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Sandy Beach Resort - Ha'apai
Matafonua Lodge


The island group of Ha’apai is made of 62 volcanic and coral islands set in the warming trade winds of the South Pacific. Just 17 of these islands are inhabited, making the region renowned for its prolific wildlife, pristine beaches and magnificent coral reefs. 

The islands have been inhabited since around 1500BC by the Lapita people, with the first European visitor, Abel Tasman, arriving in 1643, followed by Captain James Cook in 1774 and later in 1777. The Ha’apai Islands are the historical backdrop of the renowned ‘Mutiny on the Bounty’, inspiring the creation of five separate cinematic interpretations of the events.  

Ha’apai people are known for their generosity, friendliness and traditional ways of life. The minimal influence of European culture and religion on the islands means a visit to this Polynesian paradise will force you to take things slow and obey ‘island time’. 


Ha’apai has a tropical climate with a wet and dry season. 

It’s warmer and wetter from December through to April. (24°C – 30ºC)

The climate is drier and cooler from May to November. (20°C – 26ºC)




Ha’apai is known for superb coral reefs, diverse topography and a variety of fish life. There’s no shortage of walls, caves, channels, tunnels and drop-offs to explore, packed full of critters and covered in schools of tropical fish. Sharks, tuna and large rays are frequent sightings. You will find beds of  hard and soft corals, forests of yellow sea fans, vast fields of anemones and colourful reef walls riddled with lobster filled caves. Some caves even contain air bubbles large enough to surface into. Visibility is often outstanding, usually 30m or so. However, the fast running, nutrient-rich currents that allow so much life to flourish here can sometimes make the water a little milky. 

All diving is done from boats, with dozens of dive sites being accessible just a short ride away from shore.


Water Temperature

21-28°C, 3-5mm wetsuit

Dive Season

Diving is possible all year round. However, if you visit during July to October, you will likely hear and perhaps see (if you’re very lucky!) migrating humpback whales who journey to the region annually to mate and give birth.

Dive Highlights


This site has everything you could want from a scenic reef dive. Start on the inner side of a diverse coral reef packed with a myriad of beautiful fish. Follow a trail of winding caves through this pristine reef system, spotting reef sharks, eagle rays and a plethora of critters. The dive finishes off at a 'look-out' on the edge of the reef looking out into the endless blue. 

Max depth; 28m


The Hot Spring Cave

This site is unique! The cave system itself was formed by hot thermal springs forging a cave system through the rock. As you dive, you will feel the occasional surge of hot water as thermal vents churn out warm water into this cave system. 

Max Depth; 28m


Ofalanga's Arch

A marvel of underwater topography, this spectacular rock formation was created during the last ice age. Explore a patchwork of colourful corals and sponges, filled with a vast array of sea-life. Including some rather large lobsters! The arch itself is set in 30m of water, rising 15m high and 20m wide. 

Max Depth; 30m


Eden Rock

A real garden of Eden beneath the waves. Here you will find a rainbow of corals and sponges hosting a vast array of macro life, flourishing schools of reef fish and glistening balls of silver baitfish. Bigger species include reef sharks, barracuda, groupers and sea turtles. 

Max Depth; 30m



Kayaking and Paddleboarding

Take in this stunning island paradise with a lazy paddle along the coast, gliding atop bustling reefs on crystal clear waves. Either hire a kayak or paddleboard independently and explore on your own or join a tour.



Due to the remote nature of the islands, horseback is a regularly used mode of transport in these islands. Mount your steed bareback and enjoy the peace and quiet of island life before cooling off with a swim. Suitable for all levels of experience. 


Snorkelling and Freediving

It goes without saying that the snorkelling and freediving in Ha'apai are simply stunning. Whether you're going for a casual sunset snorkel after a packed day of diving or taking freediving lessons to perfect your skills, you're sure to find plenty of beautiful reefs to enjoy.

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Please wait for our booking confirmation before purchasing your air tickets or making any other non-refundable travel arrangements.

Additional payments may be required throughout the booking process. Details of this will be advised by our reservations team at the time of booking confirmation.

*Time period is a guide only, subject to change according to your specific booking. 

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