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WorldSouth PacificTongaHa'apaiLifuka

An online cruising guide for yachts sailing to Lifuka.

Port of Entry
19°48.38′S, 174°21.11′W Chart icon.png
Pic or Map of Lifuka

Lifuka and the town Pangai are the administrative centre of the Ha'apai group in Tonga.

The Ha'apai group in Tonga should not be missed. Although more challenging than the waters of Vava'u, one can be assured of uncrowded, pristine anchorages with great snorkelling, diving and beaches.

Humpback whales visit the Ha'apai group from July to October and there are strict regulations in place for the protection of the animals. Most importantly only licensed operators may approach a whale any closer than 300 meters and only a licensed operator may place swimmers in the water with the whales. Visiting yachts should adopt a precautionary approach around the whales and only attempt approaching or swimming with them through a locally licensed operator.


Chart Number - Chart Name
Chart Number - Chart Name
Chart Number - Chart Name


Give local weather conditions or refer to another page (a region or island group) that covers these conditions.

Sources for Weather forecasts:


  • Lifuka, Luahoko, Ha'anno (Mushroom Rock).
  • Lifuka, Uoleva, Uiha


List Islands

  • Ofolanga, Mounga'one, Kao, Tofua, Ha'anno, Nukunamo, Uoleva, Tatafa, Hakauata, Luangahu, Lofanga, Uiha


Also see World Cruiser's Nets.


Approaching Lifuka Island and Pangai Harbour from the North keep the first large marker to your port side and give it a wide berth. Keep the following two taller markers to your starboard side. Lights may not be functioning. The harbour approach and entrance is very wide and easy with an average depth of eight meters. Once in the harbour it is possible to come stern to on the big red bollards. The harbour is a soft mud anchorage with poor holding. Be careful when you come in on the tender as the harbour steps are as slippery as an eel. The main wharf is used for loading and unloading by local vessels all day long, do not block the loading areas, adjacent to the steps, with your tender.


Clearing in and out of Ha'apai is required. Customs, Ministry of Health and MAFF officials will need to inspect your vessel. There are associated fees which are more expensive if the officials go outside the harbor to your boat. The customs office is in town beside the post office.

For entrance details see Tonga.



  • Fins 'n' Flukes - call sign (Malolo) on VHF 16 if you need directions or information.
  • Pangai For chartlets of the approaches to Pangai harbour please see Mariner's Cafe and/or call Mariner's Cafe on VHF Ch 16 for any info.

Marinas & Yacht Clubs

Use this section only if there are few marinas not covered in pages under Ports. Remove if not applicable.


{GreenText|List anchorages except the ones covered under Offshore Islands below. If there is more then 2 paragraphs for a given anchorage, create a dedicated page for it (Port/Stop Template) We use headings for these so that other pages can link to them. Remove if not applicable..}}

List services. If no services are available on the island write "None" and remove all the subsections (Marine Stores, & Repairs/Yards, & Fuel, Water, & Electricity.

If services are included in specific port pages, the following line is appropriate, otherwise remove it.

Also see each Port.

Yacht Repairs and Services

Marine Stores

There are no chandlery stores in Ha'apai and even the most basic tools or hardware are usually unavailable. PTH in Nuku'alofa or Vava'u is your best shot. Be prepared for shocking price tags though.


DIY only.

Fuel, Water, & Electricity

Petrol, Diesel and 2 stroke oil are normally available but fuels may be of poor quality with high water content.

Things to do Ashore


  • Fins 'n' Flukes offer scuba diving, snorkeling, Humpback Whale watching, PADI diving courses, bicycle hire, tank fills (must be in hydro), Wi-Fi internet, postcards, general info and advice.

Grocery & Supply Stores

Local stores provide an assortment of tinned, frozen and preserved goods. Variety is severly limited and fresh produce is rare. The market opens early and may have bannanas, Papaya and Water Melon. The Chinese run stores have the most stuff and are cheaper than Tongan outlets as they buy from the Chinese to re sell.


The Talahiva Restaurant offers BBQ, Kentucky Chicken, Chicke Nugggets, Fish Nuggets and Curry served with either local root crops or chips. Five dollars sees massive Tongan portions in return.




No service available.

Motorbike & Car Rentals

Push bikes can be hired from Fins 'n' Flukes

Garbage Disposal

Ha'apai has no waste management system in place, you'll have to take out what you bring in. Waste can be better dealt with in Nuku'alofa. Free roaming pigs and dogs will rip apart rubbish bags left sitting anywhere and the garbage is then blown into the sea. Your full rubbish bags should not be dumped around town under any circumstances. There are red litter bins around town but these are usually already full so pretty useless.



Contact details of "Cruiser's Friends" that can be contacted for local information or assistance.

  • Fins 'n' Flukes can be contacted on channel 16 callsign "Malolo" or by phone on 00 676 8870141.


List links to discussion threads on partnering forums. (see link for requirements)



See Tonga.


We welcome users' contributions to the Wiki. Please click on Comments to view other users' comments, add your own personal experiences or recommend any changes to this page following your visit.

  • Deserted beaches everywhere and beautiful hard coral reefs

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SailorSmiley.gifContributors to this page

Names: Lighthouse, Finsnflukes

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