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The Kingdom Of Tonga

On This Page: 'Eua | Tongataupu | Vava'u | Ha'apai | The Niuas | Getting To Tonga
Off Page: Photo Gallery For Tonga | Fares & Schedule 

Area: 700,000 sq km of ocean | 170 Islands | Population 105,000 over 70 islands

The Kingdom Of Tonga is unsophisticated (and largely undeveloped) with many opportunities to discover a land and people who have never been colonised and thus many of whom still experience life as it has been for hundreds of years.

 Tongatapu (Sacred South)


Top Attractions

Nuku'alofa (abode of love) is the Kingdom's capital and Tongatapu is home to much of the Kingdom's population.

Largely flat, Tongatapu is easy to explore by tour, rental car or mountain bike. There are also great walks for those that have time.

The archaeological heritage dates back to 3000BC with many sites to explore.  For example the Eastern side of Tongatapu is home to a royal past including Tonga’s own Ha’amonga ‘a Maui Trilithon (stone hedge of the Pacific).  Near by are also the Langi (terraced tombs) and the moats of an ancient city.

Its easy to spend many hours on the southern coast line where the reefs create spectacular blowholes and cliffs.  There are many deserted beaches, limestone cliff tops (check out Hufangalupe) and caves such as Hina and Anahulu Caves (both close to the airport)

Continue along to the Western side of the island and you will find Keleti Beach which is good for swimming as well as watching the waves crash against the reef or enjoy the surfing and beaches at Ha'atafu Beach.

Don't forget to explore Nuku'alofa town where you will find many fine royal sites and homes.  Check out the markets and the great cafes.

Take in a cultural show and enjoy an umu (Tongan Feast). 

Great fun is to get out on the water - visit one of the Island resorts for a day trip (or longer) and enjoy wonderful snorkeling and swimming around the ship wrecks.

Tongatapu is spectacular from the air so a scenic flight is highly recommended.

  • Mountain bike through plantations and villages
  • Royal palace and heritage sites
  • Fantastic architecture
  • Pristine beaches & coral reefs
  • Mapu'a 'a Vaca Blowholes & the southern coast line
  • Hufangalupe - Natural Limestone Archway and Cliff
  • Sea kayak, surfing, diving
  • Island day trips
  • Ha’amonga ‘a Maui Trilithon (stone hedge of the Pacific)
  • Langi (terraced tombs) and moats on the Eastern side
  • Fishing pigs Of Talafo'ou
  • Scenic flights
  • Magical Anahulu Cave
  • Hina Cave At 'Oholei Beach
  • 'Eua National Park
  • Discover Nuku'alofa 

For more on Tongatapu...

 'Eua National Park

Top Attractions

Experience the leadership 'Eua is offering in Ecotourism where you can trek through virgin forests or participate in daily village life. 'Eua is rugged, beautiful and being 30 million years older, is the perfect place for a day trip or even a 3-5 days exploration.

The local 'Eua Eco-tourism Association and community have worked hard to encourage tourism in a low impact and very personal way. Guests can experience local customs, enjoy the warmth and hospitality of the people, learn about the sustainability programs in place and even contribute in a meaningful way, if so inclined. Much of 'Eua is economically and environmentally self supporting particularly the tourism.

The 'Eua island guides are a great way to see 'Eua island. All of the guides are fully trained and have the local knowledge that will make your trekking on the island second to none. Their knowledge of the flora and fauna is incredibly broad and they have the authority to take you places that would otherwise be off limits.

  • Enjoy genuine Ecotourism
  • Discover rare bird life
  • 4 Wheel drive exploration
  • Trek across limestone cliffs
  • Pristine forests hundreds of years old
  • Whale watch from land or in local fishermens boats (fully licensed)
  • Bareback horse riding
  • Share the history and experiences of the locals
  • Observe villages living their life today with few differences from decades past
  • Be part of a tourism experience that is sustainable and responsible.
  • Enjoy a very personal guided tour of the island
  • Learn new skills: tapa making, crop management, medicinal care.
For more on 'Eua...


Top Attractions

Explore the islands and atolls by joining a yacht charter in Vava'u or scramble up Mt Talau to enjoy a stunning view of the port and Neiafu township.

You may even swim with the whales during the winter months and don't forget to try out the kart safaris and the jet kayaks.

Whether on and or on the water Vava'u is the Kingdoms most popular destination and with good reason.  Beautiful with a variety of attractions, accommodation and resorts, Vava'u also offers a range of bars and cafes.

  • Adventure - particularly waterbased
  • Game Fishing
  • Bird Watching
  • Whale Watching & Swimming
  • Yachting

Humpback whale breaching in Vava'u

For more on Vava'au...


Enjoy some of the worlds finest underwater diving in Ha'apai or recharge your soul with a great book and a picnic on a deserted beach. don't forget to check out the historical sites that define todays Monachy and record early christian settlers contribution.

Fortress Of Velata
The Velata is an example of a ring ditch fortification, a type of defensive work that is widespread throughout Fiji, Tonga and Samoa

Bathing Well At 'Ahau
The Ahau well was the bathing site of the chief Laufilitonga whilst he and his peo0ple were resdient at the Fortress of Velata in the first half of the 1820s

Olovehi Tomb
The tomb at Olvehi was constructed in the late 1700s for Nanasipau'u, a woman who held the position of Tu'i Tonga fefine (eldest sister of the Tu'i tonga). As part of her funeral rite, it is claimed that many individiuals were killed and buried around the outside to server as her attendants in the afterlife. 

Huluipaongo Tomb
As Captain James Cook sailed past the southrern end of LIfuka in 1777 he wrote in his journal of the impressive "mount" that had been built for a former "king" called Huluipaongo. It is the burial site of the Mata'uvave line of chiefs and its the highest burial mound of Lifuka. 

Tofua Island 
In 1789 the famous Mutiny On the Bounty occurred between Lifuka and the vocanic island of Tofua.

Getting to Tofua today is not easy but those who make the effort are overwhelmed by the volcano, its sense of history and beauty.

Tofua is a volcanic landscape and some say that at 6kms wide that the volcanic lake in Tofua is the largest natural swimming pool in the world! Totally an out of world experience!

Top Attractions

  • Shirley Baker Memorial
  • Fortress Of Velata
  • Bathing Well At 'Ahau
  • Olovehi Tomb
  • Huluipaongo Tomb
  • Tofua Island & retracing the steps of the famous Mutiny On The Bounty
  • Whale Watching / Swimming
  • Diving & Snorkeling

Humpback Whale Tonga

Dolphins Tonga

Humpback whale Ha'apai

For more on Ha'apai ...

 The Niuas (Niuatoputapu & Niuafo'ou)

If you really want to go where there is absolutely no tourism then head to The Niuas where life is as it always has been. Hard to get to but worth the sojoin

Top Attractions

  • Adventure - walking, diving, snorkeling
  • Mountain Biking
  • Bird Watching
  • Cultural Activities
  • Eco-tourism
For more on Niuatoputapu & Niuafo'ou ...

 Getting To Tonga

Air New Zealand fly from Auckland
Pacific Blue fly from Auckland & Sydney
Air Pacific fly from Fiji



Kingdom Airpass help you see more of Tonga.  Hibicus are in abundance
With every island group offering unique experiences Chathams Pacific's Kingdom Passes will help you see more of Tonga for less.


Swim with whales in the Vava'u and Ha'apai Tonga. Image by Darren Rice

Life changing. Tonga is only one of three places in the world where you can swim with whales.  Watch the video and see why you must experience Tonga.


most exciting discovery of a soft coral reef off Haapai by Darren Rice of Liquid Image Productions & Happy Haapai Divers, Kingdom Of Tonga
Great new dive spot with gorgeous soft coral reef discovered by Darren Rice Discover Ha'apai and the soft coral collection


Lionfish - photography by Fins n Flukes of Ha'apai
Ship wrecks, mutinys, worldclass underwater adventure. Fins 'n' Flukes share their passion for Ha'apai with you with this gorgeous 2011 collection

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