Tonga Travel Overview
Official language: Tongan, English
Continent: Australia and Oceania-Australia-Oceania
The realm of the fruit bats
Tonga has a kingdom, the history of which is more than 1000 years old.
According to Countryaah, Tonga is an island nation in the southern Pacific that comprises more than 100 islands. However, most of them are uninhabited due to volcanic activity. Just a quarter of the national territory, which extends to the area between New Zealand, Fiji and Samoa, is populated.
Background information on Tonga
Tonga was never under colonial rule for long, like its neighboring islands, which were also discovered by European seafarers in the 18th century.
Tonga was best known in the west for a rare species of bat, the fruit bats ! Another natural spectacle are the blow holes on Houma. They live up to their name at the turn of the tide, when the receding water creates whistling sounds.
The best time to visit the area is the seven months between May and November. In the rest of the time there can be strong storms, which sometimes, coming from the Antarctic, can be very cold and rainy.
The capital, Nuku ‘alofa, is best reached by international flight. There you can also visit the royal palace and the royal tombs near the shore. However, you can only marvel at their typical architecture from a distance, as visitors are not allowed to enter the tombs. Unfortunately, large parts of the capital, which houses 30,000 people, were destroyed in 2006!
Tonga has a long tradition and cultural behaviors that are alien to Westerners. It is best to rent a private guest house in order to find out about local customs first hand. This becomes clear to visitors at the latest when entering the royal tombs in the capital and Lapaha, part of the center of the ancient Tonga empire.
Ferries operate between the islands. However, the journeys on these are much longer and more arduous than on domestic flights. Inter-island flights are possible as there is a domestic flight company. Book the flight in good time and make sure you get a reconfirmation, as the seats on the small planes are very popular and you could otherwise be stuck on an island for some time!
Other destinations in Tonga
The Ha’amonga, an about 1000 year old stone gate in the northeast of Tongatapu near Afa. Its importance as part of the royal palace or as an astronomical observation station is uncertain. Eua, the (forgotten) island is home to Tonga’s largest national park and many surprises for nature lovers. The remote islands of Niuatoputapu and Niuafo’ou, with a combined population of barely 2000, have never been visited by most Tongans because of their remoteness (closer to Samoa than Tonga).
Tonga offers just as much for culture, architecture, archeology and nature lovers as it does fans of water sports such as diving and sailing. Apart from that, there are many secluded, hidden and lonely beaches on the countless islands!
Official language: Tongan, English
Pa’anga (100 Seniti)
ISO 4217 code
TOP / 776
Region: Australia and Oceania
Geo coordinates: S -21 ° -10 ‘-44.3 ” W -175 ° -11’ -53.7″
Highest mountain: unnamed (1,033 m)
Total area: 748 km²
Mainland: 718 km²
Coastline: 419 km
Dependency: Great Britain until 1970 (Protectorate)
UN member since: 1999
Other political affiliation: Commonwealth
Form of government: Constitutional monarchy
Export goods: Pumpkins, vanilla
Electricity consumption: 37 million KWh
Cultivation area: 64.5%
Pigs: 81,200 pieces
Fishing: 4,900 t
Residents in cities: 51,100
Average age: 20.7 years
0-14 years: 35.3%
15-64 years: 60.5%
> 65 years: 4.2%
Population growth: 2.01%
Birth rate: 25.37 / 1,000 residents
Death rate: 5.28 / 1,000 residents
Ratio men / women: 0.99
Fertility: 3 children / woman
Infant mortality: 12.3 ‰
Life expectancy men: 67.32 years
Life expectancy women: 72.45 years
Country codes and abbreviations
ISO 3166 Alpha 2: TO
ISO 3166 Alpha 3: VOLUME
ISO 3166 numeric: 776
Top Level Domain: to
IOC country code: TGA
UN / LOCODE: TO
Merchant fleet (ships over 1,000 GRT): 16
Number of doctors: 45
Daily food intake: 3,090 kcal / resident
Last sovereign since: 1970
Main religious group: Christians
Prison inmates: 100
Arriving by plane
Tonga is served by Air New Zealand (NZ), Air Pacific (FJ) (Internet: www.airpacific.com) and Polynesian Airlines (PH), among others.
The Sky Team Asia Pass is valid depending on the number of coupons (min. 3, max. 8) for flights between Korea (Rep.) Or Japan and the Southwest Pacific (American Samoa, Australia, Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands) Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu). The pass can only be purchased together with a long-haul flight operated by SkyTeam partners outside of the above countries. The pass is valid for a maximum of 60 days. More information at www.skyteam.com.
25 T $; Transit passengers and children under the age of 12 are exempt.
Arrival by ship
The main ports of Nuku’alofa, Pangai, Neiafu and Niuatoputapu are visited by some cruise lines.