Ha’apai Divers at Matafonua Lodge – Ha’apai Tonga
Just metres from your Fale board the dive boat and depart for one of the dozens of nearby reef systems and coral bombies which offer some of the South Pacific’s most unspoiled and rarely visited dive experiences. From soft coral gardens to hard coral bombies, swim throughs and tunnel systems and offshore pinnacles this truly is a diverse marine environment. With regular sightings of the big stuff like sharks, tuna and manta rays, to colourful nudibranchs and shrimps plus everything in between. Visibility averages 100ft /30m but can often exceed that, water temps range from 24C to 28C. This year with the remodeled dive boat, new engines and larger fuel tanks we will have access to some rarely visited pinnacles at the northern end of Ha’apai which will offer some very exciting diving! We also offer a full range of dive courses from a one day dive experience for the non qualified diver to a full open water course and beyond.
Your hosts Darren And Nina, originally from the UK, have spent a lifetime in the dive industry, and have run dive centers and live aboard dive boats all over the world. Darren a 200-Ton Boat Captain and ex Commercial and Navy Diver, Nina a veteran Dive Instructor have a combined knowledge of almost 50 years in the underwater world and both spent the last 15 years as underwater camera crew for feature films, documentaries and TV shows in the US. We are happy to offer help and tips to all budding photographers, our passion is the underwater world and we like nothing more than sharing it with our guests.
Watch the video below to see what’s on offer here on Foa Island for the scuba diver
All new rental gear for 2012 all our dive gear has been replaced with Aqua Lung bcd and regulators, brand new Luxfer aluminum tanks Suunto dive computers 3mm steamer wetsuits from Neptune
Our 28 ft purpose built dive boat is powered by Eco friendly Yamaha 4 stroke motors and offers our customers a fast and comfortable trip to and from the dive sites. Most of our sites are less than 3 miles from the beach here at Matafonua, so we arrive in minutes. Entry into the water is a back-roll from the deck or giant stride from the swim platform and back onboard with a large aluminum ladder midships.
During the surface interval drinks and Nina’s famous dive snacks are offered and plenty of shade is available for your comfort.
- Everest: This is a pinnacle dive, located around 2.0 miles offshore. It begins at 2-3 meters down, before descending into the depths. This is a great place for pelagics, and you have a very good chance of seeing sharks and rays, as well as hard corals and tropical fish. This dive is suitable for everyone.
- Tunnels: This dive is made up of two fissures, which you will swim north-south and then south – north. You should see some very big humphead maori wrasse, as well as lobsters. Macro lovers will be pleased to know that this is a good place to see nudibranches. This dive will suit all abilities.
- Cathedral: A lovely dive, where a gap in a coral wall leads to a large cathedral cave. The cave is occupied by a family of lionfish, and a resident large grouper. There’s also a coral garden a few meters down. The maximum depth is 20 meters.
- Lafa Lafa: This dive name means ‘seasick’ in the local language – perhaps not the most inviting name, but it is 4 miles offshore! 3 meters down is a coral garden, where you’ll see all kinds of tropical fish. However, another attraction is that this is one of the best dives in Ha’api to see sharks, including white tips, silver tips, black tips and even the occasional tiger shark. The maximum depth is 25 meters.
- Crawshaw Reef: is a sand corridor with coral reef overhands on either side. You will find white tips here, but the dive is even better for eagle rays, turtles, and large numbers of coral trout, as well as nudibranches. The maximum depth is 23 meters.
- Benny’s: This dive is of a sand channel between a lagoon and the Pacific. It can be done either as a drift dive, or as a regular dive during low tide. It’s a very good dive for exotic marine life, and you may encounter stingrays and eagle rays, as well as the 3 leopard sharks that live in the channel. The maximum depth is 20 meters.
- Nudibranch Wall: This is a fantastic dive for macro lovers, and is a sheer wall between around 3 and 40 meters deep. As well as nudibranches, you’ll see sea fans and sea whips, as well as a large school of fusiliers.
- Towers: The ‘towers’ as the dive name refers to are two large pinnacles, right on the edge of a deep drop off. There’s a lot to see on this dive, including hard corals in the shallower reaches, schooling bait fish, lionfish and also many sea snakes. The maximum depth here is 30 meters.
- The Arch: This arch is said to be the largest in the Pacific, at 15 meters tall and 20 meters wide. It was created during the last ice age. As well as the arch itself, you may also see turtles, and sharks. But the fun doesn’t end here – there’s also a cave behind the arch, which is a haven for white tip reef sharks, cowries and lots and lots of lobsters. This dive has a maximum depth of 25 meters and is 13 miles off the coast . Unlike most of the dives around Ha’api, it’s only suitable for advanced divers.
- Pacalolo: This is a great dive – a maze of tunnels and swim-throughs in a coral reef wall. You’ll see lobsters, sharks, various species of reef fish and the very rare harlequin and ghost pipefish. The maximum depth is 10 meters, and Palcalola is suitable for all levels.
- Kau Vai Point Kau Vai, the large island to the north of Foa, runs for 4 miles north out into the pacific. The tip of this island has a shelf offering some very exciting diving. Schooling Reef Sharks and Dog Tooth Tuna in excess of 150 kg are spotted often. Schooling Great Barracuda and a large school, 500 plus, of Blue Trevally cruises up and down this section of reef. Bull and Tiger Sharks have also been spotted here.
To start your e- learning Padi dive course with us click the link below and enroll in a course today