale numbers in these two islands show an increasing trend since it started operating Whale Watch and Swim tours in 2006. Ten years of experience as an operator but 30 years of local expert knowledge of our Tonga waters.
Firstly, a possible explanation for the increasing whale numbers is that there are only two to three operators on the two southern islands. On 95 percent of the tours, during the whole season, you don’t see any other boats in the water. We believe when the whales are least disturbed, the whales are more inviting and relaxed, and the resulting encounter more intimate and special.
Secondly, the water is shallow and calm in Tongatapu, you can often see right to the bottom of the ocean on most days of our tours. The mother may feel it’s safe ground for the calf to learn to swim, which makes their behavior unhurried and calm. This combination makes for magical moments looking into the eyes of the humpback whales..
Our boat travel at a slow, calm and unhurried pace at 8 knots an hour. We believe it contributes to our very high success rate. With patience and a slow relaxed pace, we minimize disturbance to the whales. Once the whales are sighted, it may take an hour to two hours, to slowly follow at a safe distance. We are conscious that whales do not feel harassed or disturbed so it gives them time to adjust to our approach. The humpback whales can easily swim fast away from us, but our crew’s experience takes time to build up the whales’ curiosity and trust, so instead of swimming away from us, the whales actually stop most times, turn and approach us.
Ten to thirty years of local experience of the captain and crew in reading the sea conditions, the body language and behavior of the whales, they intuitively know which whales to approach those that are interested and open to interaction. At the Captain’s call, our boat stops and allows the whales to initiate the encounter. We achieve 95 percent success.
As well as local crew, we have travelling volunteers who are very experienced and knowledgeable in different fields – marine biology, dive masters, instructors, photographers, video graphers, wild life specialists, and naturalists. They add an important dimension to the composition of expertise on our tours, who interact with guests on many topics of interest.
Our staff will go out of our way to share magical moments with you, when these giants of the sea, turn around and look you in the eye, with an invitation for us to enter the water and share the good news about their newborn baby calf. It’s heartwarming that these giant creatures trust us with the safety of their new born, by allowing them to playfully frolic with us.
When the weather is sunny, and sea conditions calm with low wind speeds, successful encounters are extremely high. Tours departures and times are weather dependent and at the Captain’s call. It is advisable that you book your preferred date, but be flexible with your planned land activities, if we need to change your humpback whale encounter due to the weather.
Please advise your accommodation provider when you book, so we can contact you, if there are changes to tour times due to weather conditions.
Our staff will provide you with an honest estimate of your chance of success on the day, based on the weather conditions, so you can make a choice to take the tour on day.
There are only 3 whale watching boats in Tongatapu and 2 boats in ʻEua Island. We believe less boats in the water, lower engine speeds and noise, means less disturbance, less threat for the whales, hence the increasing trend in Tongatapu and ʻEua Islands.
Nice weather and calm seas, play an important part in the success of the interactions. So book you tour but be flexible to change the dates during your time in Tonga, as good weather is key to the success of your encounter.
This is no small task, given the whales are completely in the wild, and we are entering their world, especially when they have just given birth. Normally, its not advisable to approach any animal when their baby is small and vulnerable because they can display very territorial and protective behavior which can prove dangerous. Given the large size of the whales, its advisable to go with very experienced guide and crew.
Historically, our whale watch trips start in third week July and end in first of October. We were very excited to observe that whale numbers continued to increase in Tongatapu and ‘Eua each year since 2006.
Our season also extended for an extra month with whale swim trips going until 11 November 2015 instead of the usual end of September to first week October. We were so stoked at the extra 5 weeks of swimming with whales.
We had a week of really rough weather in first week of August which was quite challenging for the tour but we still had good swims with whales. Apart from a few days, due to rough sea conditions, we did not have a very good swim with the whales. The rest of the days throughout the whole season about 95 percent, the weather was pleasant and sunny, with calm seas so achieved very high successful amazing swims with the humpback whales on each trip.
MV Kiunia is a nice comfortable 15 meter steel hull ex-fishing boat. It runs on a twin diesel engines at a relaxed pace of 8 knots. We believe the slow pace is our advantage, that is the attraction to the whales, where they do not feel threatened, chased and disturbed, they feel safe. The boat has capacity for 25 passengers, although about half are swimmers and the rest are whale watching only. We may have two to four groups of swimmers, but our experience ensure that everyone comes away satisfied that they had the best experience of their life!
There is a 7 meter deck at the back and ladder for easy entry exit in the water. We also have a small aluminium 3 meter boat as back up to the swimmers, if there’s anyone that needs assistance in the water.
To enter the water, we divide guests into groups of 4 with a guide, on standby at the back deck, to enter the water, at the direction of the captain. You will enter the water quietly, no splashing and follow your guide. You are not to go forward past your guide, and stay huddled together so that the whales do not feel threatened by you splashing around and spreading out in different directions. Its important not to go past the guide because you can jeopardize your safety as well as the safety of everyone else.
If you see the whales in the water, raise your hand in the air so others can know. Cameras are permitted, so bring your Go Pros! to record these memorable moments.
Bear in mind you are open ocean and sea conditions can be challenging. You should be a good swimmer and feel comfortable in water and have some experience in snorkeling. This will make your swim more enjoyable.
Boat departs from Faua wharf Tongatapu at 9am, Monday to Saturday and returns around 4pm.
Dive with Deep Blue Tonga; we care for the experienced thrill seeker to the first time beginner diver.
We are the only operators for ʻEua, an untouched, undiscovered divers' paradise, with Tonga's biggest cave that has an amazing light show inside. We also dive sunken wrecks and captivatingly colourful coral reefs around Tongatapu.
Our intro dive is a great opportunity to see why so many people love diving. The dive is done in safe waters with an instructor right by your side. This dive is only for 12 years or above.
Our bubble maker is something for the kids aged 8 to 12. It is an opportunity for them to learn to breath with a regulator and become comfortable under water.
|Cave Diving (2 tanks, min 3 pax)||A$ 240||T$ 410|
|Whale swim||A$ 200||T$ 330|
|Whale watch only||A$ 190||T$ 310|
|Land tour (min 3 pax)||A$ 55||T$ 96|
|Whale swim||A$ 230||T$ 385|
|Whale watch only||A$ 210||T$ 365|
|Outer reef diving||A$ 240||T$ 400|
|Inner reef diving (2 tanks, min 3 pax)||A$ 115||T$ 200|
|Dive gear hire||A$ 30|
|Multiple days tours, 3 or more days||to be advised|
|Groups of 9 or more||to be advised|
Tonga is surrounded by many beautiful reefs abundant with life. With a group of 4 buddies or family, try your hand at reef fishing and have a relaxing day out.
|Reef fishing, up to 4 people|
|Full day||AU$ 300|
|Includes standard equipment rental, boat and light lunch.|
All prices in Australian dollars and inclusive of Tongan sales tax.
We have boats for charter by request. For more information please email us.
We also have a BxB a short stroll from the heart of Nukuʻalofa.