Nuku’alofa is the capital of the Kingdom of Tonga. One should definitely visit the Royal Palace on the Nuku’alofa waterfront , which can be found behind the Vuna Shipyard at the intersection of Vuna Street and Taufa’ahau Street. When the king is in residence, the royal flag is flown. Visitors are not allowed into the palace and gardens, but the palace and grounds can be seen clearly from the low walls. The Mala’ekula (Royal Tombs) are located in the southern part of the CBD on Taufa’ahau Street.
Among the most impressive sights of Tonga are the blow holes on the coast of Houma, 14.5 km from Nuku’alofa. When seawater flows through the openings in the coral reefs, the spray can reach heights of up to 20 m. This coastal region is known to the islanders as Mapu’a Vaea (‘Chief’s Flute’) because of the peculiar whistling sounds produced by the geyser-like vents.
The rare flying foxes can be found in Kolovai, 18 km west of Nuku’alofa. These vegetarian bats have wingspans of up to one meter. The easily accessible and sheltered beaches of Ha’atafu and Monotapu are also on the western tip of the island.
To the east are the langi (terraced tombs). They are 9.5 km fromHa’amonga Trilithon towards Nuku’alofa and consist of four-sided earthen ramparts with huge blocks of stone laid out in terraces up to 4m high for the ancient Tu’i Tonga (Spirit Kings). The stones are made of coral and were found around 1200 BC. erected and possibly transported here from the island of Wallis in large canoes (Lomipeau).
The Ha’amonga Trilithon is a stone arch that was probably used as an annual calendar. Each stone is said to weigh around 40 tons.
Also the Anahulu Cave, an underground stalactite cave near the beach of the same name (about 24 km from the capital) and the Oholei Beach with bathing facilities are worth a visit. ‘Eua
Island is a 10-minute flight from Tongatapu. There is a guest house and a motel, but the traditional lifestyle has largely been preserved. Numerous exotic bird species live here.
Located 150 miles north of Tongatapu, this archipelago consists of around 50 densely forested islands. There is a hotel, a motel, a lido and four inns, a daily flight connection (1 hour) from the capital and a weekly ferry connection. Private ships and ferries also dock at the port of the capital, Neiafu. The dive sites are excellent. Attractions include Fangatongo Royal Residence, the view from Talau Mountain and the Sailoame Market in Neiafu.
Tapa clothing (made from mulberry tree bark), To’avala pandanus mats, pandanus baskets, polished coconut goblets and ashtrays, wood-carved models of outrigger canoes and jewellery. Duty-free shops can be found on Tongatapu and Vava’u. A 5% government tax will be added to all invoices. Shop opening times: Mon-Fri 08:00-17:00, Sat 08:00-12:00.
Nightlife is limited to music and dancing in the hotels and clubs and the Yacht Club. Shows are also held at the larger hotels and the Tonga National Center and banquets and entertainment programs are organised.
Restaurants are primarily limited to the hotels. Local specialties include lu pullu (meat with onions marinated in coconut milk and baked in taro leaves in an earth oven), feke (grilled squid in coconut sauce), seared clams, ‘ota (raw fish marinated in lemon juice) and lobster. The islands’ tropical fruits and salads are excellent. Up to 30 different dishes are served on a pola (a large tray made of woven palm fronds), including suckling pig, crayfish, chicken, squid and vegetables steamed in the umu (earth oven) and served with a variety of tropical fruits.
Niu-akalo hotel in Ha’apai group offers camping facilities.
70% Protestants (among others »Wesleyan Church« and »Free Church of Tonga« as well as Seven-day Adventists), 20% Catholics.
Social Rules of Conduct
Manners: When greeting someone shakes hands. Large banquets are often organized for visitors. A small thank you gift from home is not expected, but gladly accepted. Clothing: Casual clothing is acceptable everywhere, but bathing suits are required on the beach. It is forbidden to go shirtless in public. Tipping is not expected.
Best travel time
Slightly cooler than most tropical regions. Heavy rainfall in the months of December to March. Best travel time May to November.
Area (sq km)
105,695 (Source: homosociety)
Population density (per square km)
Population statistics year
Main emergency number