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Expat Journeys in Tonga: A Perspective Through Kathryn Hindle's photography

Immersing herself in the breathtaking landscapes and rich culture of Tonga, passionate photographer Kathryn Hindle from Brisbane (now based in Adelaide) seized the chance to call this island paradise home for three years. Delving into Tonga's caves, swimming with the whales, and documenting the vibrant sunsets became the heart of her photographic journey.

We chat with Kathryn about her adventures as an expat in Tonga, her top recommendations for visitors, and more!

Kathryn Hindle - Photographer

How did you first come to be associated with Tonga?

My husband is Australian Defence Force (ADF) and was posted to Tonga, we decided it would be a great adventure for our family to live in Tonga.

What do you love most about Tonga?

The people. We made a lot of friends within the local community and felt very much welcome during our time in the country.


How did you get into photography, and later on start photographing Tonga?

I studied a Bachelor of Applied Science (Photography) graduating in 2003. I joined Queensland Police in 2005 and went on to work in the Forensic Photography field for a number of years. Once we moved to Tonga, I decided it was time to pick up my camera, not for work but for my own enjoyment. 


What does your typical week look like as an expat in Tonga?

While we were living in Tonga my children were very young. My eldest daughter enjoyed attending school, and my youngest (just 3 months old when we arrived) certainly kept me busy. My husband and I both joined a local gym (FitLife Tonga) which occupied many early mornings. While my husband was at work, I would take my youngest walking along Vuna Road and stop into Coffee Post for a coffee and a chat. I would get our shopping done at either the Marketi, or visit some small stalls near home.

There were plenty of after school activities for my eldest to join, and she especially enjoyed participating in ‘Little Ninjas’. Weekends were family time, where we could head out for a swim at one of the nearby beaches or sit on our back deck and enjoy a BBQ. 


What is your favourite spot in Tonga that you would recommend to visitors?

Where to begin! We enjoyed snorkelling off any of the nearby beaches on Tongatapu, and liked to head to a few of the quieter beaches on the South Eastern side of the Island. A must do activity is visiting the Anahulu Caves. If you explore beyond the first pool you will be amazed at the clarity of the water and the beauty of the cave system.

Further afield we travelled Eua, Haapai and Vavu during our time in Tonga. Each location has its own unique feel so it really depends on your individual interests.

Photography by Kathryn Hindle


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