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When I look back on my time in Tonga, the words ‘awe-inspiring’, ‘magnificent’ and ‘unbelievable’ spring to my mind, but even these words seem to fall short. I have been sitting in this chair for 30 minutes trying to think of better words, but I just realised that there aren’t any. There are truly no words to describe what it is like to swim in the ocean alongside enormous humpback whales.

However, this is a blog, so despite knowing that everything I write here will be inadequate, I will still be making the attempt!

On my last day in Ha’apai, I had one last chance to once again swim with some humpbacks – and what a fricking incredible day it was.

Whereas on the previous day we had struggled to find whales to swim with, on this day we had the problem of too many whales! It made it hard to choose which ones to sail to, but honestly, as far as problems go – that is a pretty bloody good one!

The first swim of the day was with a mumma, a calf and a male escort. These ‘escorts’ are male humpies who are looking to get their jollies off and make some mini whales – so they follow around a female for as little as a few hours or as much as a few days – only leaving when they either get what they want, or when they’ve been denied for too long.


Getting to Tonga: International flights arrive from Nadi and Auckland
Getting to Ha’apai: Domestic flights from Tongatapu are run by the airline Real Tonga
Sea Change Eco Resort: The most comfortable ‘eco’ resort I’ve ever visited – click here for more info
Whale Watching Day Trips: This trips are run by Sea Change and cost $210 NZD per day (including lunch)
Camera: Images captured with a Canon G7x Mark II and Canon underwater housing
Remember: If you are prone to seasickness, take anti nausea drugs!


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