The site is located at Vavau Island in the Kingdom of Tonga, in the South Pacific. Vavau is located in the north of the main Island of Tongatapu. The Vavaʻu group measures about 21 km from east to west and 25 km from north to south. Vavaʻu had approximately 14,900 inhabitants at the 2011 census, of which 4,051 lives in the capital Neiafu. The main island of Vava’u is 97 square kilometres (37 sq mi), the second largest island in Tonga.
Vava’u is a coral reef with superior oblique in the north up to 200 metres (660 ft) high cliffs. On the south side of the island group, it is dissolved into many small islands and waterways. The largest of these waterways, the ford-like Ava Pulepulekai channel extends 11 kilometres (6.8 mi) inland from the harbor of Neiafu, the capital.
Vava’u island is a raised platform of coral cliffs on the north coast and a low and irregular coastline south that opens in a complex network of channels, bays and islands forming one of the best protected natural harbours in the Pacific.