Monday, June 12, 2006


I've had a friend from Tonga visiting lately and on Saturday she and I went for a drive around the island of Upolu to visit some places of interest. Our first stop was at Piula cave pool, after which we headed straight to Lalomanu beach. Lalomanu is a truly beautiful place. Crystal clear aquamarine waters, a soft white sandy beach and lots of reef fish to make for some great snorkelling. This picture shows the view down the beach towards the south-east, with Nu'utele island in the background.

I've been to Lalomanu many times now. It's a favourite getaway for a weekend. Our visit on Saturday was, alas, only for a few hours but we had a great time nonetheless. With our underwater cameras we headed into the water to do a spot of snorkelling and we weren't disappointed.
There are huge numbers of fish feeding amongst the coral at Lalomanu. Indeed, much of the waters off the south-east tip of the island are feeding and breeding grounds for all manner of marine life, in particular turtles. They tend not to feed at Lalomanu beach so much, but can almost always be seen off Nu'utele.
It's impossible to go snorkelling at Lalomanu and not see large schools of fish moving from coral outcrop to coral outcrop, feeding en masse. Whilst the majority of the fish are relatively small there are a number of larger fish that slowly glide around the coral, occasionally chasing smaller fish they consider good enough to eat. Starfish and anemones can also be found hiding under rocks and pieces of coral. It seems that every time I head into the water at Lalomanu with my snorkel and mask I find some species of marine life I've never seen before.

With a couple of accommodation options, Lalomanu can offer travellers pretty much whatever kind of experience they want. If you want to just spend your time relaxing on the beach, reading a book or two, you can. If you want to party with friends and locals in the evening, you can most definitely do that too. There's almost always a game of volleyball or touch football being played on the beach, the snorkelling is brilliant, you can hire outrigger canoes and go on snorkel and dive trips out beyond the reef if you wish. No wonder Lalomanu is the most popular destination for travellers on Upolu.

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