Tonga: Blowholes & Travertine Terraces, Kaleti Beach

Selected for Google Maps and Google Earth

Comments (33)

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jhk on August 31, 2009

In fact, this actually reminds me of something I saw in South Africa: Bourkes Luck potholes. Funny, isn't it? :)

Ian Stehbens on August 31, 2009

It is always special to hear from you, Justin, both because of your very unique travels and because of your great skill with a camera. So thanks. And in regard to Bourkes Luck Potholes which are drilled downward by the gravel in the stream, by contrast these cauldrons are built upwards by the concretion of the rims.

I am pleased that you can enjoy Tonga with me.


jhk on August 31, 2009

Yes, that's an interesting difference Ian, I hadn't really thought about that, but you're completely right!

行者无路 on August 31, 2009

very beautiful photo !!!

Best greetings from China ! 行者无路

Ian Stehbens on August 31, 2009

Greetings 行者无路.

Thanks for the visit and the encouraging comment.


PS: I love your country, and I have visited on 3 occasions but have not yet been to Yunnan. How I would love to do that!

Mustafa K on September 3, 2009



regards from Turkey

Bahram Ardabili on September 3, 2009

very interesting!!

Greetings from Iran,Ardabili.

Ian Stehbens on September 4, 2009

Dear Ardabili and Mustafa,

It is great to welcome you to my gallery, Ardabili, especially as you are from Iran for I haven't had many opportunities to see photography from Iran. I look forward to exploring your gallery. Thank you for your greetings too.

And welcome back, Mustafa. I am pleased to reveal csome of the beauty of the South Pacific.

Warm greetings from Tonga,


Ian Stehbens on September 10, 2009

Dear Gondor,

This place is one of the special places on the face of the earth. Close up there are many smiles here. But, when we zoom out this is one of the scars on the face of mother earth, for here tectonically the Pacific Plate and the Australia Plate collide, the Pacific Plate is being subducted and the front edge of the Australia Plate is being uplifted. So this active zone is a place of uplifted coral islands, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, coastal blow holes, pounding oceanic swell, deep trenches, and sheltered lagoons ringed by colourful coral. And Mother Earth smiles in the tropical sun.

I love it. It is awesome.


JLourenco on September 10, 2009

The edge of the tectonic plates is a violent place to be! But the photo is very nice record for us to be aware what`s going on at these places...Thanks!!!

Greetings from Canada

Ian Stehbens on September 10, 2009

Thanks for the message and greetings, JLourenco.

Here I understand the encroachment of the Pacific Plate towards the Australia Plate is about 8cm/year, and during my 15 year association with Tonga there have been 2 significant earthquakes (greater than 6) but no damage to structures. But a temporary volcano also erupted this year, out to sea, appearing above the sea for a while. The violence isn't a concern, but it is a dramatic place all the same because of the deep Tonga Trench and the uplifted islands. The thousands of kms of oceanic fetch to the SE generates great swells which arrive at the uplifted high cliffed-coasts unimpeded and make spectacular displays of energy release!! wuump!!

And as for this photo, it depicts quite a benign landform feature, really: algae, coral, and waves pushing jets of water through the punctured platform. But don't get caught in a vortex of water running back into the blowholes and trenches or you will be shredded on the sharp coral.

Kind regards,

Ian (in Tonga)

*goran on September 15, 2009

Very interesting place! I like this photo!

Ian Stehbens on September 15, 2009

It is a privilege to share these discoveries with you, Burazor Goran. And thanks fro your visit.


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Photo details

  • Uploaded on August 17, 2009
  • © All Rights Reserved
    by Ian Stehbens