Neiafu is on the southern coast of Utu Vava'u, the principal island of the Vava'u archipelago in northern Tonga.
Cafe Tropicana is now hosting an AIS Receiver on behalf on www.marinetraffic.com. Expected range is 40nm to 50nm from Neiafu. Data can be seen on the website free.
Be aware that Vava'u has 3 FADs (Fish Aggregating Devices). Read this article for their positions as well as Navigational Marker postions.
When entering Tongan waters, fly the
On entering the harbour, if this is a first entry into Tonga, yachts should call Vava'u Radio on VHF 26.
Do not try to the main ferry pier (the one perpendicular to the shore) - the ship's vertical rubber fendering makes it impossible to fender a yacht. Go alongside the fisherman's pier just before it and, if necessary tie up alongside a fishing boat. Just be nice to them and ity will be OK.
Customs, Immigration, Health and Quarantine will all come aboard, eventually. It could take four hours to complete the process. Be sure to have lots of refreshments available! Fees will total about $130 (Tongan dollars) - ATMs are close by.
When leaving to go to another Tongan Island Group go to Customs first then the Port Captain (on the road beside the Bank of Tonga). On your way to another Tongan island group do not be tempted to stop anywhere on the way before you clear in again - this is severely frowned upon.
When leaving for a foreign port, go to Customs, Port Captain then Immigration. After Immigration you are expected to leave immediately.
In Neiafu VHF CH 26 is the cruisers' channel with booster aerials which allow you to use this channel throughout the Vava'u group. In season a cruiser's net operates at 0830 each morning.
Boats are cleared between 08:30 and 16:30 Monday to Friday. They are closed for lunch, usually 12:30-13:30. Lunchtime, after-hours, and Saturday check-ins are available by special arrangement and for a fee.
If arriving after hours or at weekends and you prefer to wait until normal office opening times, boats are allowed to stay at anchor, flying the Q flag, but may not go ashore until clearance is completed. See Tonga/Fees for details of the charges. See Tonga/Formalities for full clearance details. Customs Quarantine Immigration Health Clearance Assistance Last updated October 2013.
Tel: +676 70053 or +676 70928, VHF Ch. 16
No fees during working hours.
Tel: +676 70053
Tel: +676 71142.
If phone not working, please visit Immigration Office personally.
Tel: +676 70053
The local radio net, VHF Ch. 26, 08:30, Mon-Sat, will help provide useful information, run by various local marine operators.
If arriving after hours or at weekends and you prefer to wait until normal office opening times, boats are allowed to stay at anchor, flying the Q flag, but may not go ashore until clearance is completed.
See Tonga/Fees for details of the charges.
See Tonga/Formalities for full clearance details.
Last updated October 2013.
When entering the Harbour call Marine and Ports (Harbourmaster/Customs) on VHF Ch. 26.
Yachts can hire moorings on both sides of Neiafu Harbour. Remember that all the moorings belong to someone, so request permission before picking one up and enquire about strength for your size of boat. Many are not properly marked. Don't try to just pick up a mooring without clearing in, the officials watch carefully.
Moorings can be rented from Aquarium Cafe or Beluga Diving for approx T$15 per night. Weekly or monthly rates can be arranged. Their moorings are marked. When secure, call them on their designated channel (marked on the mooring).
The Aquarium Café and Tropicana are not providing WiFi into the harbour this year, although it is free ashore at Aquarium when on their moorings.
In the outer anchorages, the moorings in Hunga (anchorage #13) belong to Ika Lahi (CH 71); in Tapana (anchorage #11) belong to The Ark/Tapana (CH 10) and in Mounu (anchorage #41) belong to Mounu (CH 77).
The following anchorages (#6, #7, #8, #19, #32 and Maninita) have moorings put down to protect the coral and are free to pick up but donations are expected to help maintenance & placement of future moorings (Receipts given at Tonga Visitors Bureau, cafe Tropicana, Aquarium and Moorings).
If you choose to anchor instead, please do so far enough away from any moorings. On the western-side there are some good anchor spots toward the north. On the eastern-side there is plenty of room more to the south. Anchorage space can be a problem close to town because of deep water, except where most moorings are located.
Last updated October 2013.
Port of Refuge (Vava'u) Yacht Club is located at the Mango Cafe.