Are you thinking of taking your next holiday in Tonga? Checkout some of the best things to do in Tonga with our top picks below.
Tonga is one of the poorest countries in the Pacific, but their culture and the people living here will make your experience truly unforgettable.
While many tourists start their adventure in the capital city of Nuku'alofa, there's plenty of other things to do in the outlying Islands.
Why not combine your trip to other places such as Nauru or Kiribati.
1. Swim With Humpback Whales
If swimming with wildlife creatures is your passion, make sure to add Tonga to your bucket list.
Tonga's crystal clear blue waters are the mating and birthing grounds of a specific population of humpback whales. You can easily spot them for a few months each year in high numbers.
Tonga has a long season for whale sightings. And it is also popularly known as the most exceptional location in the world to swim and snorkel with humpback whales.
Tourists can do all this for a reasonable price and have a great experience swimming with these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat.
2. Mapu A Vaea Blowholes
Appreciate the phenomenal series of stunning natural blowholes of Mapu A Vaea in the rocky coastline of Tongatapu.
A dramatic spray occurs when waves crash into the reef causing the water pressure to plunge through the natural stretch of water of volcanic rock - creating a sky-high plume-like effect.
This magnificent event can be viewed from a lookout point or take a walk along the edge to watch the full blowholes. You can buy souvenirs to take home at a nearby kiosk as a memento. Don't forget to pack some light snacks as there are no cafes or restaurants nearby.
3. Visit Talamahu Market
Visit Talamahu Market which is located in downtown Nuku'alofa to discover the real Tonga. The market is always busy during the week, and Saturdays are when you can buy local fresh produce.
You can get everything here from food and drink, arts and crafts, fresh colorful fruits and vegetables, clothing and souvenirs.
The indoor area of the market sells beautiful, unique handcrafts like handmade baskets, pandanus mats, wood carvings and tapa cloth. Not only is it a famous market for tourists, but the locals love coming to Talahu Market as well. If you want to avoid large crowds, visit the market in the morning.
4. Hufangalupe Natural Bridge
Hufangalupe, also known as the 'pigeon's doorway' is one of the scenic locations in Tongatapu. This stunning arch was formed when the roof of a sea cave collapsed.
It can be challenging to locate the place, so use a map or hire a local guide to take you there. The views and rock formations are picturesque, and you can see the whole southern coast and blowholes from this spot.
There is no fence, so make sure to watch your steps, especially if you have kids with you. Before you leave, visit Hufangalupe beach to capture more stunning photos of the area.
5. Dive Anahulu Cave
Explore the enchanted and eerie Anahulu Cave and dive into its natural, freshwater underground pool. Situated on the east side of Tongatapu, the cave is an extensive network of limestone caverns with a few generators providing the only source of light in the cave.
Besides its stunning beauty, this stalactite cavern offers many jump and dive points for adrenaline junkies. Alternatively, you can explore what's below the surface by snorkelling or joining a scuba dive tour.
When you're making plans to visit, make sure to bring a waterproof flashlight, bathing suits and flippers if you have them.
How To Get To Tonga?
There's plenty of flights direct to Tonga from New Zealand (Auckland) and Australia (Brisbane) on various airlines including Air New Zealand and Virgin Australia. Additionally you can fly to Tonga from Fiji on Fiji Airways.
Flight times are usually no more than 3 hours from New Zealand and 5 hours from Australia. It's a 1 hour flight from Nadi, Fiji.
From the United States there is 3 flights per week via Nadi on Air Pacific.
If you'd rather take the boat then there is regular cruise ship schedules from boats touring around the pacific islands. You could also look at hitching a lift with a cargo vessel or going on one of the mega yachts sailing around the pacific.