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Anyone paddled the Vava'u islands in Tonga?

Posted: Fri Dec 11, 2009 5:01 pm
by kidkanektok
Hello Folders,

Has anyone paddled in the Vava'u islands in Tonga, which Paul Theroux made somewhat famous in "Happy Isles of Oceania?"

I'm wondering if it is still practical to take a Feathercraft out there, paddle to an island, and camp there without being hassled. My plan will be to camp out and do some kayak fishing in lovely solitude or near-solitude after a tramping/fishing trip in New Zealand.

(incidentally, it is pretty cheap to tack on a stopover in Tonga/Samoa/Cook Islands if you are flying to NZ).

Times change, though, and I'm wondering if locals or resorts have locked up all the island access for camping. Has anyone been out there recently, or heard from people who have paddled or camped? I know there are now several guide setups who lead trips there, but I definitely want to go solo.

I found this article, which basically restates Theroux's own conclusion about being out there alone. Somehow I doubt that I will reach the same conclusion :) ... -auou.html

Still looking for clues before booking time there, and any info will be welcome!!