Travel to Tonga: all the sights at a glance! Mini travel guide!
Tonga is one of the least visited countries in the world. Still, it is a shorter flight from New Zealand than to popular destinations such as Fiji and Samoa. You have enough attractions on this island to spend at least a week there. We will list in this mini travel guide all the things that are important for a trip to Tonga.
Table of contents
how to get there?
Direct flights to Tonga depart from Auckland in New Zealand and Nadi in Fiji. In just under three hours you fly to this destination from Auckland and from Fiji it is a 1.5-hour flight. Many people choose to go on a
Fiji, even though Fiji is a longer flight and prices are a lot higher. So to get to Tonga from the Netherlands, you will have to take a number of flights to get there.
What is there to do?
Tourism is not yet fully developed in Tonga, which is a shame because Tonga really does have potential we experienced when we were there. From the waterfront of the capital Nuku’alofa, boats leave every day for three tropical islands. Expect them to be delayed a few minutes sometimes, as time is a broad concept in Tonga. We visited all three of these islands and all three were fantastic and not hugely expensive either.
is run by a German couple and has beautiful beaches. When we booked the tour from the capital, we were the only tourists on this tour. Of course, there are tourists sleeping at the resort, yet you have almost the entire tropical beach to yourself.
The boat leaves from the capital at 11 a.m. and it is about a 40-minute trip. You pay just under 40 euros in Tonga’s currency for transportation, lunch and the one-day stay. We did not have to pay for our daughter, which meant that three of us spent about 75 euros for this day trip to a beautiful tropical island.
You can also rent snorkeling gear for a small fee, as there are quite a few fish and coral to see. Of course, you can also just book your accommodation here for a whole week. The accommodations are
In 15 minutes you can take a boat from the little port in the capital to this beautiful island. Because a hurricane destroyed much on this island, you cannot sleep there and can only take a day trip to it.
When we arrived we thought very briefly of what is this, but when the tide went out beautiful beaches appeared around the island. You can then also walk all the way around the island and it really feels like you are alone on the island.
We were a total of 7 tourists that day. Off the coast is a large shipwreck with good snorkeling.
We paid about 18 euros for this day tour including lunch and drinks and our daughter was half price. As a result, a family of three cost us about 45 euros.
Royal Sunset Island resort (Atata Island)
To stay here pay less than Fafa Island. Also, the day trip here is cheaper. We paid about 27 euros in local money per person and for three people we were out 68 euros including lunch.
At this island, you can use the kayaks located on the beach and they also take you on a snorkeling trip. This is all included in the price. The island is a 30-minute boat ride from the capital’s small harbor.
If you do all these three day trips from the main island then you really have three top days in this beautiful country.
Sightseeing main island of Tonga
It is fun to spend a day exploring the main island with a guide or cab driver. For a few dollars you can rent a car with driver for a whole day, who knows all the spots of the island and can also serve as a guide. The highlights of the island are as follows:
- Blowholes. Tonga is known for the island’s several blowholes. These are holes in the rocks on the coast through which seawater gushes. This is spectacular to see.
- Center of the capital. The center of the capital is small and it is fun to walk past the various churches of the city.
- Anahulu Cave. In this cave with fantastic stalactite you can swim for a small fee. When you see what they would charge in New Zealand to visit such a cave, you only pay a tenth of that here in Tonga.
Swimming with whales
From the island of Vava’u, there is an opportunity to swim with whales in Tonga. Unfortunately, this was on another island, otherwise we would have definitely done this. You can swim with these whales during the months of July through October. For more information about these trips please click
Where can you enjoy eating and drinking?
The center of Tonga’s capital is like a village and very friendly. The restaurant/ café that most tourists go to is the
. Here they have excellent Western food and the staff is very friendly. Half the time we ate here in the evening and the other half the time at the Tanoa International Dateline Hotel. (booking.com).
Where can kids play?
In the city center you have two playgrounds. A big old playground near Tanoa International Dateline Hotel and a somewhat smaller, but also newer playground near the Friends cafe.
Where should you stay in Tonga?
We have already published a
written about what to look out for when booking a hotel room and in Tonga was the only time we had not chosen the right accommodation. We were in Likualofa Beach resort which was really a terrible experience in every way (remote location, no pool, bad beach, unfriendly staff and lots of cockroaches).
When we left here after three nights, we spent the rest of our time in Tonga at the
Tanoa International Dateline Hotel
slept which pleased us immensely. Nice pool, great room, good food and close to the little port for visiting all the tropical islands.
on Fafa Island is beautiful and both options are super for sleeping!
All in all, we could really recommend a week in Tonga if you are doing a nice round trip in New Zealand. Tourism is not yet well developed, so most prices are still quite low, when compared to neighboring islands Fiji and Samoa.