After an amazing first day spent in the water with some incredible humpback whales, it was time to head back to land and check out my eco-friendly home for the next few nights.
Located on the small island of Uoleva which is part of a larger chain of islands known as Ha’apai, Sea Change lives in a pretty much perfect Tongan location.
This stunning island is about 165kms northeast of Tonga’s main island – Tongatapu – and boasts beaches that the main island could only dream of.
Clear blue water, pristine white beaches and endless coconut trees make this a wonderful place to find yourself marooned for a few days (or weeks)!
The small resort is open year round, but if the attraction is to swim with humpbacks, you will only want to visit during peak season, which is July through October.
It is during this time that humpbacks migrate from their feeding grounds in Antarctica to the calm and safe waters of Tonga. It is in these waters that humpback waters breed, give birth and raise their calves until they are big enough to migrate all the way back to Antarctica.
This annual migration is one of the longest animal movements in the world.
It is worth noting that sometimes the whales can be late, so if you are looking at doing this trip as a ‘once in a lifetime’ adventure, I wouldn’t advise going any earlier than August.
I personally know someone who went in July, stayed for a month and didn’t see a single whale!
Once at the resort, there are two separate options for accommodation – glamping safari tents or more structured wooden fales.
There is a significant price difference between the two options, with the tents being $60 NZD cheaper during peak season – as a result, I chose to glamp it up!
These glamping fales are actually incredibly comfortable. Inside is a huge and fluffy double bed, and the tent itself is solar powered – so you can charge your small devices from the comfort of your tent.
Each tent also comes with a private shower and toilet. The toilet is a composting style eco design (not as gross as it sounds) and the solar powered shower was honestly the best shower I had whilst in Tonga.
One of these tents will set you back $170 NZD per night, which isn’t cheap, but honestly, it is well worth the moolah to be in such a wonderful spot.
Each of the tents is elevated and has an outer deck which is a pretty perfect place to watch the sun disappear from the sky.
These next shots were taken on my first night at Sea Change and have barely been edited at all.
This was easily one of the most stunning sunsets I have ever seen.
Just look at the sky in this next shot – are those colours not amazing?!
As it turned out, the mornings aren’t quite so ‘in your face’ spectacular, but they are still pretty gorgeous!
Getting this shot with the moon still in the sky was more than worth the early wake up.
Most people I met whilst staying at Sea Change were staying on the island for around 7-10 days! To me that seems like quite a long time to stay in one spot, but considering the locale and the yearly visitors, I can see why this wouldn’t get boring.
When you book your stay at Sea Change, the owners will also help you out with booking domestic flights and whale related adventures, so they do provide a pretty seamless process.
My stay at Sea Change was far better than I expected, in pretty much every way. If you are thinking about going on a humpback seeking adventure, I honestly cannot recommend them enough.
Thanks for reading, and as always, happy solo travelling! xx
Getting to Tonga: International flights arrive from Nadi and Auckland
Getting to Ha’apai: Domestic flights from Tongatapu are run by the airline Real Tonga
Sea Change Eco Resort: The most comfortable ‘eco’ resort I’ve ever visited – click here for more info
Whale Watching Day Trips: This trips are run by Sea Change and cost $210 NZD per day (including lunch)
Camera: Images captured with an Olympus OM-D E-M1 in conjunction with M.Zuiko 12-40mm f2/8 lens
Remember: If you plan to do whale swims on most days then skip the full board meal plan and pay as you go – as the whale tours all include lunch!