The Whales of Tonga

The Humpback Whales (Megaptere novaengaliae) belong to the Baleen whale family, though while at first their size may appear intimidating, their diet consists of the small side of marine life, their teeth are actually plates of keratin, forming filters that separate water from food when feeding.

Every year from July to November they complete their migration from the cold feeding waters south of New Zealand and Australia, to the warmer tropical waters of Tonga where they give birth to calves and perform courtship readying themselves for the next season.

Watching the Humpback Whales is a treat everyone should see, both above and below the surface they aim to please with wonderful displays of activity. Breaching, spy hopping, fin slapping are a few of the behaviors regularly encountered on the surface of the water. The most heart warming though, are the underwater views of mother’s resting with their calf, taking a well-earned break whilst still keeping an eye on her restless and often playful calf.

The sheltered waters of Vava’u offer plenty of hideaways for the young calves as they begin to learn the behaviors that the Humpback Whales are known for. Escorts eager to gain courtship during the season will often accompany the mothers, keeping out of the way and generally at a slight distance, but still keeping a watchful eye out for that certain signal.

Through out July to November the waters surrounding Vava’u are filled with music as the Humpback Whales sing their hearts out. Laying on the surface of the water your body absorbs the vibrations and captivates your whole being into their song.