Mālō e lelei ( Hello)
If you’re looking for a pacific playground, you’ll find it among the stunning islands of Tonga.
With over 170 islands full of wonder and un-spoilt beauty, there are plenty of unforgettable adventures on offer for any traveler in the Kingdom of Tonga.
Journey back in time to experience the Kingdom of Tonga’s authentic and compelling mix of centuries-old culture,history and traditions. Understand why Tonga’s relaxing combination of uncrowded, unhurried and undiscovered is the “True South Pacific”. Experience a monarchy unique in the South Pacific, and a generous and genuine welcome from the people of the nation of Tonga.
10 Reasons to visit Tonga
1.Experience the “True” South Pacific
Journey back in time to experience the Kingdom of Tonga’s authentic and compelling mix of centuries-old culture, history and traditions. Understand why Tonga’s relaxing combination of uncrowded, unhurried and undiscovered represent the “True South Pacific”.
2. Discover the South Pacific’s Only Kingdom
Experience the history, tradition and respect of over 1000 years of the Kingdom of Tonga’s monarchy, culminating in King George Tupou V’s ongoing influential role in modern Tongan society.
3. Explore a Diverse Tropical Archipelago
Negotiate an intrepid path through the diverse Tongan archipelago of more than 170 islands scattered across 740,000 square miles. Discover why the Kingdom’s combination of pristine beaches and coral atolls, active volcanoes and untouched rainforest is spectacularly unique.
4. Swim with Giant Humpback Whales
Tonga is one of the few places in the world where you can still swim with the whales. As most of the whales are mothers with calves, our operators take great care not to intrude too heavily on these wild animals.
Share Tonga’s warm and sustaining waters with migrating humpback whales from June to November. Join experienced whale watching operators across the Kingdom to swim with these gentle marine giants.
5. Escape to Tonga Year Round
Enjoy the Kingdom’s exceptional tropical climate from January to December, providing opportunities year round to experience Tonga’s authentic Polynesian mix of genuine hospitality, active adventure, and blissful relaxation.
6. Discover the world’s best sailing charters
Set your own course, or ask your boat’s skipper to explore the secluded islands, lagoons, and safe anchorages of one the finest sailing destinations in the world. The Kingdom of Tonga’s professional yacht charter companies can cater to sailing fans of all levels of experience.
7. Get Active and Adventurous
Immerse yourself in Tonga’s compelling mix of spectacular landscapes, pristine rainforests and azure waters with the Kingdom’s energetic menu of adventurous activities. After a day of fishing, kayaking, diving or surfing, you’ll have earned some downtime in a hammock – another quintessential Tongan activity.
8. Enjoy a warm Tongan welcome
Discover why Captain James Cook dubbed the Kingdom of Tonga the “Friendly Islands” more than two centuries ago. Experience authentic Tongan hospitality and a real desire to ensure visitors have a genuinely good time.
9. Relax into “Tonga Time”
Look forward to slowing down exceptionally quickly as you dissolve into the Kingdom of Tonga’s unspoilt and easygoing ambience. And if you think Nuku’alofa is uncrowded and peaceful, just wait until you reach the pristine islands of the Vava’u and Ha’apai groups.
10. Extend your Holiday Budget
Travel to Nuku’alofa on flights from Air New Zealand, Pacific Blue and Air Pacific, before exploring Tonga’s other island groups with Chathams Pacific. All around the Kingdom, discover how a favourable exchange rate with the Tongan dollar (Pa’anga) makes holidaying in Tonga fun and affordable.
Tonga is located in the South Pacific in the region of western Polynesia. It consists of an archipelago of over 170 islands covering 740 square kilometres. The Kingdom is made up of three major island groups, Tongatapu & ‘Eua in the south, Ha’apai group in the centre and Vava’u group in the north and 200 kms north of Vava’u lies the small Niua group.
Tonga is a unique Polynesian Kingdom ruled as it has been for centuries, by a King, Royal Family and Nobles similar to many European Monarchies.
Located on the main island of Tongatapu, Fua’amotu International Airport is a modern, efficient airport catering for international flights from Fiji, New Zealand, Australia, Samoa and the USA.
Tongatapu’s domestic airport is located alongside Fua’amotu International Airport and from there Chathams Pacific, Tonga’s domestic airline flies to Pilolevu Airport in the Ha’apai group and Lupepau’u Airport in the Vava’u group. They also operate flights to Tongatapu’s neighbouring island of ‘Eua. This flight (7 minutes) is reported to be the shortest commercial flight in the world.
Tonga has a uniquely benign climate with an average annual daytime temperature a comfortable 75ºF. In the summer from December to April the temperatures are warmer and more humid and the winter months from May to November are cooler and dryer. Overall Tonga enjoys a climate that is extremely comfortable and pleasant year around. Anytime of the year is a perfect time to visit and enjoy this unique pacific island Kingdom and all it has to offer.
The Tongan dollar is the Pa’anga and comes in $1,$2,$5,$10,$20,$50 & $100 dollar denominations. While most major credit cards are accepted in Tonga and there are over 200 EFTPOS outlets, it is important to note that Tonga is essentially a cash society and all visitors should make sure they have sufficient funds to pay for services. There are no credit or EFTPOS facilities to pay for excess baggage at the domestic airports for example and many cafes and guest houses only accept cash, also Taxi drivers often claim not to have change so small denomination notes are a good idea.
Main centres have banking and money exchange facilities provided by ANZ, Westpac, Western Union, Moneygram and Meli-mei-langi. There are also numerous ATM machines in the town centres.
Tonga’s businesses operate Monday to Friday from 8.30am to 4.30pm, on Saturday from 8.30am to 12noon. It is important to note that all businesses are closed on Sundays, this includes most cafes and bars. Food is available in hotels and resorts.
Tonga has two major telcos, Tonga Communications Corporation TCC and Digicel Tonga. Both offer satellite connection, email, fax, telephone and mobile phone services.
Because Tonga has strong Christian values, Tonga is very conservative, especially when it comes to dress. Tongan law prohibits anyone appearing in public without a shirt and it is not acceptable to wear revealing clothing such as brief shorts or skirts, bikinis etc in public or when swimming at public beaches. While this dress is acceptable at resorts it is not acceptable in public as adult Tongans swim fully clothed.
In main centres and resorts tap water is treated and safe. However in more outlying areas it is advisable to drink bottled water.
Electricity in Tonga is 240 volts AC Hz/50 cycle.
Tongan is the official language of the Kingdom, although English is widely spoken by most Tongans.
Tipping is not expected in Tonga but is always appreciated as a reward for good service.
It’s closer than you think.
Getting to the beautiful Kingdom of Tonga is easy, and the TRUE South Pacific is closer than you think. There are a range of ways to fly into Nuku’alofa, the capital of Tonga:
Fly from San Fransisco, Los Angeles or Hawaii via Fiji
From New Zealand
Fly directly to Tonga from Auckland in less than three hours
There is one flight a day weekly, excluding Tuesday and Sundays
Fly directly to Tonga from Sydney
There are two flights a week from Sydney
Fly directly to Tonga from Fiji
There are two flights from Suva and four from Nadi