Getting There

Chathams Pacific -- The Friendly Islands Airline (tel. 28-000; and Airlines Tonga (tel. 24-506) fly between Tongatapu and Vava'u. Airlines Tonga also has service from Nadi to Vava'u, but I would let The Moorings or your whale-watching operator make my arrangements. Lupepa'u International Airport (VAV) is on the north side of Vauau'u, about 7km (4 1/3 miles) from Neiafu. Most hotels will pick up their guests with reservations, or you can take a taxi to Neiafu for about T$20 (US$10/£5).

The ferries from Nuku'alofa land in Neiafu at Uafu Lahi, which everyone calls the "Big Wharf." From there you can walk or take a taxi ride to your hotel or guesthouse. If you're on foot, turn right on the main street to reach the center of town and the accommodations.

The road from the airport dead-ends at a T-intersection atop the hill above the wharf. The main street runs from there in both directions along the water, with most of the town's stores and government offices flanking it.

Don't Forget to Reconfirm -- It's imperative to reconfirm your return flight to Tongatapu as soon as possible after arriving on Vava'u, and on the morning of your flight. The staff at your hotel can take care of this for you, or drop by the airlines' offices on the main street in Neiafu.

Getting Around

You can explore all of Neiafu on foot, but public transportation to the outlying areas of Vava'u is limited. If you book an excursion, ask about the availability of transportation to and from the event.

Adventure Backpackers Lodge (tel. 70-955) rents mountain bikes for T$20 (US$10/£5) a day.

Taxis are not metered, so be sure you determine the fare before getting in. Falepiu Taxi (tel. 70-671) has a stand opposite the Westpac Bank of Tonga; Liviela Taxi (tel. 70-240) is opposite the Bounty Bar; and Lopaukamea Taxi (tel. 70-153) is at the market. Fares are T$3 (US$1.50/75p) per kilometer, or you can hire one for about T$50 (US$25/£13) per hour, but be sure to negotiate a fare in advance.

Buses and pickup trucks fan out from the market in Neiafu to various villages, but they have no fixed schedule and are not a reliable means of transport. If you take one, make sure you know when and whether it's coming back to town.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.