Where in the World: Tonga

2014-08-14T18:26:21+00:0021 September 2011|Islands, Mini countries, Quirky corners, Tonga, Where in the world|

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.

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  1. Cole and Adela (fourjandals) 21 September 2011 at 1522 - Reply

    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.

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 21 September 2011 at 1600 - Reply

      @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 at 1647 - Reply

    Is it the Mapu’a ‘a Vaea Blowholes in Tongatapu, Tonga???

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 24 September 2011 at 1947 - Reply

      @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.

  4. adventureswithben 22 September 2011 at 0155 - Reply

    No clue, but looks awesome.

  5. Vera Marie Badertscher 22 September 2011 at 0357 - Reply

    I wish I knew, and I’m looking forward to learning where it is so I can book passage.

  6. jade 22 September 2011 at 0552 - Reply

    I’m not sure where this is, but I want to go there- absolutely gorgeous!

  7. Michael Figueiredo 22 September 2011 at 0558 - Reply

    I have no idea! Beautiful shot though 🙂

  8. Laurel 22 September 2011 at 1234 - Reply

    Beautiful photo, I’m going to go with Slovenia?

  9. Denise 22 September 2011 at 1255 - Reply

    Beautiful idea, but I have no clue about the place!

  10. Christian 22 September 2011 at 1409 - Reply

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

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 22 September 2011 at 1509 - Reply

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

  11. The Travel Chica 22 September 2011 at 1756 - Reply

    I have no clue, but I definitely want to see it!

  12. Eileen Ludwig 22 September 2011 at 1821 - Reply

    Don’t know where it is but would love to be there

  13. Still no clue but I still love this picture!

  14. NLM 22 September 2011 at 2109 - Reply

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


  15. Sandra Carpenter 22 September 2011 at 2232 - Reply

    Hi Sophie, Is this Tonga?

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 22 September 2011 at 2300 - Reply

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

  16. Vera Marie Badertscher 22 September 2011 at 2353 - Reply

    Well, now with that clue, I’d have to guess Hawaii. Most probably the Big Island.

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 23 September 2011 at 0002 - Reply

      @Vera Marie – you’re in the right ocean 🙂

  17. Nancie 23 September 2011 at 0109 - Reply

    Gorgeous shot! I have no idea where 🙂

  18. InsideJourneys 23 September 2011 at 0313 - Reply

    I’m curious. Will have to take a look.

  19. Leigh 23 September 2011 at 0516 - Reply

    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.

  20. Tina 23 September 2011 at 0910 - Reply

    Looks absolutely beautiful. Is it Iceland?

  21. Lisa 23 September 2011 at 1841 - Reply

    Beautiful photo! I’m going to guess Tonga.

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 23 September 2011 at 1954 - Reply

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

  22. Jeremy Branham 23 September 2011 at 2204 - Reply

    Somewhere in the South Pacific but I am not sure as to where!

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 23 September 2011 at 2215 - Reply

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

  23. Vera Marie Badertscher 24 September 2011 at 1954 - Reply

    Anne-Sophie: That’s a mighty big ocean. Might say I’m off by (more than) a mile.
    Tonga sounds delightful.

  24. Anne-Sophie Redisch 24 September 2011 at 1957 - Reply

    Thanks for playing everyone 🙂

  25. Italian Notes 26 September 2011 at 0824 - Reply

    Thanks! I’m really flattered:D

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