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 Lifuka (Ha'apai) - Profile

Location

Lifuka is the capital of Ha'apai group of islands and is on the island of Pangai. Of the many small islands in this group, only about 15 to 20 are inhabited.

Location 19°48'09"S, 174°21′11"W.

Other Islands in the Ha'apai group

Ha'ano Island
This island is about 8 miles north of Lifuka.

Location 19° 40′ 26.4″ S, 174° 16′ 40.8″ W.

Uoleva Island
Just 5 miles south of Pangai with a large bay and long sandy beach providing excellent shelter against prevailing trade winds. Newly opened in 2014 is Uovela Yacht club run by Craig Airey and Kristen Duirs located in the middle of the bay. A welcoming place for yachties including cruiser information for Ha’api/Tongatapu. More details below.

Location 19° 50′ 56″ S, 174° 24′ 16″ W.

Kelefesia
Kelefesia is the southern most island in the Ha'apai group, and it is only 35 miles north of Nuku'alofa (see photo right courtesy of SY Adina). It is a dramatically beautiful island. These combined characteristics make it an ideal stop between the Ha'apai and Tongatapu groups. The tiny anchorage at Kelefesia cannot handle more than three boats at any one time and is also prone to being very rolly. The island is privately owned, but they welcome boaters to anchor here year-round and to land on the shore.

Location 20° 30' 00" S, 174° 44' 00" W.

Ha'afeva
A very small island which is keen to encourage visitors. It is located 30nm southwest of Pangai.

Location 20° 2′ 30.12″ S, 174° 39′ 21.6″ W.

See this useful report on cruising the Ha'apai Archipelago from 2014 by SY Adina.


Clearance

See Tonga/Formalities for full clearance details.
See Tonga/Fees for details of the charges.

When entering Tongan waters, fly the Q flag.

Anchor in front of the Ha'apai Beach Resort (19o48.3’S 174o21’W) at Pangai village and call on VHF channel 08. Matt will notify the officials if you require international clearance. The officials may visit the boat or you may be asked to tie up at the wharf in the village.

The Customs office is located in the same building as the post office, close to the inner harbour.

If you stop anywhere in Foa, Lifuka or Uolanga, you are requested to check in. If you come from Vava'u or Nuku'Alofa, you only need to show your Local Movement Report (Small Craft). If you are intending to explore the Ha’aipi Islands request a domestic check-in and out as a trip back to check out can incur some significant mileage and in 2014 Customs were happy to do this. You can also do an international check-in/out at Pangai.

Open Monday to Friday only.

Last updated March 2016.

Docking

Most boats anchor outside the harbour, but in strong winds Lifuka has a secure harbour in which visiting boats are welcome to anchor without charge.

Last updated September 2014.

Yacht Clubs

Talitali’anga / Uoleva Yacht Club
Uoleva , 19°52’S 174°22W
Tel:+6768885800 / +6768685800 ,VHF Channel 16
Newly opened in 2014 by Craig Airey and Kristen Duirs. Located in the middle of Uoleva bay, a welcoming place for yachties including cruiser information for Ha’api/Tongatapu. Offers whale swimming, scuba diving, vegetables from garden for sale, beach bar with daily happy hour, coffee/cakes, pre-arranged bbqs, potluck dinners. Wifi in 2015.
Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
Sep 30, 2014 10:46 AM

Posted on behalf of Tom Partridge, SY Adina
A few of us have sailed through Ha'aipai and are just stunned why so few are sailing these islands. All of us agree they are the most unspoilt beautiful islands we have seen in the Pacific. Locals think stories of cyclones have scared people off plus sailors are nervous of reefs. If you can do the Tuamotos you can sail the Ha'apai! We want to buy one of these islands.

Tonga
Lifuka (Ha'apai)
Neiafu (Vava'u)
Niuafo'ou Island
Niuatoputapu Island
Nuku'alofa (Tongatapu)
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