Visit Tongatapu, Tonga
by Melemoala Fifta

Your Dream Vacation is Here

Tonga (Tongatapu)


Tonga is an island in the southwestern Pacific Ocean located in the northeastern part of Australia and New Zealand. The capital of Tongatapu is Nuku’alofa. Tongatapu is one of the main islands in Tonga, and the destination that captivates the desire to be explored. 


The Lapita people were the first people to inhabit Tonga 3000 years ago. The Tu’i Tonga was a sacred line of kings who ruled Tonga. One of the first navigators who came to Tonga was Captain James Cook.  He named Tonga the ‘Friendly Islands, because of the natives who welcomed him kindly when he arrived. People tried to introduce Christianity in Tonga and in 1831, Taufa’ahau was converted by the Methodist missionaries. In 1970, Tonga became an independent nation of the Commonwealth. 


Tonga has a warm, tropical and the delightful weather throughout the year. There are only two seasons in Tonga – the summer and the winter . It is slightly cooler during the winter season and it is warm and hot during the summer season. The summer season lasts from November to February and the winter season is from April to September. According to the Britannica website, the temperatures range between 60 and 70 °F (16 and 21 °C) in June and July and  in December and January the temperatures reach 80 °F (27 °C). Tourists usually visit Tonga during the winter season and rarely during the summer season because typhoons usually occur between December and April. Tourists need to be very careful when visiting during the summer season because of the typhoons. 


Domestic, inbound and outbound tourists enjoy traveling to Tonga. The majority of tourists are from the USA, Europe, Asia, and the Pacific. They are mostly interested in visiting the tourist attractions, nature and to take part in offered touristic activities. The stay usually lasts several days, weeks or even a month depending on the purpose of their visit to Tonga. The Tongan embassy website states that most countries don’t require a VISA to enter Tonga. They are issued with the visitor’s visa which is valid for 31 days free of charge and can be extended up to six months. Tourists like visiting the small islands located near Tongatapu. Tourists also enjoy historical sites and even swimming with the whales. People who appreciate nature and want to spend more time with their families should visit Tonga.



There is only one international and national airport in Tongatapu, the Fua’amotu Airport.The most flights to Tongatapu last only several hours. Fiji Airways, Air New Zealand, and Virgin Australia are the airlines that fly to Tongatapu. . Those airlines are based in Fiji, New Zealand, and Australia. The National airline Real Tonga is near Tongatapu and it is an airline that is situated in Tonga and flies to other neighboring islands.


At the capital of Tongatapu, Nuku’alofa, there is a port divided into the wharves: the Queen Salote Warf and Taufaahau Tupou IV Domestic Warf. The cruise lines that travel to Tonga are Viking Ocean Cruises, Holland America Line and many other cruise lines that visit Tonga. The companies operating cruises are companies from foreign countries. Traveling to the neighboring islands is possible with local boats. The boat ride might last several minutes to several hours depending on the desired destination.


For traveling around Tonga, there are taxi services, rentals, and vehicles available for tourists or customers. Taxi and rental services are owned by different owners but mostly local people whose main goal is to provide excellent service for all their customers. The local buses drive their passengers every day except on Sundays.

Getting Around Tongatapu

When tourists want to visit the outer islands such as ‘Eua’ ,it usually takes a couple of minutes to hour for the boat to reach its destination, depending on the location that the tourists are traveling to. If tourists wish to travel to the smaller islands close to Tongatapu, the boat ride lasts only several minutes. Tourists who know their way around Tonga usually rent cars to travel around. Those who have difficulties managing around the town, usually get a taxi or a shuttle offered as the means of transportation. Tourists who live near the capital like to walk around. Taxis and buses are an inexpensive way of exploring the area but the rental cars or the other means of transportation are much more expensive. 


In Tonga, there are various accommodation options such as resorts, independent hotels, motels, and apartments. Most accommodation units are for commercial, leisure, and extended stay use. Tourists who travel for certain purposes choose accommodation to serve  their traveling purpose. The accommodation units offer distinct amenities to suit the needs and preferences of every tourists.

Tourists  who visit Tonga for business usually stay in hotels located in Nuku’alofa or close to the airport. They usually prefer staying in an area that is close to the conference meeting halls or business location. The tourists who visit for leisure, family vacation or reunions usually stay in resorts or accommodations close to their desired destination. They often choose to stay in an area that is surrounded by nature, away from Nuku’alofa and where they can go on adventures. 


Tourists  who visit Tonga for business usually stay in hotels located in Nuku’alofa or close to the airport. They usually prefer staying in an area that is close to the conference meeting halls or business location. The tourists who visit for leisure, family vacation or reunions usually stay in resorts or accommodations close to their desired destination. They often choose to stay in an area that is surrounded by nature, away from Nuku’alofa and where they can go on adventures. 

Food & Beverage / Restaurants

There are different food and beverage options that can be found in Tongatapu, the main island in Tonga. There are local cuisines, European cuisine, Chinese cuisine, Italian cuisine and many other food options are offered to travelers to choose from. Many travelers are interested in tasting and trying out the local cuisines which are very popular not only among travelers but among locals too. There is a variety of local foods, the restaurants serve different kinds of seafood. They also offer taro leaves, meat, and coconut milk. On Sundays, locals usually have traditional Tongan food cooked or baked in the Tongan oven. They serve or sell beers, wine, soda, juice, handpicked coconuts and other beverages. Fish is one of the local favorites and it is served in all restaurants. The prices in most restaurants depend on the type of the restaurant and can go from low to very high priced restaurants.


Choosing to visit Tonga is an experience that tourists will always remember. The surrounding beauty of nature and the exciting activities attract many tourists. Those who are interested in history prefer visiting the historical and tourist attraction sites of Tonga. Those aren’t the only things that tourists enjoy when they are visiting Tonga. The visitors take the opportunity to explore smaller islands which are only several minutes away from Nuku’alofa. The tourists enjoy the hospitality and accommodation of the islands. Tourists have the chance to swim with the whales, to go snorkeling, and scuba diving, and many other fun recreational activities. The Heilala festival delights its guests every year with numerous performances such as traditional dances in resorts and many restaurants. In Tonga, there is the Talamahu market where tourists usually buy souvenirs and gifts for the loved ones. It is worth remembering that shops and businesses are closed on Sundays. 

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Arts, Culture, Entertainment:


A Family Itinerary

Day 1: Island Tour and Swimming at Anahulu Cave

There are tour companies in Tongatapu that offer a tour experience around the island. Teta Tours is one of the highly recommended tour companies in Tonga which offers a fun and memorable experience for every family to have a grasp on the culture and enjoy the experience. The cost of a full-day tour is $150 per person or $165 per person if it includes visiting ‘Anahulu Cave. The half-day tour at $90 per person offers tourists a visit to either the Eastern or the Southern side of the island. The ‘Anahulu Cave with its amazingly clear water, is an astonishing place to end the day with your family.

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

Tourists have the lifetime opportunity to swim with the whales during the daytime. Families appreciate an unforgettable adventure together. The season for swimming with whales is July to October. The available places are 8 people per trip so it is advisable to book well in advance. Tourists usually leave the wharf at 9 am and return around 5 pm. They are provided with lunch and other services to make the trip worthwhile. The family dinner at ‘Oholei Resort is a perfect end to the day. On Wednesday and Friday nights, they serve different cuisines. For complete enjoyment, there is also a live band to entertain all guests.

Day 3: Family fun day at Sunset Resort

Sunset Resort also known as (Atata) is a great choice to spend a family fun day. Tourists can end their trip with an amazingly relaxed family day. They have a swimming pool and beach where you can kayak and do many other recreational activities. It is also possible to visit and return to the main island in the afternoon or you can stay the night after an exhausting but fun day together with the family. It is a half-hour trip by boat from the main island to this resort.