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“Swimming with whales at Ha’apai Tonga”

Ha'apai Divers At Matafonua Lodge Resort
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Owner description: See trip advisor reviews under Matafonua Lodge most reviewers use the resort link to review our whale watching and diving center. Fully Licensed Diving and Whale watching business located on the grounds of Matafonua Lodge Visiting some of the most stunning dive sites in Tonga .
Melbourne, Australia
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Swimming with whales at Ha’apai Tonga”
Reviewed October 1, 2013

We had an amazing experience because of the actions of Jody. We were with a guided scuba diving tour when we spotted four humpback whales. Jody and the divers were in the water when we spotted the whales in the distance. Jody and the divers emerged 20 minutes after the whales had swam away.

Jody asked us about the direction the whales were heading and, as soon as possible, accelerated the jet boat in that direction. I believed that it would be impossible to find the whales again but Jody has a lot of experience and knew where the whales would be. We soon spotted the whales again.

Jody maneuvered the boat very well to get close without scaring the whales. After a while she positioned us in the perfect places where we could safely swim with those beautiful creatures. The female and three males gently swam up to us for a great encounter. The scuba divers were also glad to join in the experience.

I am eternally grateful to Jody for her help. We returned to the Matafonua Lodge two hours later than planned because of her generosity. Darren, who runs the Matafonua Lodge, encouraged us to join the diving tour and asked Jody to help us if we saw whales. So he deserves our appreciation as well.

We had been with another operator for the prior four days and unluckily missed out in swimming. I believe that the operator had at least two chances of getting us in the water but did not have the boat, experience and willing heart that Jody had.

In summary, thank you Jody from Chris, Rhonda, Susan and myself. You saved us from our earlier disappointments and gave us a life time experience.

Visited September 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Rob M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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39 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Sao Paulo, SP
Level Contributor
13 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Amazing experience, and the boat owner is a real unique person!”
Reviewed June 29, 2013

Located in one of the best strach of white sand beach in whole tonga! this guys offer a very unique experience, either you want to GO fishing or diving with wales. The staff are great and so friendly, the gears are very well maintained. Is a life time experience and when the old capitan stands in the front the boat and chant to call the whales is something unreal. Darren is great man and so fun. I real reccomend this guys, amazing experience, beautiful dive sites, you can also ask them to drop you off in an near island for the day.

Visited July 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank Junior K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Auckland Region, New Zealand
Level Contributor
47 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Great diving”
Reviewed May 15, 2013

Gary and Jody were great hosts, friendly and approachable. The dive was just the two of us on the great boat with the two guides and we went first to some fantastic coral, where we saw reef sharks and large schools of barracuda, nudibrancs and other great sights. Then we went to the 'tunnels' in which we saw ENORMOUS sea monster-type fish and lots of interesting cave dwellers.

Would have loved to see a turtle and am disappointed we weren't in Tonga for whale season by the sounds of some of the other reviews it is unbeatable! However it was a fantastic dive nonetheless and we had a great time.

Visited February 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank TessHock
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“One of the best dives I have done!”
Reviewed March 6, 2013

Having dived all around the world for years, the diving in Ha'apai has to be one of the best I have done. We got personal attention on a small boat and went to the most amazing site! Highly recommend the diving with Matafonua! So keen to go back and swim with the whales and dive some more!

Visited February 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank SaraAlice
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Amazing, outstanding and the best dive experience I've had”
Reviewed February 20, 2013

Darren, Gary and Jodie were amazing. the boat and gear is all near new and the professionalism far exceeds what is to be expected. the dive sights were second to none and the need to produce a sea turtle on demand outstanding. Darren said they were rare but would try his hardest, and the most amazing sea turtle experience is what we received. Darrens local knowledge and obvious experience was great. thanks for such an amazing time.... we absolutely loved it and next time we will be back to stay at matafonua as well!!!

Visited February 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Katey R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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