Lichen covered Pandanus, Bowl of Cliffs, 'Eua, Tonga

Selected for Google Maps and Google Earth

Comments (11)

Ghiocela on July 7, 2008

I like picture than that, Ian! All those strains that are hugging the impression that they are connected with the despair of rocks to not be to throw out the strong wind! Cheers, Simona

Tamás Borbély on July 7, 2008

I like it very much the special and the old trees! Excellent photo Ian and thank you! Friendly greeting, Tamás

Ian Stehbens on July 7, 2008

Dear Simona,

It is a remarkable tree as you suggest, because the stays are resisting the very strong wind that is almost perpetual on this cliff top on the windward side of 'Eua island. I only wish you were able to see the huge swell rolling in below and hear the torment of the waves crashing at the cliffs and feel the spray ascending up and over the cliffs. Thank you for your impression.

With sincere warmth,


Ian Stehbens on July 7, 2008

Hi Tamás,

I am delighted that you like this image, Tamás (as does Simona).

It was a awesome place to be, a place I had hoped to visit ever since I first heard of the it about 12 years ago. And now I want to go back to see its other moods or to re-experience the awesome and raw power of the elements.

Kindest regards,


Palmina Moore on July 7, 2008

This is a beautiful shot Ian


Ian Stehbens on July 7, 2008

I am delighted that you like it, Palmina. It looks a bit Melbourne winterish, but I assure you it was 25C though it was raining and blowing a gale. Keep warm, my friend.


EVA_L on July 8, 2008

Mighty and strong tree! You are lucky that you find it, dear Yan!

Best wishes. Eva

Elemér on July 8, 2008

It is a lucky man or Ian that you have been on so beautiful places. What kind of tree may he be on this beautiful photo?

Greeting, Elemér

Ian Stehbens on July 8, 2008

Dear Eva and Elemér,

Pandanus trees seem to be very flexible, but their aerial roots provide the reinforcing they need to stay upright. They are a common coastal tree in tropical and sub-tropical areas. The strong fibrous leaves are used by weavers all over the Pacific to make fine white mats.

I am very fortunate to love travel and to have the opportunity to do it. I was in Tonga for work attending a major national conference, but a 12 minute flight took us to 'the island of 'Euafor a Saturday and Sunday, so on Saturday we made it to this attractive and raw SE coast of the island.

My very best regards to you both,

Yan / Ian

Marilyn Whiteley on July 9, 2008

Ian, you've given us a fascinating glimpse into what almost seems to many of us to be another world! Something very "elemental" about this ...


Ian Stehbens on July 9, 2008

Spot on, Marilyn! It is a raw, my word, or elemental, your word, world!

Seeing you understand very well dolomite escarpments and the correlations between one peninsula and another, you will also appreciate that this scene sits on the edge of the Australia Tectonic Plate where the Pacific Plate is being subducted at a rate in the vicinity of 10cm per year.

The resultant Tonga ocean trench allows very big swell to transmit to this coast where suddenly the energy is unleashed as the wave slams the cliff!

At the same time as the subduction takes place, the island of 'Eua is being uplifted, and the former coral reefs now form this precipitous coast. In another of my cliffline images you will see where the underlying basement is also above sealevel and the overlay of coral is revealed.

The other elemental factor is that the warm prevailing SE wind must lift up over 'Eua's steep eastern seaboard, cooling and condensing in the process, so it is often wet otherwise perpetually moist here - and even the west coast of 'Eua is noticeably 2C or 3C cooler than Tongatapu which is within sight.

The forests here are home to the limited wildlife of Tonga including an introduced parrot that was introduced way prior to the arrival of Europeans. I was fortunate to sight these red parrots in the rainforest about 200M inland of this photo. No, I didn't get a photo of them.

I really appreciate your indulgence of my stories and elaborations, and your friendship, very much.

Now back to Door County. I have been on the web and you have induced me into a whole new world of Manitoulin Island, Owen Sound, Tobermory not forgetting beautiful Door Co on the other side! I look forward to more of your summer.


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Photo details

  • Uploaded on July 6, 2008
  • © All Rights Reserved
    by Ian Stehbens