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Ava Mata in the Ha'apai islands of Tonga
Polynesia

This really shows off how beautiful the southern islands of Ha'apai in Tonga can be.  The island we are on is Ava Mata which is just south of a sand bar (only dry during low tide) separating it from Uonukuhihifo - the next island.  You can see lots of coconuts on the beach, and two coconut trees right next to the camera - which are heavily windswept (the winds were 20-25 knots when the photo was taken - we were sandblasted while waiting for the clouds to clear!).

Copyright: Frank taylor
Type: Spherical
Resolution: 6324x3162
Uploaded: 03/11/2010
Updated: 30/06/2014
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Tags: haapai; avamata; island; tahina; tonga; anchorage; coconuts; trees; sand; beach
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More About Polynesia

Forever has always existed.In the mythology of Oceanic peoples, it's been there along with Darkness and the Sea.The Earth came from the efforts of Old Spider, who soared over the endless sea and found a giant clam. She opened it and crawled inside, finding a snail there to share the space with her. She set the snail in the west and made it into the Moon to shed some light into the darkness. Together they raised up the top of the clam shell to make the sky, pushing it until it was wide open.Then they pushed the bottom half of the clam shell in the other direction to make the ground. The earth was called Papa and the sky Ranga. These are the two first beings who created all the flowers, plants, trees and animals on the islands, and fish in the sea.They celebrated all their open space by making as many beautiful creatures as they could imagine, but they still remained separated by the work of the original Old Spider. Each night, Ranga weeps for his beloved Papa earth, and this is where the morning dew comes from.Polynesia means "many islands" and when you see these pictures, you will want to visit all of them. To make it simple, the islands sit in a triangle described by connecting Hawaii, New Zealand and Easter Island.There are over a thousand of these islands of surfer's paradise in the central and south Pacific Ocean. It's stunning. Look at the color of the water here! And the sunset... these speak for themselves. Could you be happy in this little house? How about some reef diving inside a lagoon?Put this one in full screen and don't come back. Love, 360.Text by Steve Smith.