TONGA Created by: Ofeina Ulunga

Tonga

Your Dream Vacation is Here

Introduction
Location: Tongatapu​​

Tonga is one of the smallest, but the most beautiful island in the Pacific. Tonga is located near Fiji and New Zealand which only takes a three-hour flight from both countries to Tongatapu the main Island. 

History​

Tonga was discovered 3000 years ago when The Lapita people migrated from Southeast Asia. Tonga is the only remaining Kingdom in the Pacific ruled by the King – King Gorge Tupou the sixth. Tonga is also known as the Friendly Island named by Captain James Cook in his visit in 1773 because of the people’s hospitality and kindness. Tonga is unique in many things such as culture and people. Tourists are impressed when visiting. On Sundays, the whole island is very quiet and peaceful. Everyone goes to church and stores are closed, except for the Hospital and the Police station. Tonga consists of 175 remote Islands. Tonga has a motto “Otua mo Tonga ko hoku Tofia” which means God and Tonga are my heritage. The people of Tonga are bound together by values of mutual respect, sharing, and mutual obligations, humility, and loyalty.

Weather

The Climate in Tonga is warm, tropical and welcoming. Temperatures are warm all year round and can get hot in the summer, but temperatures seldom reach above 35°C (95°F). The weather in Tonga is not too hot neither too cold during the year. Tropical rains occur from December through February, coinciding with the warmest summer months. There is no big difference between temperatures in summer and winter. Tonga is one of the best places to visit and enjoy the adventure. Storms and hurricanes are rare in Tonga.

Tourism

The weather has a great impact on tourism. Most of the tourists visit Tonga during the summertime (July- December) for whale watching and diving. The greatest number of tourists come from Europe every year. Tourism is still developing in Tonga but historical sites attract more people to visit. They usually enjoy camping, hiking and whale watching. Every year during the summertime, the kingdom celebrates the King’s birthday. For this occasion, there are many different activities during the month. Tourists come and stay in Tonga until the whale watching season is over before they go back to their own country.

Transportation

Air

Air transportation is one of the best ways to reach Tonga because it is fast and comfortable. The International airport is located in Fua’amotu which is eight miles away from the capital Nuku’alofa. There are four airlines in partnership with Tonga Airlines. Those are Fiji Airways, Virgin Australia and Real Tonga. Real Tonga flies only locally. Fiji Airways, Air New Zealand and Virgin Australia fly internationally. These airlines are based in Fiji, New Zealand, and Australia. To reach Tonga from Fiji and New Zealand, it takes 3 hours only and 8 hours from Australia to Tonga. 

Water

Traveling on the water is fun too. People can reach Tonga by ferry. Local people use local ships to travel from the main port in Tongatapu to other Islands.  It takes two days to get to the farthest Island – Vava’u island is 27 hours away. It takes three hours to reach Eua, and 5-10 hours to the Ha’apai groups. Most of the cruise ships that come to Tonga are from Europe and Australia. The friendly Island Shipping Agency is managing all the water transportation from and to Tonga.

Getting around in Tongatapu

Tongatapu people can walk from one village to another or take a car. The island is not big and it takes only two hours to drive from the east to the west when there is no traffic. There is no rail but there are rental vehicles for those who don’t have one. Each village has its own bus line which operates from 6 am to 5 pm.  Buses take and return students every day. It is a blessing to live in Tonga because everything is nearby. The village people can walk from one place to another but today, 65% of the population has their own vehicle which makes traveling easier. There are rental companies in Tonga such as the Sun shines rental cars. The Sunshine rental cars rent their mini cars for 40 pa’anga per day.

Hotel / Accommodation

Fafa Island is located in the western part of Tongatapu. This island is separated from the main Island, and it is guarded by the coral reef. Recently, the Ministry of Tourism has recognized the increase in the number of tourists who visited this island in the past years for different purposes. The friendly staff provides great service which makes their stay pleasant and enjoyable. During the summertime, travelers usually go there for Christmas holidays to discover the beauty and secret history of the Island.

HOTELS / RESORTS

Name Category Cost Amenities Audience Stars
Captain Cook Apartment
Mid-range
$130
-Free-High Speed Wifi - No smoking hotel -free parking - minibar in the room - airport Transportation
Family, Newly married
4
Oholei Beach Resort
Resort
$98
-Free Parking -Buffett feast style - fire dance -offer local food - the beauty of sunrise - Hina Cave
Wedding Birthday Private Parties Family
3
Tano’a international Hotel
Economy
$183
-air condition -swimming pool -floor show -fitness center -waterfront -Restaurant and 2 bars -free wifi -Bathroom with free toiletries
Family, couple, group
4 stars
Liku’alofa Beach Resort
Resort
$91
-culture show -whale performance at the water front - free wifi -free parking -buffet style -gift shop - salt swimming pool -surfing -outdoor furniture
Family, couple
4
The Slope
Mid-range
$91
-large private balcony -kitchenette dining setting. -swimming pool, -tropical gardens and access to the beach. -large living room -work desk, sofa flat-screen TV -private bathroom has a shower and a small bathtub. -The beautiful surrounding areas are perfect for walking and jogging.
Individual Couple
3
Emerald Hotel and Restaurant
Hotel
$102
-karaoke - free wifi -tea/ coffee maker in all rooms -beachfront - Bar -Airport shuttle - island tour -air condition in all room -wake up service
Family couple children
4

Food & Beverage / Restaurants

Almost 40 percent of the restaurants in Tonga are Quick- service restaurants. They all serve similar food – food from different countries like India, China, Fiji, etc. Between June and December, the number of inbound tourists increases because of many events happening at this time.  These Restaurants benefit the most because most of them are open 24 hours-a-day. These quick-service restaurants are everyone’s favorite because they sell delicious food and drinks at very low prices. They also have their main dishes, mainly seafood, and pork. The restaurants offer travelers an opportunity to try out Tonga’s local cuisine.

Quick Service Restaurants

Name Cuisine Meals Features Price
Sabrina’s Chicken Vilovilo
Barbecue Seafood
Lunch Dinner
Take- out
$$
Chands Curry House
Indian
Lunch Dinner Breakfast
Take out
$
Fiesta
Mid night Snack Lunch Dinner Breakfast
Lunch
Take out
$

FOOD & BEVERAGES

Food and beverages in Tonga show the origin of the culture and traditions of the country. They also offer a range of options to suit everyone’s taste and budget. The traditional foods are yam, taro bananas and of course the seafood. At many restaurants, they also serve different types of drinks such as alcohol, soda, juice, and water. Food from many countries is also available at restaurants.

Name Cuisine Meals Features Price
The Beach Hut Cafe
Cafe
Breakfast Lunch
Seating Outdoor Seating Serves Alcohol
$$
Moms Cafe
Cafe
Breakfast Lunch dinner
Seating
$
Talahiva Restaurant
Fast Food
Breakfast Lunch Dinner
seating
$
Friends Cafe
Café European Polynesian
Breakfast Lunch Dinner Late night
Take out Outdoor seating Seating Wheelchair accessible Serves Alcohol Accepts Credit Cards Table service Street Parking
$$$
Café escape
Café Contemporary
Breakfast Lunch Dinner Brunch
Take out Reservation Outdoor Seating Seating Parking Available Highchairs Available Wheelchair accessible Free wifi
$$$
Waterfront Restaurant
Seafood European
Breakfast Lunch Dinner Drinks
Reservation Buffet Seating Street Parking Free Off Street Parking Serves Alcohol Full Bar Accept Master Card Take out High chair available
$$$

Recreation / Entertainment

Tourists are welcomed to the kingdom of Tonga with great entertainment and amazing activities that usually start at the airport and wharves to show the gratitude to travelers visiting the Island. During the summertime, Tonga has many activities such as the celebration of his majesty’s birthday, Heilala festival, whale watching time, most of the school’s alumni celebration and church conferences. People from all over the world visit Tonga to experience these unique events. There is much more sightseeing that travelers enjoy including bird watching, blowholes, and caves.

Water Activities:

Natural Wonders:

Sports Recreation:

Itinerary

A Family Itinerary

Day 1 :

Tour around Nuku’alofa- Royal Tomb, Palace, Market, Fa’onelua Park to get familiar with the city. The city is small, therefore it is possible to have many activities for one day because it takes only 20 minutes to walk from one attraction to another.

Morning: Royal Palace & Royal Tomb
Tour around the Royal Palace and enjoy the breeze from the seashore. The Royal Tomb is just a ten-minute walk from the palace. There are also restaurants and stores along the way where visitors can eat or buy snacks.

Afternoon: Tour around the city
The tourists will experience the joy of visiting the National Park. There are many ice-cream shops for a quick stop. Children usually enjoy observing animals especially pigs walking on the roadside and in the ocean when it is low tide. 

Day 2: Swimming with the Whales and Family dinner at ‘Oholei Resort

Experience the True nature and beauty of the Island

Morning: Sightseeing – Blowholes, Tsunami rock, the edge of the land, flying fox and the beaches at the West-side.
The children get a chance to experience the real bush atmosphere and life in the rural areas. The west side contains many beautiful attractions mostly on the roadside and easy to find. There are coconut and traditional food sold in the villages where you can taste the real Tonga.

Afternoon: Caves & Haamonga ‘a Maui (stone trilithon)
Visiting two caves – the Hina Cave and Anahulu caves, and the stone trilithon. Hina cave is located on the beautiful island of Eua. This cave has the largest sand space. When entering the cave, you can see different layers and a woman lying on the highest layer which presents a historic event. Children enjoy the clean white beach and a good view for picture taking. There is a restaurant next to the cave where you can eat and enjoy the Tongan dances and performances. Anahulu Cave is a 20-minute drive from the Hina cave. There is water inside the cave which is 20 feet deep from the point where you can walk. A flashlight is a must. Ha’amonga is a stone that presents the brave and strong people who lived in Tonga. It is also a story about family unions and people of old times.

Day 3 :

Out of Island Tour – Fun under the sea and new island

Morning: FAFA Island
Tourists travel to FAFA Island by boat. This Island is separated from the main Island. It is surrounded by water where tourists can enjoy many water activities. In the morning you can explore the rain forest, see some animals and nature. There is also a small lake on the island.

Afternoon: Water Sports and Culture night
The visitors will be presented with different water sports to choose from. Whale watching – while waiting for the whale you can explore the underwater world. At night, they have culture night and kava ceremony which is a Tonga’s traditional event.