This ocean wellness adventure is dotted with once-in-a-lifetime opportunities, breathtaking serenity, inspiring wellness and a rare glimpse into the undisturbed culture of the Tongan islands.
Yoga with Rachel Land
Treat yourself to daily yoga in a tropical paradise under the expert instruction of Rachel Land. Perfect for those with a desire to go to the next level of yoga experience, each class will be peppered with laughs, smiles and careful instruction to help enhance your yoga practice.
Daily morning Vinyasa practice combines meditation, breathing and graceful movement to help restore your energy and refresh your spirit to prepare you for each new day.
The evening restorative practice will help you contemplate the beauty and tranquility of each day with gentle stretching, deep breathing and concluding with peaceful meditation. Helping untangle the mind and soothe the spirit from the inside out, you’ll be well and truly ready for sleep every night.
Pairing the pristine beaches of this Tongan paradise with yoga and mindfulness, you’re guaranteed to better understand the meaningful ideas behind yoga and how to integrate them into your life when you return home.
Swimming with Whales
This once-in-a-lifetime experience will help you reconnect with nature and discover the magic of the ocean’s most gentle giants. Feel the all-consuming reverberations of whale song as it surrounds you in the indigo water, and watch as these graceful creatures swim right by you. We’ve chosen the dates very carefully to give you the highest chances of seeing newly born whale calves. These ocean infants are curious and may even swim right up to you! Tonga, particularly the Ha’apai Islands, is one of the only places in the world where you can get up close and personal with Humpback whales in their mating and calving season, so don’t miss this life-changing opportunity to reconnect with nature and experience the true wonder of the world around you.
You’re an explorer and a wanderer. You want to become a part of a place when you travel, even just for a week. To give you the complete Tongan experience, we’ve ensured you’ll learn about true Tongan culture during this inspiring wellness adventure. From enjoying traditional Tongan cuisine everyday to helping prepare a Tongan feast on one of the days, you’ll relish this opportunity to participate in this happy Pacific culture.
Few people and places in the world leave you inspired and refreshed like Serenity does. After owner Patti left upstate New York to search for a place she could build an inspiring home-away-from-home for wellness travellers, she sailed throughout the Pacific and finally landed in Tonga. Creating beautiful furnishings and designs blending Balinese and traditional Tongan culture, Patti has created a place for people to escape the busyness of today’s world, and reconnect with themselves, their true essence, and their loved ones. You’ll love her stories of injury and triumph on the high seas, and determination to keep Serenity beautiful in the face of tropical cyclones and adversity. Serenity is the perfect way to experience the laid-back, authentic Tongan lifestyle.
Wander past endless coconut palms and dive into the warm sparkling ocean just in front of your accommodation to discover a breathtaking world of delightful sea creatures. A rainbow of colour from the countless fish to colourful coral gardens, you’ll explore the caves, caverns and tunnels as you search for ocean friends and curious sea turtles. In the comfort of your own snorkel gear, you’ll be free to discover this magical underwater world at your own pace and comfort level. Thanks to the remoteness of the mostly uninhabited Ha’apai islands, these coral reefs are perfectly preserved and free to grow and change in their own way, making the snorkeling here absolutely world class.
To Be Announced
Single Supplement: To Be Announced
Internal Airfare: $475.00 (Tongatapu/Ha’apai/Tongatapu—subject to change)
Costs are based on double occupancy. If you wish to have a single room, you must pay the single supplement fee. If you are willing to share accommodations, we will match you with a roommate.
Land Cost Includes
- Expert leadership of trip leader and yoga instructor Rachel Land and local guides.
- All accomodation.
- All meals listed as included in the itinerary, starting with dinner on the first day and ending with breakfast on the last day. (B = breakfast, L = lunch, D = dinner).
- All land and boat transportation, airport transfers for passengers on recommended flights.
Land Cost Does Not Include
International airfare; internal airfare within Tonga (see separate cost above); transfers for independent arrival or departure; any meals not specified after each itinerary day; airport departure taxes; optional activities; optional gratuities to leaders or staff; additional hotel nights necessitated by airline schedule changes or other factors; pre-trip expenses of medical immunisations (if any), travel insurance, or passports and visas; and other expenses of a personal nature (alcoholic beverages, laundry, etc.).
Trip Payment Schedule
At time of reservation: $500.00
90 days prior to departure: Balance
Cancellation and Transfer
Cancellation prior to 90 days before tour departure results in full refund of submitted payments, less $150. Cancellation outside 45 days but within 90 days of tour departure results in a cancellation fee equal to 50 percent of the tour price. Cancellation 45 days, or less, prior to tour departure results in a cancellation fee equal to 100 percent of the tour price.
Trip cancellation Insurance
We highly recommend that trip members purchase trip cancellation insurance. The insurance premium must be paid at the time of final payment or earlier.
Arrival / Departure
The trip officially commences on the morning of 16 September at The Scenic Hotel Reception in Tongatapu. From here we transfer to Tongatapu airport for our Real Tonga Airlines flight to Lifuka in the Ha’apai islands where we will transfer by boat to Serenity Beaches Resort and our home for the next 7 nights.
Your trip ends on the morning of 23 September. Our Real Tonga Airlines flight from Ha’apai to Tongatapu departs at 8:40am. If you are returning to Auckland this conveniently ties up with Air New Zealand flight NZ0273 departing at 2:20pm and arriving at 4:25pm.
Trip members are responsible for making their own arrangements for international air transportation.
Air New Zealand is the only carrier offering daily direct flights from Auckland to Nuku’alofa.
If you would like to travel on the same flights as Rachel, your trip leader, book onto Air New Zealand NZ0974 on Thursday the 15th September departing Auckland at 5:00pm arriving into Nuku’alofa at 8:55pm. We have made a group booking at our hotel of choice ‘The Scenic Hotel.’ Please indicate at the time of booking if you would like to stay at the Scenic Hotel on this pre trip night.
Please do not purchase your airline tickets until you are confirmed on the trip and have ensured your flight schedule matches our arrival and departure logistics information. Once your tickets have been purchased, please send us a copy of your airline schedule. Note: The full name on your airline ticket must match the name on your passport; otherwise you may be denied boarding. Please remember this when reserving your flights. In addition, your passport must be valid for at least six months after your date of return to NZ (in most cases).
While as accurate as possible at the time of printing, this itinerary should be considered an approximate indication of the schedule and scope of activities and trip routing, rather than an inflexible schedule of events; it is subject to change due to circumstances beyond our control.
Enjoy the authentic, laid-back experience of Serenity Beaches Resort and the captivating surrounds of this island paradise. Founded by Patti to help restore guests like you in a quiet corner of the world, Serenity is an opportunity to get away, and experience the simplicity of tropical island wellness.
All of Serenity’s private bungalows are spread out on the beach for ultimate privacy and calm. Due to the beautiful untouched isolation of Uoleva island, there’s no electricity so each bungalow or ‘fale’ is lit by solar lamps, candles, and battery lamps. (There is a generator for refrigeration and charging cameras.) Each fale has a private bathroom. Hot water is provided via solar showers. Serenity is staffed by friendly islanders and you’ll soon feel like an extended member of their close, happy family.
What the trip is like
Although this trip allows you the opportunity to improve your yoga practice it is designed to still be a holiday and there is plenty of time for relaxation. You may opt out of any activity for more time to relax if you choose. Because one of the primary enjoyments of the trip is snorkelling and swimming with whales, trip members should know how to swim. However, non swimmers can be accommodated (please enquire). We will have a “refresher” snorkel in calm waters at the beginning of the trip. There is ample time for both scheduled snorkels and free snorkeling, and for the most part the water time is “at your own pace.”
The thrill of close encounters with the whales comes with a responsibility: the need to protect these magnificent creatures and their environment from over-exploitation. While not as deadly as the whaler’s harpoon, our desire to get up close and personal has the potential to negatively impact their natural behaviour. We believe that understanding their behaviour is the key to a sustainable and mutually beneficial relationship. Our goal is to increase our understanding of their natural behaviour through passive observation and interaction, and to provide you with the opportunity to participate in this as part of your humpback whale experience. Once you have been lucky enough to swim with these majestic creatures, we are sure you also will become a strong advocate for their conservation.
The climate in Tonga is very pleasant, slightly cooler and less humid than Fiji and Samoa. The winter months (June to September) tend to be the best months for travel, with temperatures ranging from 70-90ºF. Mosquitoes aren’t as persistent in these months but we recommend bringing repellant, and lightweight long sleeved shirts and pants, especially for the evenings.