Travel Monitor

Swim with humpbacks in Tonga

Savings of $200 per couple are available on eight-day, whale-swim holidays in Tonga, with nature lovers able to frolic with the giant humpbacks that migrate to the warm tropical waters every year to mate and give birth.

Australia-based eco operator, Majestic Whale Encounters, runs a range of whale-swim holidays in Tonga from July to October, with small groups staying in casual beachside fales on the idyllic coral island of Foa in Tonga’s Ha’apai group of islands, 40 minutes north by air from the kingdom’s capital, Nuku’alofa.

The discounts are available on two eight-day packages available from 31 July and 7 August 2014. Each package includes seven nights’ accommodation at the beach-front Sandy Beach Resort, one-night at the Scenic Hotel near Nuku’alofa’s international airport on Tongatapu, a welcome dinner, daily breakfast and lunch, five days of guided, boat-based, whale swimming, snorkelling gear, inter-island flights and transfers and is available from A$3500 per person, twin-share – a saving of $200 per couple off the normal price.

Flights to Tonga from Australia (5 hours direct) with Virgin Australia or from New Zealand with Air New Zealand and Virgin are extra.

Bookings are also available for Majestic Whale Encounters’ tours in 2015.

During the personalised eco tours, snorkellers swim with the majestic mammals, which measure up to 19m long, while maintaining safe, non-invasive guidelines set by the Responsible Partnership for Whale Watching.

Guests also enjoy relaxed ‘island time’ during two leisure days when they can relax with a coconut cocktail on the palm-lined beaches, swim in the turquoise waters, meet friendly local villagers and dine in local restaurants offering local seafood, sweet potatoes, yams, breadfruit and tropical fruits.

“You only live once so our aim as nature lovers and passionate conservationists is to share this unforgettable experience of swimming with these spiritual creatures with as many people as possible to ensure they have the time of their lives,” said Majestic Whale Encounter owner, Carmen Ellis. “What we offer is a life-changing experience in the paradise of Tonga which is one of the most beautiful, charming and relaxed destinations on the planet. The close encounters our guests will experience with God’s most amazing animals will be ingrained in their hearts forever.”

For bookings or information, call Majestic Whale Encounters on 0405 594 253 or visit majesticwhaleencounters.com