Vava'u is the main island of the Vava'u group, north of Tonga. Sometimes it has been transcribed as Vavao, and it is also called 'Uta Vava'u to distinguish the island from the group. Vava'u Island is an elevated platform of coral with cliffs on the north coast and a low and irregular coastline to the south that opens into a complex network of channels, bays and islands forming one of the most protected natural harbors of the Pacific. The total area is 89.74 km², and the maximum altitude is 204 m. The capital is Neiafu, located on the southern coast. It is the second most populous city in Tonga. In Neiafu resides the governor of the administrative division of Vava'u.
The total population of the island was 12,238 inhabitants in the 1996 census.