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Foa Island, Ha’apai Group, Tonga

OUR Thoughts on Matafonua Lodge
Another secluded gem in Tonga! We often say that staying on an Island off an Island seems to add to the holiday atmosphere (think of Fiji’s off-shore Island Resorts), so an Island-off-an-Island-off-an-island must be very special, and it is. Getting to Matafonua is easy enough; you take a flight from Tonga’s main airport on Tongatapu Island to Ha’apai’s Airport on Lifuka Island (it takes less than an hour), then transfer by road across a short bridge from Lifuka Island to Fo’a Island and go as far as you can (around 10 kms) to the furthermost point and that’s where Matafonua Lodge is located.

What a great spot - the location is superb. The 10 fales all face the lagoon and while some are closer to the water than others, none are more than 50 metres away from the sand. Matafonua Lodge is built on a narrow sandy point at the top of Fo’a Island and all fales catch the cooling sea breezes. If ever the breeze is perhaps a little too strong for your liking, just wander over the point to the beach on the other side which will be sheltered.

Matafonua is a holiday place for people who are looking for a special place in the world. A place made for sharing and gaining new experiences while relaxing and unwinding either by lazing in a hammock until the next meal-time rolls around or by participating in some of the activities on offer. These include Scuba diving (including introduction to dive for novices) kayaking across to the desert island just across from Matafonua, an organised visit to a fairly remote Tongan Village, a boat trip out to Tofua Island which is an emerging active volcanic island, a guided visit to the recently discovered ancient petroglyphs (rock etchings), horse riding, bush walking, kite-boarding, fishing, whale watching and swimming with whales (in season). Bicycles are available free of charge for those people looking to be active on land and an interesting excursion is a pedal into Pangai, Ha’apai’s main town. This 14 km journey takes you through Ha’apai villages, across the bridge between the islands, over the airport runway (they close gates when there is an aircraft due) and into Pangai itself.

At Matafonua Lodge, the snorkelling right off the beach is stunning.

For such a remote spot, the food served at Matafonua is excellent. Meals are taken on the terrace of the main building (which faces out over the lawn to the beach and the sea), at a long communal table and the hosts do the cooking! In the event guests feel like a change of venue for dining, the Sandy Beach Resort is a short walk down the road.

Bullet Included in the nightly tariff at Matafonua Lodge
Continental Breakfast Buffet
Use of Kayaks
Use of Bicycles
Wifi (Hotspot is in the Reception/Restaurant area)
Small Library
Use of Board Games
Use of hammocks spread throughout he property
Guided Shore-based Snorkel Trips

Bullet Activities available at reasonable additional charge
Scuba Diving
Whale Watching (seasonal July to October)
Swimming with the Whales (seasonal July to October)
Stand-Up Paddle Boards
Kite Boarding/windsurfing
Feasts and Cultural Tours

Bullet Swim with The Humpback Whales
July to October each year is the time the humpback whales visit Tonga.  Matafonua Lodge is an excellent base from which to enjoy the unique experience of swimming with the Humpback Whales.  Matafonua Lodge run daily trips by boat (excluding Sunday) out to the whales and provide snorkelling gear and lunch on the trip. 

We recommend you have us pre-book your Swim-with-the-Whales experience and include the cost in your package arrangements.

What Matafonua Lodge Say About Themselves:
Ha’apai is the way the South Pacific used to be, the peace and tranquillity of a deserted beach, bush trails and uninhabited islands to explore, with some of the best beaches in the South Pacific.

Matafonua is the jewel in the Ha’apai crown. 10 Tongan-style beachfront bungalows with a great laid back atmosphere and delicious food. For the thrill seeker we offer lots of activities or alternatively relax in a hammock with a book, nothing is too much trouble for us so you have the holiday of a lifetime. Come share the beauty that is Matafonua Lodge Resort.

Here at Matafonua we have our own Scuba Diving Centre and also offer our own Whale watching and swimming trips during the Humpback Whale season from July- October.

Our Pacific style fales are absolute beachfront. Step off the covered balcony onto the sandy beach, meander through our lush tropical gardens to the main house which contains the reception, restaurant and bar. Each Fale comes equipped with electric lights and power points to charge personal electronic devices. Voltage here is 220V and our outlets are compatible with NZ or Australian style plugs. Cold drinking water is provided daily. We have single, double or family style fales. The centrally located rest rooms and bathrooms contain hot solar-powered showers.

Located in the main building is a library for books and magazines and a large selection of board games.

The food, along with the rest of your experience at Matafonua Lodge, is truly memorable. The Restaurant opens daily at 7:30 am, a buffet continental breakfast is available until 9:30am and menu items (including cooked breakfast) are available all day. We have an all-day menu which consists of pizzas, burgers, and toasted sandwiches. The kitchen never closes. For evening meals we offer additional choices which will be posted on the menu board. We never forget that this is your vacation so if you have any dietary needs or requests please ask and we will do our best to accommodate.

Don’t forget to always save room for Nina’s legendary desserts.”

Your Accommodation Options
Of the 10 fales, 4 are twin/double fales and 6 are bigger Family Fales. All are authentic, simple Pacific-style fales built of local materials. Scrupulously clean, each fale has a high roof and louvered glass windows to provide natural cooling. The beds are exceptionally comfortable and each has a mosquito net to protect against the odd insect that may venture in. The fales do not have individual bathrooms but no fale is too far away from the communal bathrooms which we found to be spotless. Don’t be put off staying at Matafonua by the lack of ensuite bathrooms in the fales, there’s a great holiday to be enjoyed here and somehow, after a day or two, the lack of a personal ensuite just doesn’t seem to matter so much. Tropical breakfast is included in the tariff.

Bullet Standard Fales:
Open-plan, simple but functional. Each has a covered balcony with a couple of chairs. There are a few steps down to the sand.
Maximum Occupancy: 2 guests.
Existing Bedding: Either 1 Super-King Bed or 2 single beds.
Additional Bedding: No additional bedding accommodated

Bullet Family/Triple Occupancy Fales:
These Fales have 2 rooms. The front room contains the Super-King bed. There is a dividing wall behind the bed (but no door) and the second room (which is behind the divider), contains 2 single beds.
Maximum Occupancy:  4 adults or 2 adults and up to 4 children.
Existing Bedding:  1 Super-King Bed which can be split into 2 single beds plus 2 single beds.
Additional Bedding:  Rollaway Beds for children or cots may be used raising the room maximum to 2 adults and 3 or 4 children (including a baby in a cot).

Getting to and from Matafonua Lodge Ha’apai
A domestic flight is required between Nuku’alofa and Ha’apai.  The flight time between Nuku’alofa and Ha’apai is 40 minutes.  Flights normally operate twice daily in each direction. No services operate on Sundays.

All guests are personally met at Ha’apai Airport on arrival and transferred to and from the property. Our Specialists will liaise with Matafonua when flight and accommodation bookings are confirmed.

Check-in Check-Out
Standard check-in time is 1:00pm
Standard check-out time is 10:00am

Kids’ Policy
Children of all ages are welcome. The hosts have 3 children of their own who love to interact with visiting children. A large selection of Board Games is available. There is a separate children play area right on the beach.

Cancellation Policy
Bullet All cancellations must be made in writing.
Bullet Cancellations made between 31 and 60 days prior to
      scheduled arrival incur a cancellation fee equal to
      50% of the cost of the total accommodation booked.
Bullet Cancellations made within 30 days of scheduled arrival
      (including no shows) incur a cancellation fee equal to
      100% of the cost of total accommodation 
      and services booked.

Travel Insurance is recommended
OUR Specialists can advise on all aspects of travel insurance

The information on this page is correct as at 01 March 2019 and is based on our supplier contracts which are valid for stays to 31 March 2020.  All information shown is subject to change without notice

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Resort Facilities
Bullet Restaurant/Bar
Bullet Scuba Diving
Bullet Guided Snorkel Trips
Bullet Hammocks
Bullet Guest Laundry
Bullet Board Games
Bullet Kayaks
Bullet Whale Watching (July-October)
Bullet Swimming With Whales (July to October)
Bullet Horse Riding
Bullet Stand-Up Paddle Boards
Bullet Kite Boarding
Bullet Feasts & Cultural Tours
Bullet Bicycles
Bullet Fishing
Bullet Wifi

Room Facilities
Bullet Insect Screens
Bullet Power for charging media devices
Bullet Spotlessly Clean
Bullet Communal Showers and Toilets