Hihifo: Unexplored Hidden Gem of Niuatoputapu

Hihifo, which means ‘west’ in the Tongan language, serves as the primary center for public and government facilities on Niuatoputapu.

Hihifo is a village with a small population of approximately 600 people located on the western side of the island of Niuatoputapu, which is also part of the Kingdom of Tonga in the South Pacific Ocean.

Exploring and Uncovering Hihifo’s Beauty and Attractions

Royal Palace of Tonga:

Royal Palace of Tonga
Royal Palace of Tonga

The Royal Palace is considered the most historical site in Tonga because it is the place where the king lived. It is located in the capital city of Nuku’alofa.

Niuatoputapu Conservation Area

It is a conservation area where you can find a variety of flower and plant species, including flora and fauna. You can also find a variety of beautiful insects and native birds around there.

Olovehi Tomb:

Olovehi Tomb is located behind a low wire fence in a grove of ironwood on Loto Kolo Rd. This burial ground is dedicated to the noble title of Tuita and provides a glimpse into Tonga’s rich historical heritage.

Maka Faʻakinanga Market:

This is the largest market in Nuku’alofa. You can buy locally made handicrafts, fresh fruits, vegetables, and other merchandise and take home a piece of Tonga’s vibrant culture.

Velata Mound Fortress:

Velata Mound Fortress is a 15th-century fortification that showcases the traditional ditch-and-ridge architectural style found in Tonga, Fiji, and Samoa.

Velata Mound Fortress
Velata Mound Fortress

It is located east of the Free Wesleyan Church on Holopeka Rd. Velata Mound Fortress also showcases an insight into the region’s ancient past.


Hihifo Beaches has crystal-clear waters and pristine shores. You can spend a leisurely day sunbathing, swimming, or simply relaxing on the soft sands while enjoying the breathtaking coastal views.

Mapu’a ‘a Vaea Blowholes:

Mapu'a 'a Vaea Blowholes
Mapu’a ‘a Vaea Blowholes

This is a natural phenomenon where water is forced through sharp coral rock holes and shoots high up in the air. During high tide, you can see the beauty of these blowholes.

Delightful Tongan Food in Hihifo

Lu Sipi: Lu Sipi is a traditional dish made with tender lamb, taro leaves, coconut cream, and onions. This mouthwatering delicacy is cooked in an underground oven called an ‘umu,’ wrapped in banana leaves.

Ota Ika:

Ota Ika
Ota Ika

Ota Ika is a refreshing raw fish salad made with fresh fish, onion, tomato, cucumber, and coconut cream. This side dish showcases the use of fresh, local ingredients.

To reach Hihifo, you can fly to Tonga’s main international airport, Fua’amotu International Airport (TBU), on the main island of Tongatapu. From there, you can take a domestic flight to Vava’u Islands’ Lupepau’u International Airport (VAV) or travel by ferry or boat to Vava’u Islands. Once in Vava’u, you can then take a domestic flight or boat to the Niuas islands, including Hihifo. Taxis and rental cars are the most common means of transportation within Hihifo providing flexibility and convenience for exploring the village and its surroundings.

Best Time to Visit Hihifo

May to October will be the best time to visit Hihifo. The weather will be dry, pleasant, and ideal for outdoor activities this month. You can enjoy swimming, snorkeling, and diving in the sea during this month. However, this period is also the peak tourist season, so you can expect higher prices and potentially crowded attractions.

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