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Neiafu, Vava’u Updates

By Roy and Gail Greenwald — last modified May 06, 2013 01:28 PM
We have just arrived on our Valiant 42, s/v Cordelia, to Neiafu, Vava'u, Tonga, after having hauled out for typhoon season in Raiatea. We were told we were either the first or third boat of the season. Attached is an update that may be helpful to others headed this way.

Published: 2013-05-05 23:00:00
Countries: Tonga

Clearance into Tonga

It is still necessary to meet with four individuals for Immigration, Customs, Quarantine, and Health. We came alongside the fishing pier, to the north/west of the higher customs pier. Hang fenders high to avoid catching the rail when the tide drops. If the team is not busy, it could take about 2 hours or slightly more.  We highly recommend you just relax and enjoy your new Tongan friends. We were sharing beverages and snacks, chatting about family and travels, and learning about Vava’u. The team is very friendly, but if there are no other boats around, they have no need to hurry. We fully enjoyed the experience.

The only fees we paid were $100 (all amounts noted are Tongan local) for health for the boat (not per individual) and $28.50 for quarantine.

Contrary to reports, they told us we will still need to clear out of this island group and into the others when we move on.

Marine Services

They will collect and dispose of your trash; sometimes there is a fee for this, but we had so little that we did not seem to be charged extra (or maybe it was the chocolate chip cookies!).

Duty-free fuel can be ordered and delivered to the pier by truck, but is only available on the day of departure after clearing out; set this up through customs.

Note that duty-free alcohol can be bought in town at the liquor store, with a passport and within the first 24 hours of arrival (although that seemed a bit flexible).

Docking and WiFi

Mike and Laurie at Aquarium Café and Lisa at Tropicana rent moorings for $15/night. Neither of them are providing wifi into the harbor this year, although it is free ashore at Aquarium when on their moorings (possibly also true at Tropicana, but we did not check this).

Repair Services

We had a mechanical issue and sought help from “Trouble in Paradise”, via Ian Cox and Andrew Jones and found them very helpful and accommodating. They are located on the fishing pier and their rate for services was $50/hr.

Shore Services

Lin and Gregory are the new owners at Mango Café and are planning to hold a Tonga Feast every Tuesday evening. The market in town has good quality, varying selections of produce and fruits at many of the stands. If you plan to buy a SIM card for a phone from another country, you will need to have the network unlocked before leaving your prior area, as they cannot do that in Vava’u – only in Tongatapu.

Fair Winds!

Roy and Gail Greenwald
SY Cordelia

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