Whales swims

Swimming with whales in the wildSwim with whales in the wild

Journey out for the day into the pristine waters of Tonga. Take the opportunity to swim with whales as well as many other marine species in and around coral reefs.

Day Trips include

  • An English speaking whale guide
  • High quality wetsuits, masks & snorkels
  • Experienced local skipper
  • The best lunch and snacks on the water
  • Hydrophone to hear whale song

Day trips are suitable for people of all swimming levels. Whales in the Wild operates everyday except Sunday* from July to mid October.


To maximise your whale swim enounters we recommend a minimum of three day trips.

Day trips

Price per day

1 x day AUD 295
3 x days or more AUD 275
What to expect

The day will start between 7:15-8:30am depending on where we pick you up. You will be collected by boat from your hotel wharf (if you have one). If there is no wharf at your accommodation we will make arrangements with you prior.

We generally spend seven to nine hours on the water. Our boats take out a max of eight swimmers each day and as Tongan Whale Swim Law allows us a maximum of 4 people plus a qualified guide in the water at any time with the whales, this should give you a great chance of an up close and personal experience.

We cannot guarantee you having the opportunity to swim with whales on any particular day as we are dealing with uncontrollable factors such as weather and whales. We will only swim if the whales have settled and allow us to enter their domain without us affecting their behaviour or disturbing them unnecessarily. However we do have a 90%+ strike rate during the height of the season so you have a great chance.

To maximise your whale swim enounters we recommend a minimum of three day trips.

The Tongan people can be quite shy at times but are always willing to help. So if you would like anything from the staff or have any questions about anything or spot a whale, please speak up. On any of your whale swim days, the opportunity is there to explore some magnificent sea cliff caves and snorkel some great coral gardens, we often also pull into a lagoon or isolated beach for lunch.

In the water with whales

Expert tips from world leading whale guide, Sione Fifita

  • Listen to the guide and obey their instructions at all times they wants to care for you in the water and give you the best experience without interfering with the whales.
  • If you are not a strong swimmer or nervous don't be shy please tell us and we can help you with no problems or embarrassment.
  • Get off the boat into the water smoothly and quietly, no jumping in.
  • Keep your fins under the water no splashing.
  • As soon as you get in LOOK DOWN, that's where the whales are.
  • Stick close to the guide at all times.
  • If you get distressed when you are in the water don't panic just tell the guide and we will get you back to the boat safely and quickly.
  • If you are in the water with a mum and calf stick with the mum don't follow or chase the calf this could upset mum and she might move away, often the calf will come to us.
  • If you have a camera make sure you are familiar with it before hand and have your settings sorted out as many people miss a great whale experience trying to sort out cameras.
  • NEVER EVER touch or try to touch a whale!
What should I bring?

Your time out on the water will be more enjoyable if you are able to bring:

  • A light spray jacket (for potential wind or rain)
  • A towel
  • A hat
  • Sunglasses (for sun protection). Polaroid sunglasses can also improve vision while on the water.
  • If you suffer from seasickness, please bring some medication, as these products are scarce in Tonga.

Whales in the Wild will provide 3mm short sleeved & legged wetsuits to be worn over swimsuits. If you are very sensitive to the cold consider bringing your own 5mm wetsuit.

The water temperature is usually between 25-27 degrees Celsius, so most swimmers find the 3mm wetsuits to be adequate.

What level swimmer do I need to be to participate?

We cater for all swimming levels and have floatation devices available to aide you in the water. Also our supplied wetsuits, fins, snorkels & masks will give you extra buoyancy. If you are not a confident swimmer, a little practice using a mask and snorkel before your tour would not go astray... even if you practice in the bathtub!

Whales in the Wild guides are all excellent swimmers and are very experienced in looking after swimmers of all levels. With only four swimmers in the water at any one time you will receive their full attention for a safe experience.

How close can we get to the whales?

Tongan Whale Swim Law allows us to drop you in the water 10 metres from the whales, however depending on the whales behaviour our experienced skippers will often drop you between 20 & 30 metres away so as not to disturb or distress the whales.

Once in the water you can observe the whales from as close as 5 meters, this is not always the case and our experienced guides will watch the whales' behaviour and position you as close as they feel is comfortable for both the whales and the swimmers. We will do our best to get you a great up close and personal experience without disturbing the whales.

What should I do if I get seasick?

If you suffer from seasickness, please bring some medication, as these products are scarce in Tonga.

*Sundays in tonga

Along with most other business in Tonga, Whales in the Wild is not permitted to operate on a Sunday. Sunday is a day of family, church and rest in Tonga.

Sunday Tongan feasts are very popular with western and traditional fare usually on offer. The star of the show is generally a locally bred whole suckling pig on a hand turned spit. Depending on availability, Whales in the Wild may be able to arrange for you to attend a feast.

Many also enjoy visiting one of the many churches on a Sunday morning.

Discover more about the culture at The Kingdom of Tonga official website.

Ways to Book


By phone

  • +61 414 413672

    NOVEMBER to JULY (Australia)

  • +676 8 494628

    JULY to NOVEMBER (Tonga)

Via email