A whole day on the island of Neiafu

Take Off
Jörgen Wennberg
Fri 3 Jun 2016 07:07
On the 3rd of June we hired a car and drove through the Northern part of the Vava’u Group, on the island of Neiafu. The only car that Avis had left to rent was a pick up! Two seats in the front and the rest in the back. Alex and Inez were very quick jumping onto “their” seats.


We first stopped at this little village right by the sea called Nga’unoho.


Alex and Inez had emptied more of their toys, pencils and paper and we were searching for a school where we could give away to children who needed this more. And that is when we found this school of 2 classes: one class for children 4 - 6 years and the other class for children 7 - 11 years. Seeing us walking through the school yard the headmaster welcomed us and …


… introduced us to the first class.


The sight driving further through the landscape and the villages of the Vava’u Group. 


All English speaking islands are still inspired by the British influence, although Tonga was never colonised, considering school uniforms. A quite nice sight along the roads.



We headed to the Botanical Garden where we had lunch and where Alex lots his second tooth!


After lunch we visited the Botanical Garden being one of the biggest attraction of the Vava’u Group. If missing on insect repellent, the Garden offered a more natural way to keep the bugs away. However for the smaller ones these became more of a chasing weapon… 


We had a very interesting walk with this man who has devoted his life to this garden and passionnaly shared every bits and pieces of “his” garden.


These fruits below are the Nooni fruits growing everywhere on Tonga.


This root is the source of red curry. The next pictures shows how they finance the Botanical Garden. Just like sponsoring, companies or organisation get some paths named after them for 2 years. Here the King has financed this path.


Vanilla! We learned that vanilla is growing from an orchid. 


After the lovely walk in the Botanical Garden we were shown how the Tongan people use their natural supply to weave baskets.


With the same palm leaves they also make doors, roofs and shutters for open windows, all depending in which width or breadth they use the weaved leaves.


From the same trees they showed how much they can extract from the coconut. Alex is tasting the natural coconut juice….


…. and then with the coconut flesh mixed with water they make the coconut milk that we buy in cans.


A girl dressed in typical Tongan dress made out of the palm’s trunk.


We continued our tour to the Northern part of the Vava’u Group, the ‘Utula’aina Point. And what a stunning view!





More pigs everywhere. We soon learned that although it looks like the pigs are walking in the wild, they belong to people. The pigs don’t run away and keep quite close to where “home” is. 


Our last stop was Mounga Talau looking over Neiafu.