Ene'io Botanical Garden
Ene'io Botanical Garden
4.5
About
22-Acre botanical garden with 40 years of conservation and natural growth, Daily guided Eco tours and beach activities for the family; ocean-side restaurant and bar specializing in fresh fish and local fare; souvenir shop with gifts, many of which are made by local craftsmen and artists utilizing native materials, Local Tongan Family Owned and Operated
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The area
Best nearby
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Attractions
2 within 6 miles
See what travelers are saying
  • cloau01
    Otara, New Zealand59 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    A must experience in Vava’u
    This was the highlight of our day exploring. Knowledgeable and funny guide. As expected of Tongan hospitality, performance was beautiful, food was excellent, and learning how the beautiful tapa are made was something I have always wanted to know. If you’re in Vava’u please book this experience. You will not be disappointed.
    Visited June 2023
    Traveled with friends
    Written July 15, 2023
  • Sonia K S
    Auckland, New Zealand6 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Great Tour
    Visited Ene’io with some friends recently. The owner Haniteli was so knowledgeable and down to earth and it was great to hear and see his life’s work in the garden - yes there are mosquitos but this is to be expected. His wife Lucy was beautiful, they were both great hosts. The beach is beautiful and we were fed an amazing spread during the tour. My highlight was definitely the dancing from the village children, they brought so much joy to us! We had a demonstration from Haniteli showing how baskets/ngatu etc. is made. Really enjoyed the tour. Thank you Lucy + Haniteli.
    Visited June 2023
    Traveled with friends
    Written July 15, 2023
  • jsm6
    Dana Point, California2 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    A must see in Tonga!
    The botanical garden was nicely laid out, beautiful, interesting and informative. But what makes this a "must see" are the stunningly beautiful beach and bay on their property, the fruit lunch, a fresh coconut with a straw, the dance and craft demonstrations, but more than these the delightful and engaging owners, Haniteli and Lucy. We first saw Haniteli sitting under a tree at the entrance to his garden, in a traditional simple robe, in contemplation, looking for all the world like the Buddah. We soon learned that he held a degree in agronomy from the University of Hawaii, was a former Agricultural Minister in the Kingdom, and that he was very well travelled. And he was not only smart and incisive, but humorous and sometimes can't-stop-laughing funny. (Think the Dalai Lama.) And Lucy held three masters degrees. We learned a lot about the culture (for example, how the first-born inherits all land, resulting in Haniteli owning the garden at eight years old. We were on a very long cruise and took many excursions. Most of those blend together and fade out, but this one we will remember in detail, and so will you.
    Visited November 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written December 5, 2023
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

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4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles113 reviews
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paul g
Brisbane, Australia810 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2016 • Friends
These gardens were a great way to see the range and variety of vegetation typical of this area. The scenery was magnificent and everything appeared 'natural'. I believe it to be the only botanical garden in Tonga so it is unique. Is only a short distance to lovely beach.
Written May 3, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Weemaflintstone
Singapore, Singapore204 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2019 • Couples
We visited Ene’io twice:
1. the first time was on a sunday for their afternoon tongan feast. they picked us up and dropped us back to our accomodation. lunch was delicious, the suckling pig was the best and Lucy and Haniteli (owners of ene’io) were warm and welcoming. we ended up booking a private tour of their botanical gardens on a later date. my advise would be to bring insect repellent (LOTS of mosquitos) and your beach wear because there is a private beach and it’s very good for swimming and relaxing. also drinks are an extra charge do bring some extra cash for drinks and their little gift shop. highly recommend the feast, please give it a try as it is very good!

2. the second time was for a private tour. lucy and haniteli kindly picked us up from our guesthouse and also sent us to the airport after the tour. They also cooked us the best ever fish and chips for lunch. the garden tour took a little longer (around 3 hrs) because we asked a lot of questions and we also had lunch after that. after lunch we had some time at their private beach. these tours require advanced bookings so do email them to check. the transport from our guesthouse n to the airport was 90 TOP total. lunch was 50TOP total, the private tour is 55TOP each. i was glad we spent the last day here, what a way to end off our trip to tonga.

to book the tours you can either facebook message them or please see the photo of their contact card
Written August 18, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you for taking the time to make wonderful comments of your experience at 'Ene'io Botanical Garden and Beach. 1) Firstly your Sunday Feast experience was awesome and lunch was delicious, thank you for very good comments of your experience. As for the mosquitos, this is often occurred when there is much rain and which direction the wind blows from. When it is south east, we do not have issues with mosquitos which is about 70% of the time during the whole year. When it is raining and wind blowing from north west, then we often face with mosquitos because of the rain and direction of the wind. As you may know Pacific island countries are most vulnerable to adverse impacts of climate change, and we are now facing adverse impacts even when this month is not our raining season. Thank you for comments on the gift shop as well. 2) Thank you for lovely comments on our fish and chips. We appreciate you had a good experience with us by visiting again for the garden guided tour. Transport was from the inner city of Neiafu where the pick up from the guesthouse to the botanical garden, about 13 kilometers ($40). After the whole experience, you were dropped to the airport, art, about 13 kilometers as well ($40). There has been an increase of 6% in the fuel cost throughout Tonga, and we are under non-taxi which will be very long to explain in terms of the regulations and there is no meter to determine the cost of the ride. The extra $10 was for your purchase of the papaya chutney from the gift shop, total at $90. Our fish n chips is $25 each, which include fish and chips, salad and papaya chutney and choice of tartare or tomato sauce. $50 for both. Yes, guided tour of the garden by the founder whom is 73 years old is $55.00 per person. We are happy that you had a wonderful experience with us, and also that the founder is still well and alive to give the guided tour. One day he may not be around to tell it like it is, and we are very grateful you took the time to visit the garden as you are making a difference to preservation and saving of some of the endangered plant species of Tonga. Yes book with us on facebook or our e-mail contacts.
Written August 29, 2019
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

hellandhighwater
Australia14 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2015 • Solo
I took a guided tour of the gardens. This was very informative and I learned a lot more about Tongan life. There were good photo opportunities with hibiscus in flower and the stunning ocean views. Take your mozzie repellant.
Written August 23, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you for your support by taking a guided tour of the botanical gardens, and that you learned a lot more about Tongan life. The hibiscus when flowering is most beautiful and we have over 22 varieties in the garden. Good advice to bring mozzie repellant if there has been rain days before, but we give guests a small tree branch to whisk the mozzie away. Apology for late reply as our net is problematic
Written November 27, 2015
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Candy G
Loganholme, Australia154 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2014 • Friends
My mother and I were lucky enough to book into the Sunday Feast held at Eneio Gardens.

The hosts so fantastic and really make you feel welcome.

The food was to die for ! We enjoyed, tropical chicken and rice, fish mornay, mussels, Kumara patties and of course suckling pig (just to name a few) ! And coconut cake and fruit salad and custard for a treat following lunch ! Lucy creates the yummiest dishes !

Was such a great setting overlooking Eneio Beach.

Such a wonderful afternoon and we will be returning again without a doubt!
Written October 30, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you very much for visiting us and joining our Sunday Feast. We are very happy you enjoyed your time with us, and loved the food we offer on the Sunday feast. We tend to make some changes to our menus to what ingredients are available in the market and in season. We have just finished making a lot of mango chutney, as they are now in season. Thank you for a good review, and we welcome you again to visit us in the near future.
Written November 18, 2014
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

wahineokawaa
Kona4,080 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2011 • Couples
I can't say enough positive things about the experience that awaits you at Ene'io Botanical Garden. Far from being an "attraction," it's the life work of Haniteli Fa'anunu and his wife Lucy. It's one of the new type of community-based host-visitor experiences that are becoming more common throughout the Pacific islands - Tongan-owned and operated, and giving visitors a way to connect with real aspects of Tongan communities. The botanical garden has been Haniteli's lifelong passion – a former Minister of Agriculture, he was also very involved in the development of the vanilla industry in Tonga. When you visit Haniteli and Lucy, you will likely to be treated to some wonderful conversations about Tongan history and culture, in addition to outstanding food. Lucy's creativity shines in the "Ene'io Naturals" products that she developed, including noni juice and flower-perfumed oils and essences. This is exactly the kind of thing you traveled to Tonga to experience - skip the foreign-operated tourist gigs and support the local community!
Written October 9, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

HDRennie
Dunedin, New Zealand81 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2011 • Couples
We have just returned from Tonga and rated the Ene'io restaurant / beach as the nicest on the island. Lucy( co owner) cooked us a great lunch of white snapper, kumara chips and a salad washed down with Maka beer all for under $NZ30.00 for the two of us.
The beach is by far the best that we visited with calm water for about 200 meters out to the reef.The restaurant and bar is immediately above the white sand beach which stretches to a bush covered small peninsula to the east. Snorkelling and swimming are a 2 minute walk away with the water depth of about 1.5 meters at high tide.
The beach is safe, clean and free of rubbish- unlike many of the beaches in Tonga.
Haniteli, Lucy's husband has done a superb job with his botanical gardens and hopes to have accomodation close to the restaurant / bar on the peninsula in the future.
We rated this as the best place to visit on Vava'u for food, scenery, swimming and the other activities available
Written October 22, 2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

acouplewithoutborders
New York City, NY720 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2017 • Couples
We, along with the 2 other people on our whale tour had an extra day in Tonga and decided to visit these gardens. We got very lucky because we didn’t realize we had to book in advance, and when we arrived, he had just one person there for a tour that was about to start. Besides the gardens (which I will talk about later), the location is at the most beautiful spot on the beach with turquoise waters and a whole area you can explore and swim in. After the tour you can just hang out there for the day and have some food and drinks, and enjoy the facility. We also had lunch there which was fantastic! Fish and chips but the most amazing! And chips were soursop chips (a special) along with regular fries and plantain and taro chips.
The gardens are owned and run by the most passionate man who spent his entire life building it. He loves to talk about the gardens and his life and all of it is interesting. He is well traveled and educated and his love for the gardens really showed and made us all smile and really enjoy the tour. We learned a lot about plants and he let us smell/taste some that were appropriate. We really recommend Day here and bring your snorkels if you like!
Written October 18, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Renee V
Columbus, OH62 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2017 • Couples
To see the garden you are required to take a guided tour, which lasts approximate 1 - 1.5 hours. The tour is wonderful, and is quided by the founder Haniteli Fa'anunu, former Minister of Agriculture for Tonga. He has incredible stories of how he developed the garden, his time in government, and other things. However, I would have liked to have spent time strolling the garden to take photographs, which you are not allowed to do. When Haniteli and others told me that the islanders take the flowers, I understand why we aren't allowed to do that, but that is the only downside of the place. It is truly wonderful.
Written May 13, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank for your comment following your tour at ‘Ene’io Botanical Garden, and that you found the tour to be truly wonderful. We noted you wanted to stroll on your own to take photos, but we are very concern with safety of our visitors. Safety is of paramount importance to us, because if a coconut or branch from the tree fall on a visitor, this would really affect visitation to the garden. Visitors are allowed to take photos, but should follow the track and pathways lead by the tour guide for safety reasons. Feel free to visit us again next time you are in Vava’u.
Written May 18, 2017
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Trollydolly523363
Brisbane, Australia11 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2016 • Friends
I visited this Cultural Restaurant three years ago and when we were planning to return for my daughter's wedding on Treasure Island Eueiki Eco Resort Ene'io Cultural Dinner Restaurant was a 'must' to include for our 20 guest travelling to Vava'u.
Our visit was fantastic as our Hostess Lucy and her husband were the warmest, friendliest most welcoming people who went out of their way to please. True Tongan Style! Their Buffet Freast was delish! An example of Tongan meeting Western style in a very fresh, homely way. Perfect presentation. The Feast was followed by a cultural floor show where village children adorned in beautiful cultural dress danced their special dances which had us fixed to their every move. We laughed and laughed when members of our group
were invited to dance along. We had a Fantastic night.
All this takes place overlooking their beautiful Bay that began with Ene'io's special cocktail and a display of a brilliant pink and mauve sunset. The Restaurant is alongside the wonderful Botanical Gardens they established many years ago.
Written November 11, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
We are always delighted to get quite impressive response from customers. Thank you for your feedback and sharing your experience with us when you visited Vava’u for your daughter’s wedding. The kids doing the dancing were very happy and felt quite touch with everyone dancing with them. It was a fantastic experience for everyone, and we thank you sincerely for choosing us to host your cultural dinner at our beachside restaurant. We welcome you to visit us again when you are in Vava’u. Our apology for the delayed response, partly as our internet has been dysfunctional.
Written April 3, 2017
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

John M
Worcester, UK28 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2015 • Friends
On a Tour around the island with a local friend. We had lunch at this restaurant. The fish and bread fruit chips were nice to eat. The price was reasonable and the staff were friendly.
The view of the gardens and beach area was fine.

The staff do seem to get slightly tense when dealing with Palangis like myself but please do not worry we are not all the same.
Written September 12, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you for stopping by on your tour of the island to have lunch at ‘Ene’io restaurant. Very good to know you enjoyed the fish and bread fruit chips, as we like to utilize what’s available locally in our menu to provide sustainable livelihood to the local farmers. I am happy the staff was friendly and sorry if she was a bit tense. I am sure you can understand the young girls from the village, never travel out of the country, and a bit conservative. Visit us again.
Written November 27, 2015
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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