Where in the World: Tonga

It’s time for another photo quiz, so without further ado – where in the world is this lovely bit of nature?


This spectacular natural phenomenon occurs along a 5-kilometre-stretch of coastline in this little country. There you are, walking along the beach, when suddenly a series of jets rises before you. Whoosh, whoosh, whoosh! Ocean water moves through tunnels in the coral reef, finally surging up and whistling as they go. At high tide, the cascades rise 30 metres into the air.

A winner will be selected among those who give the correct answer. She/he will be featured here with his/her name, blog, twitter handle and a short bio – and on the Sophie’s World Facebook fan page.

Moderation is switched on, so don’t worry about giving away the answer if you know it. All comments will be published simultaneously on Saturday. Go on, have a guess!

Update 22 September: hint

  • The country was once famous for having the world’s chubbiest head of state.

Update 24 September: Tongan blowholes

The answer to this little quiz is the Mapua ‘a Vaea Blowholes on the island of Tongatapu in the Kingdom of Tonga. King Tāufaʻāhau Tupou IV, who died in 2006, had the somewhat dubious honour of being the world’s heaviest monarch.

Quite a few knew or guessed Tonga, including Cole and Adela of Four Jandals, Sandra of 59 North and Lisa of Gone with the Family. Well done, everyone!

However, Mette of Italian Notes had the most correct answer and is this week’s winner. Mette Vaabengaard is a Danish freelance journalist (MA) with a passion for Italy. She has travelled extensively throughout the country and acquired a piece of land with a slightly pink tuffi house, a trulli style potting shed and 23 olive trees around the point where Taranto, Brindisi and Lecce intersect in Puglia. Dividing time between work in Copenhagen and the house in Puglia, Mette still finds new places and aspects of Italy to explore. Follow her on twitter and have a look at Italian Notes on Facebook. CONGRATULATIONS, METTE.


32 Responses to “Where in the World: Tonga”

  1. Cole and Adela (fourjandals) 21 September 2011 1522 #

    Tonga?! We have never been (yet) but have heard about the blow holes there. We went to Samoa and they have some awesome blow holes too which you hear before you actually see them due to the force of the water whistling up through the tunnel.
    Cole and Adela (fourjandals) recently posted..About Us

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 21 September 2011 1600 #

      @Cole and Adela – Tonga is right! I love Samoa, btw, my fave place in the South Pacific. Missed the blowholes there, though. One more reason to go back :)

  2. Italian Notes 21 September 2011 1647 #

    Is it the Mapu’a ‘a Vaea Blowholes in Tongatapu, Tonga???
    Italian Notes recently posted..Multifaceted Renaissance architecture

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 24 September 2011 1947 #

      @Italian Notes – Mapu’a ‘a Vaea Blowholes in Tonga is exactly right! You’re the winner!

  3. I don’t really know but I’ll take a stab with Iceland! Wherever it is, it is sure beautiful.
    Debbie Beardsley @ European Travelista recently posted..Salzburg: Hanging at Hanger-7

  4. adventureswithben 22 September 2011 0155 #

    No clue, but looks awesome.
    adventureswithben recently posted..You Pick My Next Adventure Anywhere Around the World!

  5. Vera Marie Badertscher 22 September 2011 0357 #

    I wish I knew, and I’m looking forward to learning where it is so I can book passage.
    Vera Marie Badertscher recently posted..Portugal is a Mystery

  6. jade 22 September 2011 0552 #

    I’m not sure where this is, but I want to go there- absolutely gorgeous!
    jade recently posted..Best Mexican Food Slopeside

  7. Michael Figueiredo 22 September 2011 0558 #

    I have no idea! Beautiful shot though :)
    Michael Figueiredo recently posted..La Jolla: The Jewel of San Diego

  8. Laurel 22 September 2011 1234 #

    Beautiful photo, I’m going to go with Slovenia?
    Laurel recently posted..The World’s Most Luxurious Travel Kit?

  9. Denise 22 September 2011 1255 #

    Beautiful idea, but I have no clue about the place!
    Denise recently posted..Things to do in Bratislava

  10. Christian 22 September 2011 1409 #

    I was tempted to say Hawai’i… but then I noticed “little country”. In that general direction?

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 22 September 2011 1509 #

      @Christian – If by general direction, you mean the Pacific Ocean, then yes :)

  11. The Travel Chica 22 September 2011 1756 #

    I have no clue, but I definitely want to see it!
    The Travel Chica recently posted..I’ve Still Got It

  12. Eileen Ludwig 22 September 2011 1821 #

    Don’t know where it is but would love to be there
    Eileen Ludwig recently posted..Carnival of Cities September 21, 2011

  13. Still no clue but I still love this picture!
    Debbie Beardsley @ European Travelista recently posted..Salzburg Randomness

  14. NLM 22 September 2011 2109 #

    Rats. I don’t know, but I wish I did, cause I want to go there! New Guinea?


  15. Sandra Carpenter 22 September 2011 2232 #

    Hi Sophie, Is this Tonga?
    Sandra Carpenter recently posted..Swedish reindeer & avoiding Rudolph

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 22 September 2011 2300 #

      @Sandra – you’re right! Have you been there?

  16. Vera Marie Badertscher 22 September 2011 2353 #

    Well, now with that clue, I’d have to guess Hawaii. Most probably the Big Island.
    Vera Marie Badertscher recently posted..Travel PhotoThursday: More Than Tea

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 23 September 2011 0002 #

      @Vera Marie – you’re in the right ocean :)

  17. Nancie 23 September 2011 0109 #

    Gorgeous shot! I have no idea where :)
    Nancie recently posted..Travel Photo Thursday –September 22, 2011 A-Bomb Dome, World UNESCO Site, Hiroshima, Japan

  18. InsideJourneys 23 September 2011 0313 #

    I’m curious. Will have to take a look.
    InsideJourneys recently posted..Travel Photo Thursday – Bath Sandwich Board

  19. Leigh 23 September 2011 0516 #

    Fantastic shot but no bloody idea. When I think fat heads of state I think Idi Amin years ago in Uganda but it’s not Uganda. Guess I don’t know my heads of state too well.
    Leigh recently posted..Travel Photo Thursday: The Eastern Townships

  20. Tina 23 September 2011 0910 #

    Looks absolutely beautiful. Is it Iceland?

  21. Lisa 23 September 2011 1841 #

    Beautiful photo! I’m going to guess Tonga.
    Lisa recently posted..Photo Friday: Carousels in the South of France

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 23 September 2011 1954 #

      @Lisa – Thanks – and you’re right! It is Tonga.

  22. Jeremy Branham 23 September 2011 2204 #

    Somewhere in the South Pacific but I am not sure as to where!
    Jeremy Branham recently posted..Where in the world am I? And the winner is…

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 23 September 2011 2215 #

      @Jeremy – South Pacific is right. It’s the little kingdom of Tonga.

  23. Vera Marie Badertscher 24 September 2011 1954 #

    Anne-Sophie: That’s a mighty big ocean. Might say I’m off by (more than) a mile.
    Tonga sounds delightful.
    Vera Marie Badertscher recently posted..How to Find A Book On Line

  24. Anne-Sophie Redisch 24 September 2011 1957 #

    Thanks for playing everyone :)

  25. Italian Notes 26 September 2011 0824 #

    Thanks! I’m really flattered:D
    Italian Notes recently posted..Multifaceted Renaissance architecture

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