|Archipelago||Tonga Tapu Islands|
|Area||87.44 km2 (33.76 sq mi)|
|Highest elevation||312 m (1,024 ft)|
|Highest point||Funga Fonua|
|Pop. density||60.04/km2 (155.5/sq mi)|
|Ethnic groups||Tongan (majority), European, Chinese, Pacific Islanders|
ʻEua is a hilly island, the highest peaks are the Teʻemoa (chicken manure) 312 m, with the grave of the soldier on top, and the Vaiangina (watersprings) 305 m. The island is not volcanic, but was shaped by the rubbing of the Tonga plate against the Pacific plate, pushing ʻEua up and leaving the 7-kilometre-deep (4.3 mi) Tonga Trench on the bottom of the ocean, a short distance towards the east. The soil of ʻEua is volcanic, as is that of Tongatapu, but only the top layer, deposited by eruptions of nearby volcanoes ten thousands years ago. Under it are the solid rocks of pushed-up coral. ʻEua counts many huge caves and holes, not all of which have yet been explored.
A unique feature is the shore between ʻOhonua and Tufuvai. It is coral reef still close to the sea level. Many small tidal pools are found, named the ʻotumatafena.
It is served by ʻEua Airport, which has an unsealed coral runway.
ʻEua was put on the European maps by Abel Tasman who reached it and Tongatapu on 21 January 1643. He called it Middelburg Island, after the capital of the Dutch province of Zeeland. He did not go on land, but proceeded to the Hihifo district of Tongatapu, which he named Amsterdam Island after the capital of the Netherlands.
'Eua was considered by early Missionaries as heathen as it was the rendezvous for whalers, a place that you can trade goods for guns, knives, axes and gun powder. aka arsenal, or armory of Tonga, as well as its granary.
The Division 'Eua is divided into two districts
- 'Eua Motu'a (Old 'Eua), in the north, with six villages and population of 2,949
- 'Eua Niuafo'ou (New 'Eua), in the south, with 2,257 inhabitants in nine villages
The nine villages of the southern district 'Eua Niuafo'ou (or 'Eua Fo'ou for short) were founded by people who had to leave their island of Niuafo'ou in 1946 due to a volcanic eruption; they are all named after villages of Niuafo'ou.
The northern district in contrast is Old 'Eua. The southern village of Kolomaile's inhabitants however are descendants of the former inhabitants of the island of ʻAta, Tonga's southernmost island, evacuated after the island was targetted by slavers.
3.8 kilometres (2.4 miles) south-west of the southern tip of 'Eua (Lakufaanga) is the 35-acre island Kalau.
Haʻatuʻa and Kolomaile are from the original inhabitants from ʻAta, who were resettled there in 1863. The villages just north of that up to Angahā, are from the inhabitants of Niuafoʻou who were resettled there in 1946.
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|Wikivoyage has a travel guide for ʻEua.|