Air New Zealand operates non-stop flights between Auckland and Tonga. Domestic connections are available from Air New Zealand serviced airports.
Unpretentious, friendly and relaxed, Tonga runs at a gentle pace known affectionately as 'Tonga time'. It's something you'll feel from the moment you step off the plane until long after you return home. On the main island, Tongatapu, there's everything you need for an honest, 'Old Pacific' style of holiday. Whether you're relaxing on a private island, spending time with your kids at family friendly accommodation or catching world-class waves with your surfing buddies, at all times your holiday will feel refreshingly real.
Blowholes stretch for hundreds of metres along the coast, sending plumes of water skyward with each ocean swell.
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Did you know it's easy to assemble Tonga holiday packages using this site? While booking your tickets to Tonga, you'll have the option of adding travel insurance and/or a rental car. After you've paid for your flights to Tonga, we'll give you the option of booking accommodation through Expedia.
Tonga international airport is called Fua'amotu International Airport. It's a 30-minute drive from Nuku'alofa, the capital of Tonga and the main town on Tongatapu Island. To hire a car you need to get a visitor's licence by simply showing a full driver licence from your home country and paying a fee. If your license is in a non-Roman alphabet, you'll also need to show an international driving permit as a translation. In Tonga, they drive on the left-hand side of the road. If you'd rather not drive, there's a public bus service, as well as tour operators, airport transfers and un-metered taxis.
Where to go and what to see in Tonga
For a small island nation, the Kingdom of Tonga has plenty to see and do. You can explore ancient monuments, learn about cultural traditions, experience new outdoor adventures, swim with humpback whales, relax beneath palm trees on Tonga beaches and enjoy delicious meals prepared from the fresh bounty of land and sea. Check out the top ten things to do in Tonga.
Experience a culture of family, church and friendship
Never subjected to colonial rule, traditional Tongan culture is alive and well throughout the kingdom. To find authentic cultural experiences, you simply step out and mingle with local people. Family and church are the pillars of Tongan society and attending a local church service to experience the singing is highly recommended. Near the village of Niutoua, you can visit Ha'amonga 'a Maui, a fascinating monument from around 1200AD made of three massive stones each weighing about 40 tonnes. And at Mu'a, you'll discover magnificent royal tombs.
An island full of outdoor adventures
Exploring Tongatapu by car or with a guided tour reveals some surprising sights and places. You can head to Houma village to see the impressive blowholes that stretch for hundreds of metres along the coast, sending plumes of water skyward with each ocean swell. Then venture underground into 'Anahulu Cave to explore limestone formations and swim in a cool freshwater pool. It's also fun to snorkel, swim, snooze or surf from sandy Ha'atafu Beach at the western end of Tongatapu. From Nuku'alofa you can also arrange to go island hopping by sea kayak or hook a big one on a fishing charter.
Get up close and personal with whales
Hundreds of humpback whales visit Tonga each year from July to October. They travel all the way from Antarctica to mate and give birth before returning south with their young calves for summer. Qualified whale guides offer 'whale watch' and 'swim with the whales' tours from Nuku'alofa. Even though it's Tonga's winter, the sea temperature is still a very comfortable 24°C. Bookings are essential for this popular and unforgettable experience.
Fresh, delicious and healthy cuisine
While Tonga's restaurants and hotels offer a wide range of international cuisines, you'll also discover plenty of local dishes to enjoy. Fresh fish, fruit and vegetables take pride of place in Tongan cuisine. Join the locals for a village feast and you'll taste favourites like Feke (grilled octopus or squid), ota 'ika (citrus marinated raw fish served with vegetables) and Lú (diced meat and coconut milk wrapped in taro leaves and cooked in an earth oven or 'umu). Popular eateries in Nuku'alofa include Friends Café, Little Italy, The Waterfront Cafe and the local 'tropical pub' - Billfish Bar and Restaurant. A visit to Talamahu Market for fresh produce and handcrafts is a must. It's open from early morning to late afternoon every day except Sunday.
Best time to visit Tonga
April to October is the most popular time to visit, when Tonga's weather is drier and the average maximum temperature is a pleasant 26°C. If you don't mind a bit of rain and temperatures up around 30°C, you could fly to Tonga in the less-crowded summer months from November to March.
How much will it cost
Tonga is a cost-effective place for a vacation. Accommodation ranges from low-cost backpacker guest houses to hotels and resorts. In the markets and shops, local fruit and vegetables are generally cheaper than at home, while imported goods are more expensive. Eating options range from inexpensive snack bars to a la carte restaurants in Nuku'alofa. The Tongan currency is the pa'anga (TOP, PT or T$).