Tonga Things to Do

  • Blowholes
    Blowholes
    by Jim_Eliason
  • Blowholes
    Blowholes
    by Jim_Eliason
  • Blowholes
    Blowholes
    by Jim_Eliason

Tonga Things to Do

  • Trilithon

    This is Tonga'tapu most famous sight and is known as the Stonehenge of the South Pacific. This large stone structure was erected sometime aroun 1200 AD with stones brought from the nearby Wallis Islands. No one is sure of the purpose of the stones.

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  • Nuku'alofa

    The capital city is small and very walkable. Although not many world class sights here it makes a great day trip.

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  • Royal Palace

    This Victorian gingerbread house is the working office of the current king of Tonga. It was built in 1867.

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  • Royal Tombs

    In the former royal city of Lapaha sits the royal tombs of the kings of Tonga from around 1200 AD unitl the 17 century.

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  • Blowholes

    The southern coast of Tongatupa is covered with a low continental shelf that creates a 2-3 miles stretch of blowholes. Its a pretty amazing sight to behold

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  • Flying Fox preserve

    This area in the west of the island is the only offical preserve for the dwindling population of Fruit bats in Tonga, known as Flying foxes here. They are quite large and spend there days hanging from trees. They can easily be spotted from the road

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  • Market

    The Nuku’alofa market is something most visitors will stroll through during their time on Tongatapu. Truth be told it is not the most interesting of markets you will ever visit but it is a good place to people watch as Tongans of all ages mill around the market, especially on Sundays when the market is at its colourful best. Most stalls sell...

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  • Start the day the right way!

    Tonga prides itself on being the first country in the world to herald the beginning of each new day. Being the first country lying west of the international dateline, you can have the unique experience of enjoying the morning sunrise before any other country in the world. This makes the early morning ferry ride between Eua and Tongatapu that but...

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  • Eua

    If Tonga feels like a step back in time, a visit to Eua will warp your sense of time even more. Forested Eua is nothing like the rest of Tonga. The landscape is more hilly, the forests are larger and thicker, the weather colder and wetter, the cliffs higher, the beaches deserted, the roads almost empty of vehicles and the population of locals tiny....

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  • Other Outer Islands

    Tongatapu’s lagoon is filled with many other small paradise islands but many can be hard to get to especially if on a budget. One way of getting there is to Kayak from another island like Fafa, but kayaking from Nuku’alofa can be a hell of a paddle for people not used to kayaking. There are scheduled boat trips to Atata Island as well as Fafa and...

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  • Fafa Island

    Fafa is another small paradise island sitting in Tongatapu’s turquoise lagoon and about 40-50 minutes by boat from Nuku’alofa. Fafa is more exclusive than Pangaimotu and the price of getting to and staying on Fafa is considerably higher than Pangaimotu and staying on the island was out of a our budget’s range. We settled for a day trip and had a...

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  • Captain Cooks Landing Place

    Captain Cook didn’t visit Tonga until his second voyage through the South Pacific and on two occasions, in 1773 and on the return leg of the expedition in 1774, visited the island of Tongatapu. Cook found the islanders to be so friendly that he nicknamed the Tongan archipelago ‘The Friendly Isles’. Cook again visited Tonga in 1777 on his third...

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  • Lapaha - Langi Tombs

    As the village of Lapaha literally means ‘the Royal Village’ in Tongan it’s not surprising to hear that the village has important royal connections, with the most impressive of Tonga’s langi tombs being located here. Langi tombs specifically refer to the burial place of Tongan kings or chiefs and the finest of these stepped pyramid style tombs can...

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  • Toni’s Island Tour

    Tongatapu is not the easiest place to get around independently, so if you want to see the best the island has to offer you will more than likely end up taking a tour. As we were staying at Toni’s guesthouse, we ended up taking his tour which is generally recognised as being the best value for money anyway. Toni himself is a pain in the ass, but we...

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  • Pangaimotu Island

    The lagoon to the north of the main island of Tongatapu is filled with small idyllic little islands and some can be visited either by small water taxis or kayak. Pangaimotu is one of the most popular islands to visit on a daytrip or you can also stay overnight in a fale. We booked a night on the island through Friends Cafe in Nuku’alofa and as far...

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  • Ha'atafu Beach

    Another beautiful beach to lounge about for a few hours is Ha'atafu Beach located at the tip of the far western peninsula on Tongatapu. For me, this beach wasn’t as picturesque as Keleti but the tide doesn’t play as much of a part in the swimming conditions as it does at Keleti. You can swim here all day because the lagoon is filled more...

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  • Ha’amonga ‘a Maui Trilithon

    The Ha’amonga ‘a Maui Trilithon is one the south Pacific’s most important sites and is located in the north east of Tongatapu. Constructed of three huge limestone slabs and standing at 5 metres tall the Trilithon is one of Tonga’s most famous archaeological sites. Ha’amonga ‘a Maui means ‘Maui’s Burden’ in the Tongan language, Maui being the...

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  • Blowholes

    Tongatapu is justifiably famous for its blowholes which are strung along the southern coast of the island. The most popular place to see this natural phenomenon is near the village of Houma, about 15km from Nuku’alofa, but there are many places along the coast where you can witness this spectacular sight. At the Mapu’a ‘a Vaca blowholes at Houma...

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  • Keleti Beach

    One of Tongatapu’s most beautiful beaches is Keleti oin the southern coast of the island. There are three small beaches backed by cliffs leading up to the small Keleti Resort where you can purchase a reasonably priced lunch, snacks and drinks.The beach itself is spotlessly clean with spectacularly white sand. The beaches lead into a turquoise...

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  • Royal Palace

    Located on the seafront in Nuku’alofa, the Royal Palace was built in 1867 and is constructed of wood. Although not what you might for the official residence of a king, the palace is a pleasant looking building with white walls and red roof and is traditionally held in high esteem by Tongans who regarded it as a sacred place. Today the King does not...

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  • Nuku’alofa

    As capital of the Kingdom of Tonga, Nuku’alofa is the first port of call for most visitors to Tonga. As a capital you would be forgiven for thinking that there would be plenty to do here but in reality what can be done, can be done in a few hours. The centre of the town has a few shops, a local market selling crafts and fruit & veg and a few...

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  • Tongan National Cultural Center

    This is a must-visit place if you'd like to learn more about Tongan culture and food. There is a guided tour and demonstration of cultural dancing, arts and crafts. It was great to watch traditional Tongan singing and dancing and learning how to make some traditional baskets and jewelry. The tour ends with a Tongan feast which included a kava...

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  • Boat trip to Pangaimotu

    We had a wonderful day on the little island of Pangaimotu . You can buy your ticket at the visitor center in town the day before . Its a great outing for the day and the price is right.We piled on to a wooden boat with a few other sightseeers and cruised over to the island in about 40 minutes or so. Lifejackets aren't the norm here and being...

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  • A walking tour

    Nuku'alfa is a nice town to walk around on your own . There is the Royal palace , the treasury , the market and the supermarket . We saw the school and the children whose uniform is traditional and there was a giant tree in the main square called " the rain tree".

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  • At the market

    There is a good market in Nuku'alofa. They sell lots of fruits and vegetables . Melons must be a big crop for them! They also have a dry goods area and some hand woven baskets and mats . Its a good place to people watch , eveyone was very friendly.

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  • Fafa Island Boat trip

    Fafa Island makes quite a first impression with its white sand and turquoise waters . Set on a 19 acres island 30min. by launch from the main island of Tongatapu is beautiful Fafa Island . We spent the day snorkelling on the coral reef and roaming the empty beaches . The ticket to Fafa includes lunch at the resort for about $60.00. We bought the...

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  • Enjoying Pangaimotu

    Pangaimotu's only resident is the Pangaimotu Island Resort. We spent the day strolling around the little island. It is gorgeous and you can walk around the entire island in about 30 minutes. There is alot of coral so you have to be careful when walking through the shallow water for a swim.

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  • Lapaha

    The town of Lapaha, was the seat of the Tui Tonga for 6 centuries, beginning about A.D. 1200. Today near the road we saw all that remains of the royal compound ...a series of langa, or ancient terraced tombs. Legend has it that the supreme Polynesian god came down from the sky about A.D. 950 and sired the first Tui Tonga. The last Tui Tonga, who...

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  • Captain Cook's Landing Place

    Just before the village of Mu'a we see the stone-and-brass monument marking Captain Cook's Landing Place. The great British explorer landed and rested under a large banyan tree here when he came ashore in 1777 to meet with Pau, the reigning Tui Tonga. He attended the traditional presentation of first fruits marking the beginning of the harvest...

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  • Flying Fox

    These were not new to us , we had seen them in Australia . Still they are fascinating creatures. They look like big fruit hanging in the trees. You can often smell them before you see them . Even though it was mid morning and they are nocturnal , they were still flying about. They are a bat with a foxlike head found on many islands in the Pacific....

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  • The caves

    The paved road ends at Niutoua, but a narrow dirt track proceeds down the east coast. Anahulu Beach has a cave with limestone stalactites near the village of Haveluliku. If you have a chance to go to the caves be warned this is nature in its raw form . There are no lights in there and the bats are buzzing overhead. You need to bring a big...

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  • Swimming Pigs

    The north coast of Tongatapu is where at low tide you will see pigs swimming . Most of the pigs belong to the families across the street from the beach . We caught the pig in the picture on his way home after a dip. Fun to watch but not iinviting for a swim.

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  • Royal Palace

    The Tongatapu Royal Palace is not so grand by our standards but it sits on a choice spot in town overlooking the ocean . When we were there the new King hadn't moved in yet , perhaps concerned about security.. Maybe he had good reason ...there was a mood of change in the wind.

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  • A massage on the beach

    There's a stone house on the cliffs of the blowholes area of Tongatapu where you can get a pretty good massage . Its kind of a hippy sort of place but the guy seems to know his stuff and its only $20.00 . He said he was the personal massuese to the King ( not sure if that means much).

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  • Heketa resting stone

    Located behind Ha'amonga Triliton is a huge resting stone , believed to be contructed for Tui Tu'itatui the 11th king of Tonga. This area was once the seconf capital of Tonga.

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  • Visit Ha'amonga Trilithon

    In popular myths the Ha'amonga is believed to have been made by the demigod Maui, as the stones would be too huge for mortals to handle. However they got here they've been here since the 13th century and they are huge . The limestone slabs, are about 5m high, 2m wide, 6m long. They reminded me of Stonehenge.

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  • An Island Feast

    This is a wonderful evening out . There are everal of them around the island on various nights. We went to the one at the National Cultural Center. Ther is traditional dance and singing and the dances are explained. Then there is a big buffet. A warning though the Tongans eat big , so take what you want the first round ....might not be any for...

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  • See the Blowholes

    Tongatapu is a tiny island and it is a short trip to go anywhere on the island . You can rent a car but we travelled in a van on a private tour with Joe's Island Tour. The blowholes were beautiful . You stand on the edge of the coast on the black volcanic rocks and as far as you can see are huge spouts of gushing sky blue water .There are hundreds...

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  • Get Away on Sunday

    Tonga is an extremely religious country, and much of the country shuts down on Sundays. If you happen to be “stuck” in Nuku’alofa on a Sunday, there are two basic getaway options: a daytrip to either Pangaimotu or Fafa. Pangaimotu is the closer and cheaper of the two options and is a pleasant enough place to waste away a day, with a decent beach...

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  • Kayak in the Vava'u Group

    With a succession of sheltered lagoons and secluded beaches, the Vava’u Group is one of the world’s top sea kayaking destinations. Weeklong tours are popular with more serious kayakers, but it is easy to rent a kayak in Neiafu for a day of kayaking and snorkeling. An excellent day trip will take you from the harbor to Swallow’s Cave and back, with...

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  • Go Diving

    Tonga’s pristine waters are home to prolific marine life, making for outstanding snorkeling and diving. The relative lack of tourists in comparison to other popular diving and snorkeling destinations also creates an air of exclusivity that cannot be experienced in overexploited areas. Prices are very reasonable, and you have a very good chance of...

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  • Visit the Blowholes on Tongatapu

    If you spend any amount of time on Tongatapu, a trip to the Mapu’a’a Vaca Blowholes on the deserted southwestern side of the island is a must. The blowholes, which stretch for 5 kilometers, put on an amazing display, particularly at high tide on a windy day when water can be shot up as high as 30 meters.

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  • Swim with Whales in the Vava'u Group

    Tonga is one of only a couple places in the world where you can legally swim with Humpback Whales. I spent two days “swimming” with the whales in the Vava’u Group, and while it wasn’t the religious experience that others have described it certainly was time well spent. Seeing a mother and calf swimming in close proximity from an underwater...

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  • Island Hop Vava'u

    Head over to the Coconet Cafe in Neiafu and rent a small boat with an outboard engine for the day. Vava'u consist of many small, uninhabited islands with some amazing beaches, so the only way to see them is to spend the day boating from island to island. The cost is about $40-$50US [depending on how much fuel you use] for the whole day (from...

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  • Dance for Dollars

    When I was there, it was very common that at any kind of gathering, some young women would come out and do the Tau'olunga dance. They get slicked up with coconut oil and wearing a traditional ta'ovala dance for the crowd. These are usually fund raising efforts, and you can come up to the tahine and slap bills on her arms, legs (thighs if you have...

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Tonga Things to Do

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