A few years back, Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai was created from a volcanic explosion: enter image description here

It has since solidified, and life is beginning to pop up all around the island.

Multiple scientists and some individuals have managed to venture out there.

My question is, how would one even begin to get there? It's already quite a trek just to get out to Tonga itself, let alone venturing out 30 or so km into the sea to a desolate island.

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    Are you sure you're actually allowed to go there?
    – gerrit
    Commented Feb 20, 2020 at 9:32
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    @gerrit: Technically speaking, according to the territorial claims made by Taufaʻahau Tupou in 1972 (which is what's legally binding), even if anyone in Tonga whom you ask will tell you differently, the isle is no man's territory (too far out for being "Tonga", if only by a couple of kilometers). So... actually, who could disallow it.
    – Damon
    Commented Feb 20, 2020 at 11:39
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    @Damon Let's go there and claim it then! ;-)
    – gerrit
    Commented Feb 20, 2020 at 12:13
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    Here is the google maps link. google.com/maps/place/Hunga+Ha%60apai+Island/…
    – puppetsock
    Commented Feb 20, 2020 at 17:51
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    According to en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_new_islands, Hunga Tonga-Hunga Haʻapai is not the "the newest island on earth". Commented Feb 20, 2020 at 20:09

2 Answers 2


Private yacht.

COO of my previous company would sail from NZ to Fiji and back. Often people like this enjoy the company of another person on the boat.

So either...get your own yacht, train and learn how to sail..

or, charter one from Tonga, for a fee, presumably

or, on websites like findacrew.net, see if someone else might be interested in a similar trip, and you could share the cost in exchange for you say, cooking on the boat.

Hurry tho, estimates are that it may only be around for 7-30 years.

Could also try posting on a subreddit like this person did on /r/sailing, although it doesn't look like they had much luck.

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    Do you know if people are actually allowed to go there without a special permit? It sounds fragile.
    – gerrit
    Commented Feb 20, 2020 at 9:33
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    @gerrit there was a 20km exclusion zone during the eruption, but not any more. I don't think it's going to be around long. I'd be checking Tongan law first tho.
    – Mark Mayo
    Commented Feb 20, 2020 at 10:21
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    @MarkMayo Damon's comment to the original question suggests that Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai is not within the area claimed as national territory by Tonga. Your comment suggests Tonga might, however, assert control. The lawyer in me is sitting back and munching popcorn. Commented Feb 20, 2020 at 15:25

You could look into doing the SEA Semester Program. While there is no guarantee that Hunga Tonga would be included, according to NASA, one of their ships, the SSV Robert C. Seamans, was among the ships to visit the island in October, 2018.

The SSV Robert C. Seamans of SEA Semester program at Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai in October, 2018. Credit: Dan Slayback

The SSV Robert C. Seamans of SEA Semester program at Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai in October, 2018. Credit: Dan Slayback

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