The islands of Tonga are the last remaining kingdom in the South Pacific. They lie to the south of Samoa and south east from Fiji. The Tongan Island’s consist of three main groups with the largest being Tongatapu in the south and it is home to the capital of Nuku’Alofa.
The king of Tonga resides here in his palace The current king is King George V and his full name is Siaosi Taufa’ahau Manumataongo Tuku’ahau who was born on May 4th 1948.
The Tongan archipelago consists of 176 coral atolls and volcanic islands covering around 700000 square kilometers of the Pacific Ocean.
These islands have reputation for being among the most unspoilt and pristine island group in the Pacific region. They are the epitome of the picture we imagine in our minds of the idyllic tropical atoll with white sandy beaches and waving coconut palms, complete with dancing native girls in traditional costume.
Just south of Tongatapu is the ‘Eua group. It is a two hour ferry ride or an eight minute flight from Nuku’Alofa and the ‘Eau National park is one of the jewels of the Tongan tourist attractions. It is great for trekking, with fantastic scenery. Visit the Cathedral cave, swim under a mountain waterfall or dive among the surrounding coral gardens.
Rainforest on Eua, Tonga
The Vava’u group is a paradise for yachtsmen a and cruising sailors. It is a maze of islands, atolls, and sheltered havens with landlocked harbours and pristine lagoons.
Here you can charter a bare boat and spend a week or two cruising around the islands. Charter boats offered extended cruises and during the whale watching season local whale watch operators will take you out to swim among the humpback whales.
This is an amazing experience given the fantastic clarity of the local waters. You can fly in direct to the Vava’u group, direct from Tongatapu or you can take a twelve hour ferry ride. Every water sport including diving, fishing and sea kayaking can be experienced here. The Vava’u group consists of some 72 islands of which 20 are inhabited.
The Hualapai group lie in the center of the Tongan group. This is a place where time stands still. Captain James Cook landed on Lifuka Island and after the reception he received named these islands the “friendly islands”.
Captain William Bligh came to grief near here when he was the target of the famous “mutiny” on the good ship Bounty and was cast adrift in an open boat by his crew.
His resulting voyage in this small craft, all the way to Timor will be remembered as one of the greatest examples of fine seamanship ever made.
The Tongan Islands are the place to find an uninhabited tropical island with fantastic beauty where you can spend a day or so enjoying one of the special places in the world. Across the northern extremity of the Tongan archipelago lie the islands of Niuatoputapu and Niuafo’ou.
These are two volcanic islands with a population of about 1400. The inhabitants of these islands still live in the traditional way. Niuatoputapu is a haven of magnificent beaches and the traditional culture is a great attraction for tourist who can find a way to visit this amazing part of Tonga.
Getting to Tonga is the easy part with flights from Auckland in New Zealand or from east coast capitals in Australia. Both Air New Zealand and Pacific Blue have regular services to Tonga. The currency is the Tongan Pa’anga and most credit cards are widely accepted. Come and see these magnificent islands, enjoy a Tongan feast and watch the beautiful traditional dancing.
A holiday in Tonga will be one of the highlights of your travel itinerary in the South Pacific Islands.