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Visiting Ha'apai - Stay & Play With Matafonua

Ha'apai Photos | Getting To Ha'apai | Kingdom Island Passes | Matafonua's Website

A Selection Of Ha'apai Video By Darren Rice of Liquid Images & Matafonua Lodge

New Wreck Found In Ha'apai By Darren Rice & Friends

JJ (aged 7) taking sister Lily (aged 4) swimming with the whales

Matafonua Lodge & Dive Centre - Beach Front, Foa Island

Ha’apai is the way the South Pacific used to be, the peace and tranquility of a deserted beach, bush trails and uninhabited islands to explore, with some of the best beaches in the South Pacific.

Matafonua Lodge Resort Ha'apai Kingdom of Tonga from Liquid image Productions on Vimeo.


Matafonua Hosts: Darren & Nina Rice

Matafonua Lodge & Dive Centre is the jewel in the Ha’apai crown. 10 Tongan style beachfront bungalows with a great laid back atmosphere and delicious food. For the thrill seeker we offer lots of activities or alternatively relax in a hammock with a book, nothing is too much trouble for us so you have the holiday of a lifetime.

Come share the beauty that is Matafonua Lodge Resort.

Matafonua Hosts: Darren & Nina Rice 
Beach front, Foa Island
Mail: P.O. Box 61, Pangai, Ha'apai, Kingdom of Tonga | Phone +676 69766
Web: | Phone: (+ 676) 88 70 141 / 13 261




Darren & Nina RiceSoft corals discovered in Ha'apai Dec 2010

Darren and Nina Rice are accomplished underwater videographers & photographers.  

Darren's background is in world-class underwater videography (check him out at Liquid Image productions)

Both Darren & Nina can help you acquire yoru first diving certificate or share world-class dive sites with the more experienced diver

Check out their video and photos (ps: a great deal of the photography on this website has been courtesy of Darren)


Matafonua Lodge & Dive Centre Can Assist You With The Following Activities

  • Accommodation
  • Great restaurant - outside bookings are welcome 
  • Cultural trip to the Island of Ha'ano - school, Tongan feast, demonstrations, craft, snorkeling (see the flyer on their activities page)
  • Dive Centre (Darren and Nina are both world-class leaders underwater)  
  • Whale watching and swimming in season (Whales can turn up as early as the end of June and can stay until November however for guaranteed sightings stick to the months August through October)
  • Horse riding
  • Kayaks and paddle boards are available  to paddle to uninhabited nearby islands or go explore the large lagoon in front of your fale.
  • Bicycle rental
  • WiFi and ipads available in the restaurant.
  • Bush Walks - trails start from our beach and lead through the islands plantations to hidden beaches on the east side of the island
  • Volcano Visit - Advance bookings are recommended  to avoid appointment
  • Kite Boarding - for the experienced and instruction for beginners. You should allow several days for kite board instruction as you will not learn this skill in one afternoon.

Matafonua Dive Centre

Matafonua Lodge is proud to announce the opening of its dive center offering PADI, SSI and TDI dive courses  with brand new Aqua Lung rental equipment and a purpose built  Dive Boat .
The boat is powered by eco friendly Yamaha 4-stroke motors and offers a fast and comfortable way to get to the best dive sites in Tonga, with easy access in and out of the water and plenty of shade to rest between dives.

It has long been known that the dive sites at the northern end of Ha'apai are amongst the best in Tonga with spectacular walls, pinnacles blessed with large pelagics, and incredible cave systems.

The majority of dive sites are less than 15 minutes from the resort. The increase in speed and extended range of the boat will now give  access to some rarely visited reefs and pinnacles at the far north of Ha'apai to offer even more spectacular dives.

Your hosts Darren And Nina Rice, originally from the UK, have spent a lifetime in the dive industry and have run dive centers and live aboard dive boats all over the world. Darren a 200-Ton Boat Captain and ex Commercial and Navy Diver, Nina a veteran Dive Instructor have a combined knowledge of almost 50 years in the underwater world and both spent the last 15 years as underwater camera crew for feature films, documentaries and TV shows in the US. We are happy to offer help and tips to all budding photographers.
for more info please visit

JJ (aged 7) & Lily (age 4) - swimming with the whales

jj and lily with the whales Matafonua Ha'apai, Tonga from Liquid image Productions on Vimeo.

This beautiful turtle was photographed in the warm waters of Ha'apai by Darren Rice, Matafonua Dive Centre


Divers in Ha'apai discover new wreck from Liquid image Productions on Vimeo.

Divers discover new wreck currently unidentified but could it be the Port au Prince?
read here about the fate of the Port au Prince here


Kingdom Airpass help you see more of Tonga.  Hibicus are in abundance
With every island group offering unique experiences Chathams Pacific's Kingdom Passes will help you see more of Tonga for less.


Hideaway Resort Lookout, 'Eua, Kingdom Of Tonga
Brilliant day trip!  Return airfares and tour. On Sale Now - Read More


most exciting discovery of a soft coral reef off Haapai by Darren Rice of Liquid Image Productions & Happy Haapai Divers, Kingdom Of Tonga
Great new dive spot with gorgeous soft coral reef discovered by Darren Rice Discover Ha'apai and the soft coral collection


most exciting discovery of a soft coral reef off Haapai by Darren Rice of Liquid Image Productions & Happy Haapai Divers, Kingdom Of Tonga

Is this the final resting spot of the Port au Prince? Darren Rice & friends of Matafonua Lodge & Dive Centre have discovered a new wreck in Ha'apai. 

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