Surrounded by coral gardens and with the water so clear in places you can see 40 metres down, the islands of Tonga offer premium diving and snorkelling experiences. Swim inside the Swallows Cave and dive into Mariners Cave from the island of Vava’u. From Ha’apai, view captivating marine life and colourful corals. Discover the "The Green Wall" of Ha’ano Islands – a long drop-off that plunges towards the great Tongan trench. Beluga Dive Vavau Fangafoa Marina, Vava'u, [email protected] www.belugadivingvavau.com Dolphin Pacific Diving:
Christianity and the church influences the Tonga on various levels of social and public life. This is one of the biggest churches on the whole island and offers you to join in on a Sunday service. Alternatively, you can drop in any time to take pictures and admire the architecture.
On the main island Tongatapu, you can gain an insight into the history of the Kingdom of Tonga by visiting the Tongan National Centre. It contains many historical artifacts and the cultural tours are very good value. You can witness traditional dancing, locals make tapa, weave baskets and carve. At the dinner show you will experience traditional dishes – many cooked in an underground oven – an umu – then afterwards be entertained by dancers and musicians. It is one of the highlights of the tours around the island of Tongatapu.
Join a Tongatapu Island Tour to see the Royal Palace, Royal Tombs, the Blow Holes, Flying foxes and, on the western side of the island, the enthralling Ha’amonga Trilithon, the Stonehenge of the South Pacific and the ancient capital of Mu’a with its fascinating Terrace Tombs on the East.
On ‘Eua, the National Park is considered one of the best walks in the South Pacific. Walk through pristine forest, explore the rugged southern coastline, caves, chasms, waterfalls and see panoramic views. You may hear the raucous cry of the ‘koki – or red-breasted musk parrot – found only on ‘Eua. It is a great trip for fit people who are keen on nature and adventure. A guide is essential. The trip takes 7 hours and is not suitable for children under 12 years. It is easy to get to ‘Eua, you can either go there with a ferry from Nuku’alofa and takes about two hours, or by flight witch only takes 8 minutes for a trip.
From June to November hundreds of humpback whales call the warm waters surrounding the islands of Tonga home. The islands of Vava’u have particularly large numbers of whales utilizing the area as a nursery. Many tours operate boats for closer viewing. Whale Watch Vava’u is a tour operator that can organise your whale watching trip.
This is more than just a great fish restaurant! At Billfish's you can eat and drink for reasonable prices, enjoy a friendly stuff and shake a leg on the dancefloor. The atmosphere is laid back and might even get a little wild at a late hour. Come here to enjoy an entertaining evening.
Kava drinking circles are often an invite-only affair and usually for men only. However, if you are of the female gender and want to taste this illustrious South Pacific beverage then pop into Toni’s Guest House, which often lets women sit and sip along with their male counterparts.
The Billfish Bar is easily the most popular bar in town. It is a relaxed open-air place draped in flags and fishing trophies and has a gravel floor and a great vibe. Ikale and Steinlager are on tap and there are plenty of other imported drinks in which to indulge. Live music of varying quality is played for the dance floor on Wednesday and Friday nights and karaoke is popular.
Check out Si’i-Kae-Ola Supermarket, along Taufa’ahau Road, for your shopping needs or the Molisi Supermarket for general food during your stay. Si’i-Kae-Ola Supermarket Taufa’ahau Road, Kolofo’ou, Tongatapu +676 27411 Molisi Supermarket +676 23355 [email protected] Tupoulahi Road, Fasi, Tongatapu
Wood has been a scarcity in Tonga for a long time and therefore wood carvings are becoming increasingly prized, due to the decrease in forest timbers. For those truly interested in purchasing fine handicrafts, visit the Women’s Handicraft Centre.
Exceptional examples of traditional craft can be seen at the Tongan National Centre at Tofoa. Souvenirs, carvings in wood, shell and bone are prized and one of the best places to pick up excellent carvings at reasonable prices is Art of Tonga, located in the Fund Management Building on Taufa’ahau Road. It is a small shop, but don’t let that fool you, for the quality of wares they sell is very good. Be mindful when buying that you are purchasing a genuine article.
International Airports are located on Tongatapu – Fua’amotu International Airport is located 21km south of the capital Nuku’alofa and Vava’u – Lupepau’u International Airport lies 10km north of the capital Neiafu. Chathams Pacific is currently the only domestic airline servicing the Kingdom of Tonga. They commenced operations in the Kingdom of Tonga in April 2008 and now have a fleet of 6 aircraft servicing 6 ports (’Eua, Tongatapu, Ha’apai, Vava’u, Niuatoputapu and Niuafo’ou). Polynesian Blue Airlines flies to Tonga several times per week from Australia and New Zealand with connections from most cities. There is no public bus service directly to the airport, but shuttles and taxis are available on international flights. Most accommodation in Nuku’alofa provides pick-up services for their guests if you let them know in advance. Teta Tours provides transfers to and from the domestic and international airport.
The MV Olovaha travels from Nuku’alofa, Tongatapu to Neiafu, Vava’u via Ha’afeva and Pangai in the Ha’apai group, depart on Tuesday and arrive on Wednesday. The return journey from Vava’u to Nuku’alofa departs Thursday. Schedules can vary, so it is best to check with either the Shipping Corporation of Tonga or Tonga Visitors Bureau for the latest schedules. If you plan to travel straight out to the northern islands, check departure times prior to your arrival.
The buses in Tonga are an inexpensive way of getting around. There is no scheduled timetable, however, buses usually start early in the morning around 8:00 and run until 17:00 and no buses operate on Sundays. It is advisable if you have travelled out of Nuku’alofa for the day that you are on a bus for return into town by 15:00. There are two central bus stations located along Vuna Road in Nuku’alofa. Opposite the Tonga Visitors Bureau office, is the Central Bus Station that takes you to the Hospital and around the town area. To travel to the far eastern and western districts, catch a bus from the station opposite the Ministry of Education building.
Recognise a taxi by the ”T” in front of the numbers/letters of the number plate. They are not permitted to operate on Sundays. Please ensure you ask for the taxi fare to a certain place before you agree to pay or get on. There are numerous taxis on Tongatapu and Vava’u and elsewhere very few or none.