Tonga – 12 Noteworthy Facts From History to Nightlife

Ha'atafu Beach, Tonga

Updated On: November 08, 2023 by   Ciaran ConnollyCiaran Connolly

Tonga, often known as the Friendly Islands, is a nation in the southwest Pacific Ocean. Its formal name is the Kingdom of Tonga. Tongatapu in the south, Ha’apai in the middle, and Vava’u in the north make up the about 170 islands that make up this territory. 

Isolated islands include ‘Ata in the extreme south and Niuafo’ou, Niuatoputapu, and Safari (together known as the Niuas or Niuas island group). Between the longitudes of 173° and 177° West and latitudes of 15° and 23° South, Tonga’s whole landmass is spread out. Tongatapu Island is where Nuku’alofa, the capital, is located. The United Nations and the Commonwealth both recognise Tonga as a member.


History Of Tonga

Around 3,000 years ago, Austronesian-speaking inhabitants of the Lapita civilisation, renowned for their ornately adorned ceramics, initially settled in Tonga. The Tu’i Tonga, an ancient family of kings and queens, controlled Tonga from at least the 10th century C.E. 

Under Tu’i Ha’a Takalaua, the ruling Tu’i Tonga surrendered his temporal authority to his brother in 1470. A similar transfer of power around 1600 gave rise to the Tu’i Kanokupolu, the third dynasty of kings who finally came to dominate.

Effective European contact began with Capt. James Cook’s voyages between 1773 and 1777, even though the Dutch explorers Jakob Le Maire and Abel Janszoon Tasman visited various islands in 1616 and 1643, respectively. 

Cook gave the Tonga islands their nickname, “Friendly Islands,” since the locals welcomed him and supplied him with the needed resources. In 1797 and 1822, the London Missionary Society and a Methodist mission failed to spread Christianity to Tonga. 

The Methodist mission’s second attempt in 1826 was successful, and the Marists launched a Roman Catholic mission in 1842. Tonga experienced a time of conflict and anarchy between 1799 and 1852. 

Taufa’ahau, converted to Christianity in 1831 by the Methodist missionaries, put an end to this. In 1845, he changed his name to Tu’i Kanokupolu and then adopted the throne name King George Tupou I. 

Tonga developed into a cohesive, autonomous nation with a contemporary constitution (1875), judicial system, and organisational framework during the king’s lengthy rule (1845–93). Christianity expanded quickly, with Taufa’ahau as its most significant convert. 

Tonga consented to handle all foreign relations through a British consul, who had the power to veto modifications to Tonga’s budget and foreign policy., as per the treaty with Great Britain (added to in 1905). Salote Tupou III, a monarch who presided from 1918 to 1965, succeeded George II. 

After she died in 1965, her son Prince Tupouto’a Tungi, who had served as prime minister of Tonga since 1949, took over. As Taufa’ahau Tupou IV, he was king. 


A legislator named ‘Akilisi Pohiva was among the pro-democracy politicians who were occasionally detained and imprisoned. Despite domestic and international criticism, the government sold 6,600 Tongan passports to foreigners between 1983 and 1991. 

There were $30 sales roughly revenues placed in the trust fund, which American millionaire Jesse Bogdanoff took over in the late 1990s. But by 2001, the fund had almost completely lost all of its wealth due to poor investment decisions; a Tongan lawsuit against Bogdanoff in American courts was only partially successful in 2004.

Some legislature members and the royal family were supportive as the reform movement gained traction. However, the government’s response was an effort to establish its power further. 

Feleti (Fred) Sevele was chosen as the nation’s first non-noble prime minister in March 2006. Following the passing of King Taufa’ahau Tupou IV in September, Crown Prince Tupouto’a assumed the throne as King George (Siaosi) Tupou V. 

A National Committee for Political Reform submitted its report to the assembly later in the month. The Fale, established by King Taufa’ahau Tupou IVlea, should be decreased, and there should be more seats for representatives chosen by the people. Which was established by King Taufa’ahau Tupou IV

Following the voting, a pro-democracy protest degenerated into a riot that lasted for many weeks. The Fale Alea passed a revised version that was to go into force within the following several years. 

On 29 September 2009, a Pacific Ocean subsurface earthquake with a magnitude of 8.3 triggered a tsunami 120 miles (190 km) northeast of the island of Niuatoputapu. About ten people died on the island, and several settlements suffered damage.

On 18 March 2012, King George Tupou V passed away in Hong Kong. His brother, Crown Prince Tupouto’a Lavaka, who took the throne as Tupou VI, succeeded him. ‘Akilisi Pohiva became prime minister in January 2015 after the Democratic Party won the elections in December 2014. 

Nevertheless, Semisi Sika became acting prime minister after Pohiva’s passing in September 2019. Later that month, Fale Alea chose Pohiva Tu’i’onetoa to assume the position.

The Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai underwater volcano will erupt on 15 January 2022. which is located about 40 miles (65 kilometres) north of Nuku’alofa, exploded, covering Tonga in a thick layer of volcanic ash and blasting a mixture of ash, gas, and steam more than 12 miles (nearly 20 km) into the air. The island nation sustained substantial damage due to the eruption’s deadly tsunami and significant flooding.

Weather And Climate

Tonga has milder weather than the majority of tropical areas. The best time to travel is from May to November. The rainiest months are December through March.

Tonga has a semitropical climate, except for the farthest northern islands, where a genuinely tropical climate rules. The temperature fluctuates between 60 and 70 °F (16 and 21 °C) in June and July, and it reaches 80 °F (27 °C) in December and January.

The yearly average humidity is 77%. In the Ha’apai Group, the mean annual precipitation is 64 inches (1,620 mm), while in Niuafo’ou, it is 97 inches (2,450 mm). 

As the distance from the Equator decreases, humidity rises. Typhoons, which often strike between December and April, are particularly dangerous for the northern islands because they are closer to the Equator.

Plant And Animal Life


The fertile terrain of the Eua, Kao, Tofua, and Late islands, as well as the Vava’u slopes and hilltops, aid the natural woodlands and well-drained soils. In Eua, the eastern slope of the ridge is a forest reserve with the most significant and broadest variety of trees. Toi and avahi represent the vast majority of trees on ‘Eua, having rapid growth rates. Additionally, coastal vegetation does not flourish due to the sandy, rocky, and dry soils. Direct exposure to strong winds and salt spray also affect vegetation. 

To retain moisture, plants near the sea have small, hairy or waxy leaves. Additionally, tidal dunes and mudflats have swampy areas where you can find mangroves. Behind the mudflats, trees, with buttress roots like the lekileki, can occasionally grow.

Additionally, doves, rails, starlings, kingfishers, and many other species of birds live on Tonga’s land. Some people think that the blue-crowned lory and the red-breasted musk parrot, living in ‘Eua, are the two most captivating birds in the Pacific. Red-tailed and white-tailed tropic birds live on island cliffs. While the incubator bird is one of Niuafoou Island’s natural species, the common reef heron is one of the local shorebirds.

Golden plovers, wandering tattlers, long-billed curlews, and bar-tailed godwits are transient species. There are diverse seabird species in Tongan waters, including noddies, terns, frigate birds, and mutton birds. A colony of flying foxes lives on the Tongatapu Island town of Kolovai. The bats fly at night to hunt for prey while attached to big trees during the day.

Economy of Tonga

The foundation of the Tongan economy is agriculture. The principal cash crops in the country are squash, coconuts, bananas, and vanilla beans. Other significant crops include yams, taro, cassava, corn (maise), watermelons, pineapples, breadfruit, limes, and tomatoes. 

The Tongan king effectively owns all land, but. Peasant landowners receive allotments of land from cultivating; historically, the nation’s nobility has significant estates. Every male over 16 was entitled to a percentage of 7.5 acres (3 hectares); more recently, population expansion has caused many actual allotments to be smaller. 

Fishing influence The economies of Tonga, livestock farming, and timber production. Although Tonga imports most of its goods, most domestically consumed items come from New Zealand, Singapore, the United States, Fiji, and Australia. 

Regarding value, food and drink make up most of the imports. The principal exports are crops and seafood, with the main markets being New Zealand, Japan, Australia, and the United States. 

Concrete items, tools for building and moving, clothing, food, and many tiny handicrafts are examples of manufactured goods—the small mining industry quarries coral and sand. Cooperative groups have taken on crop processing and marketing. 

Tourism and remittances from Tongans working abroad, particularly in New Zealand, the U.S., and Australia, have contributed substantially to the Tongan economy’s expansion.

Most of the paved all-weather roads in Tonga, which make up around one-fourth of the country’s total road network, are found on the two largest islands. The rest roads are made of dirt or coral. No railroad exists in Tonga. 

The ports of Nuku’alofa and Neiafu are used for international shipping. From Pangai, copra and bananas are exported. Fua’amotu International Airport on Tongatapu offers regular international flights to New Zealand, Fiji, Australia, Samoa, American Samoa, Niue, and Hawaii (Honolulu). 

Airports on ‘Eua, Ha’apai, Vava’u, Niuafo’ou, and Niuatoputapu provide domestic flight service. High-speed Internet access is made possible by an undersea fibre-optic cable that connects Tonga to a regional telecommunications network centred in Fiji.

Cultural life


Even though the West has slightly influenced Tonga’s customs and culture, some Tonga rites and artistic expressions still exist. For instance, the complex kava drinking ritual is shared by Tonga with Fiji, Samoa, and some of French Polynesia. 

The beverage, made from the pepper plant’s root, has minor narcotic qualities. Traditionally, men did the carving, although their skills were less skilled than those of other Polynesians, such as the Maori of New Zealand

However, higher-quality carving and other traditional crafts have been produced in response to tourist market demands. Women make tapa cloth out of bark and weave mats and baskets of several pandanus leaf kinds.

National ceremonies and neighbourhood celebrations both include traditional dancing. Dancers use paddle-shaped boards painted or carved with abstractions of the human body to perform the well-known paddle dance known as me’etu’upaki. 

The tau’olunga, an individual dance accompanied by singing; the kailao, a war dance; the lakalaka, and the ma’ulu’ulu, dances performed by standing and sitting groups, respectively, and accompanied by densely polyphonic singing, are other well-known dances. 

Tongan communities still have an oral culture that includes proverbs, religious epics, genealogies, poetry, tales, and mythology.

Religion And Language in Tonga

Roman Catholic, Wesleyan Church, and Anglican. Small Muslim, Baha’i, and Mormon denominations. They speak Tongan and English. 

Things To See And Do In Tonga

The main island of Tongatapu offers a wealth of attractions while being refreshingly unspoilt and authentic. Or you can rent a car and investigate the island on your own. Find a whale-watching excursion or schedule a day trip to one of the nearby tiny islands to get out on the sea.

1. Watch or swim with the whales: You can travel by boat to Tonga between July and October and swim with magnificent, graceful humpback whales. Every year, these enormous cetaceans migrate from Antarctica to the same region of the Pacific to breed and give birth in the pristine, warm seas. 

Before introducing small groups to the whales one at a time, knowledgeable local guides evaluate their desire to interact with humans. A whale swim is frequently considered to be among the most exciting aspects to do in Tonga.


2. Experience the Mapu’ A Vaea blowholes: You may witness the ocean’s unbridled force in Houma. Clear blue waves crash against the shore here and throughout the entire coastline. They then push under the granite shelf a short distance and roar up through the blowholes. 

This must-see Tonga natural feature is most impressive when the tide is in, and the waves are high, producing water spouts up to 18m high. One of the most known sights on the island is, without a doubt, the blowholes.

3. Swim or watch the sunset at Ha’atafu Beach: Visit Ha’atafu, one of Tongatapu’s loveliest beaches, to go swimming or snorkelling in the lagoon’s pristine waters. 

Book a reservation for lunch at a seaside restaurant, stroll along the expansive shoreline, and then stay to watch the sunset. Ha’atafu Beach is located in the region of Kanokupolu on the northwest tip of the island, about 30 minutes from the capital Nuku’alofa by vehicle.


4. Explore Anahulu Cave: Explore Anahulu Cave cautiously to observe ancient stalactites, stalagmites, and a lovely freshwater pool. Bring your swimming gear to cool down in the crystal-clear, chilly water while you float among the limestone formations. 

Although there is a small entrance fee and some lighting within the cave, it’s a good idea to wear sturdy shoes and perhaps bring a flashlight. There is a lovely beach at the cave’s entrance where you may have a picnic or go snorkelling during high tide.

5. Catch a ferry to Pangaimotu: Only a 10-minute boat ride from Tongatapuand you can spend the day relaxing on the stunning beaches of Pangaimotu island. You can do some activities like a soak in the sun, snorkelling on the coral reef, diving off the wrecks, and then have a delicious lunch at Big Mama’s yacht club to cap off your day.

Monday through Saturday, the ferry to Pangaimotu departs from Faua Wharf in Nuku’alofa at 11 am and arrives at the main island at 4 pm. The boat leaves and returns on Sundays at 10 am, 11 am, 12 pm, and 1 pm. When most Tongatapu businesses close for the day on Sunday, Pangaimotu offers the ideal weekend retreat.


6. Walk the natural land bridge at Hufangalupe: Find out about this incredible land formation that resulted from a sea cave’s roof collapsing, leaving only the opening as a substantial flat-topped arch. 

Cross the arch high above the water as the waves crash beneath you and into what was once a sizable cave pool. The land bridge can be challenging to discover; thus, use Google Maps or arrange an island tour. It is found on the southeast coast, about 30 minutes from Nuku’alofa.

Tonga - 12 Noteworthy Facts From History to Nightlife

7. See the fishing pigs: Go in search of Tonga’s intriguing fishing pigs with your camera. At low tide, visit the small inner lagoon near Mu’a, about 30 minutes east of Nuku’alofa. These descendants of Captain Cook’s wandering pigs have mastered the art of mussel and crab diving. 

Pigs wading through the ocean with their snouts submerged in search of food is a peculiar sight. The naturally salty flavour of the fishing pigs makes them highly regarded in the area.

8. Shop at Talamahu Market: Join the locals and shop for fresh fruit and veggies, along with highly reasonable local handcrafts that make fantastic souvenirs and gifts. Visit Talamahu Market in Nuku’alofa’s city centre.

There are a few locations that sell food and drinks as well. The market is open from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm, Monday through Saturday. To have the most options, arrive early. If you want to see the market at its busiest, arrive early on Saturdays.

9. Scuba Dive in the Tropical Ocean: Scuba diving offers more fun in the warm waters around Tonga. Tonga is one of the few places where it can swim among humpback whales. These magnificent animals travel through the islands between July and October to mate and give birth. Then they fly off to their feeding sites in the Arctic.

Divers may also see manta rays, eagle rays, several shark species, and other types of marine life in the vicinity, in addition to humpback whales. With dive sites offering everything from coral gardens to caverns and vertical walls, Tonga truly has something for everyone. The underwater geography is just as diverse as its marine life.

10. Relax on the Sandy Shores: Around 170 islands make up Tonga; At the same time, some are formidable volcanoes; the majority are picture-perfect islands with swaying coconut palms surrounded by breathtaking white-sand beaches. Tonga is the perfect destination if you want a beach vacation without crowds.

11. Ha’amonga ‘a Maui: Tonga’s history includes rulers, the colonisation of neighbouring South Pacific Islands, the only South Pacific island nation that was never formally colonised, tribal conflict, visits from the West, and more. 

The Ha’amonga ‘a Maui, a megalithic edifice built on Tongatapu in the thirteenth century, is perhaps the most well-known historical site on the islands.

12. Tongan Culture with Ancient Tonga: Visit Ancient Tonga and participate in an interactive educational tour. You will discover how to prepare their traditional supper, the Lu, and test it out. You’ll find more and view the flora. 

Please find out how to make tapa, weave it, and how to make taovala, the traditional mats they wear. You will sample kava and discover Tongan medicines and cosmetics. Light refreshments and a taste of their Lu (traditional dinner) will be served to you at the tour’s conclusion.

13. Hike in the ‘Eua National Park: The rocky interior of some of Tonga’s bigger islands shows another side of the country. The ancient woodland of ‘Eua National Park, located on the island of ‘Eua in particular, offers excellent trekking opportunities. 

While travelling to caves and viewpoints over distant beaches, you will pass by enormous banyan trees with tangled roots.

14. Go On an Island Day Trip from Nuku’alofa: You don’t have to forgo the experience of a small tropical island just because you’re living on Tonga’s central island. 

Island day tours leave from Nuku’alofa, where you’ll spend the day at your preferred resort snorkelling, kayaking, and eating lunch there.

15. Laku Fa’anga Cliffs and Rock Gardens: On the island of ‘Eua, numerous stunning natural elements can be seen when strolling along the Rock Gardens Walk. 

Check out the “Rock Gardens,” which are rocky outcrops on the clifftops that are frequently surrounded by wild horses, before gazing out over the Laku Fa’anga Cliffs to witness a variety of seabirds.

Nightlife In Tonga 

  • Billfish is the only one of Tonga’s three legitimate bars or clubs to attend. Some foreigners have frequented this establishment for more than ten years. 

It’s a fair walk out of town and situated looking out to the seafront, close to the Ha’apai and Vava’u ferry station, so you might want to take a taxi. But the “trip” was worthwhile. Billfish hosts karaoke, quiz nights, and live music every night. 

Starting at 11 am, the environment is quite laid-back until 7 or 8 pm, depending on what day of the week; patrons fill the bar, and it becomes a little raucous. 

It is decorated as you would anticipate a pub with the name “Billfish” and a location right by the sea to be adorned. The entrance, based on the Ha’amonga trilithon near the island’s eastern tip, is particularly noteworthy. 

Large wooden tables and beams make up most of the furnishings, making the entire space open and expansive. Additionally, there is an outside section that primarily serves as a smoking area and has few seats. 

A variety of bottled beers, Steinlager on tap, wine, mixers, and cocktails are among the beverages available. Additionally, if you intend to stay a while, attempt to join their “100 clubs” to receive a free beer every time you visit once you’ve consumed 100 of them there. 

A relatively sophisticated pub menu is also available. However, it could be faster to arrive. Therefore, as you wait for your Fisherman’s Basket to arrive, set aside an hour or two to drink a few pints. 

  • Nauti Rubys: Nauti Rubys, which is on the other side of the street and closer to the town centre, is only a short walk from Billfish (on the same side as the sea, suggesting that if you have a few too many, you might have a bit of a damp spill).

In Tonga, the “club” is Nauti Ruby’s. And it appears to be one of those geared toward children. Like when you were minor, the only club you frequented simply let everyone enter.

As you grew older, would you continue to partake in the giggles and reminiscences but always awaken with a pounding head and many regrets? In a way, Nauti Ruby’s is similar. 

 Both inside and outside are pretty lovely, although the exterior is covered. There is a pool table there as well, but you should arrive earlier in the evening to use it. There is a varying but never excessive admittance fee.

  • Reload: Smaller bar Reload has an upper and lower level. If you prefer to stay within the town or want to have a beer on the way home, it’s ideal because it’s located in the centre of Nuku’alofa. 

You ascend several shakily placed stairs that appear to be fire escapes to reach the upstairs. Not conducive to sober people, but I suppose that just adds to the enjoyment! The basement and the upstairs are rather crowded in the evenings and at weekends. 

But it’s relatively peaceful throughout the day. If you’re upstairs, get ready for tonnes of dancing and possibly karaoke, a favourite among the Tongan residents.

  • Seaview: One of the best places to drink in Tonga is not a bar. Seaview offers a limited selection of wines and beverages during happy hour. They are great for the cocktails they offer, though.

On a summer evening or day, you may relax on the deck with a delicious island-inspired cocktail and some tapas while looking out at the water. Take advantage of the opportunity to dress up for those cocktails because this place is a little upscale. Unless there is a large group present, it is usually relatively quiet.

Tongan Food and International Restaurants

In Tonga, be prepared to eat well. Tongans put on some of the most lavish feasts in the South Pacific because food is everything to them. After eating some fresh vegetables from the islands and nearby oceans, the portions are even more impressive, providing you with an additional degree of reward. 

There are many fantastic cafés and restaurants in Tonga, whether you’re hoping to taste native Tongan food, a fresh take on worldwide favourites, or simply grab a coffee as part of your morning ritual. 

Furthermore, since there isn’t a single McDonald’s in the entire nation, they each have a distinctive personality.

Tongan Restaurants: 

  • Tongan Restaurants in Nuku’alofa: In Nuku’alofa, Mama’s Cafe (Laifone Road) and Talahiva Restaurant (Taufa’ahau Road) both provide a variety of Tongan cuisines on their menus. 

We recommend trying Ota Ika, Lu, and other dishes from breadfruit, cassava, and plantains. Fresh seafood meals in Tongan and internationally are worth trying with 12 kinds of seafood (Vuna Road).

  • Tongan Restaurants in ‘Eua: The unidentified Tongan restaurant in Pangai, which is next to the liquor store and is a well-hidden eatery on an island without any other eateries, is worth finding out. You can sample traditional Tongan dishes made with local staples like fish, plantains, and cassava.
  • Tongan Feasts Across Tonga: Through traditional performances, buffets, and Sunday umu feasts, tourists can sample real Tongan food.

In Tongatapu, hotels and resorts like Vakaloa Beach Resort, Oholei Beach Resort, Liku’alofa Beach Resort, and Fafa Island Resort provide Tongan buffet nights where visitors can sample a variety of Tongan dishes as well as a spit-roasted pig. 

Sundays are Tongan feast and buffet days in Vava’u, particularly at the ‘Ene’io Botanical Gardens (Tu’anikivale), Beautiful Ofu Island Backpackers (Ofu Island), and sporadically at the Port of Refuge Villas (Neiafu). 

Finally, should there be sufficient demand, resorts in ‘Eua also provide umu feasts (meals cooked in a conventional underground oven) for visitors. This is offered at Taina’s Place and The Hideaway (Tufuvai Beach) (Kolomaile).

International Restaurants in Tonga:

  • International Restaurants in Tongatapu: Nuku’alofa is home to the bulk of Tonga’s international eateries, including Little Italy Restaurant (Vuna Road, Kolomotu) and Marco’s Pizza Pasta (‘Unga Road), which provide freshly baked pizza, pasta, and other dishes. 

Asian eateries are also widely available in the city, including the reasonably priced Tiger Inn Restaurant and the Evergreen Chinese Restaurant on Bypass Road in Ma’ufanga (Railway Road). 

Chef Zero Restaurant (Papua) is well-known for its steak, pig, and seafood meals. At the same time, The TOP Restaurant (Corner of Wellington and Taua’ahau Roads) is placed up an elevator overlooking the city if you’re seeking an all-around enjoyable eating experience. 

And that’s just in Nuku’alofa. Throughout Tongatapu, resorts provide a variety of native and international cuisine to give your taste buds a well-rounded experience while you’re there. 

The Heilala Restaurant at Ha’atafu Beach and The Hideaway Cafe at Holty’s Hideaway are two of the best resort restaurants for informal dining. The fish and chips at Liku’alofa Beach Resort (‘Otuhaka Beach) are delicious.

  • International Restaurants in Ha’apai: The Mariner’s Cafe & Restaurant is the only dining establishment in Ha’apai that is not connected to a resort (Fau Road, Pangai). 

It’s a hub for tourists visiting the island and a great spot to fill up hearty breakfasts, homemade pasta, and seafood meals. 

The cafe at Matafonua Lodge (Foa Island), which offers a seasonal all-day menu, and the Ha’apai Beach Resort (Fau Road, Lifuka), which also serves casual diners and visitors, both submit options for informal dining in Ha’apai.

  • International Restaurants in Vava’u: Visitors to Neiafu can pick from foreign eateries, while dining options vary by island resort around Vava’u. 

The Mango Cafe, located on Neiafu’s southern dock, offers a wide variety of food, including burritos, burgers, and all-day meals.

 Pizzas made in the Italian style, espresso coffee, pasta, and fresh Vava’uan fish are some of the specialities of the Bellavista Cafe & Restaurant in the Guttenbeil Plaza. Your go-to spot for Chinese food is Panda on the waterfront. At the same time, Hepi Pizza (on Fatafahi Road, close to Toula Village), which also offers a tranquil harbour view, gives you extra justification to eat pizza.

Cafes in Tonga 

  • Cafes in Tongatapu: The Friends Cafe (Taufa’ahau Road), one of Nuku’alofa’s hotspots, is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and offers light lunches such as toasties, paninis, salads, soups, burgers, and more. 

Another option is Coffee Post (Taufa’ahu Road), which offers a variety of nutritious lunch options and less healthy breakfasts. Visit the ‘Utuongo Cafe (Taufa’ahau Road) nearby the hospital for coffee with a Tongan twist. 

Try their freshly baked goods, coconut and banana bread sandwiches, and cappuccinos with coconut syrup. 

For their cassava cakes, pies, chips, pawpaw scones, and home-roasted coffee, Tupu’Anga Cafe (Umusi Road) is also worth driving outside the city.

  • Cafes in Vava’u: Coffee & Tees is a casual cafe in the heart of Neiafu that offers a variety of beverages to help you through the day, whether it’s something from the cabinet, a healthy salad, or some decadent waffles. 

As an alternative, check out Cafe Tropicana (Fatafehi Road), which serves a variety of breakfast and lunch items like sandwiches, tacos, pies, and pastries, in addition to naughty pancakes and waffles.

Tonga Hotels

Green Lodge Holiday Homes 

Just five minutes drive from Nuku’alofa lies the family-run Green Lodge, an eco-tourist establishment located in the centre of a traditional Tongan community. 

The Tonga National Cultural Centre, Vaiola Hospital, and the Fanga’ Uta lagoon are all within a 5-minute stroll of the secure inland location of Green Lodge Tonga. 

The golf course, the Mormon temple, and the late King George Tupou V’s palace are all close. The staff may set up dinners centred on a traditional Tongan earth oven and Tonga tours and cultural excursions. Upon request, airport transfers are offered. The trip from Fua’amotu International Airport takes 25 minutes. 

Emerald Hotel & Restaurant

The Emerald Hotel & Restaurant is conveniently positioned on the lovely waterfront in Nuku’alofa. The on-site restaurant serves Chinese fare, and the bar offers drinks so visitors can unwind. Free, unlimited WiFi is available to guests. The Talamahu Market Place is only a 2-minute stroll away from the Emerald Hotel, while the city centre is only a 5-minute stroll away. It takes about 8 minutes to walk to the Royal Palace. 

Tonga Holiday Villa

Tonga Holiday Villa is located 5 minutes from the main town centre and dining options and is 2 minutes away on foot. Right there is a convenience store. Tonga Holiday Villa offers two-level guest rooms with four bedrooms, some with private bathrooms and some with shared ones, in a serene, calm environment.

On the nights, free WiFi is accessible with a 2-hour time limit, and scooters can be rented. The facility can also assist with whale excursions, attraction cruises, and day outings throughout the island. Some scooters may be rented.

Tanoa International Dateline Hotel

It is in Nuku’alofa. WiFi access and an airport shuttle service are also available for an additional cost. The Tanoa International Dateline Hotel can be reached from the airport in 40 minutes by automobile. The coastal Tanoa International Dateline Hotel has a restaurant, a fitness centre, two bars, and a big pool.

Dayspring Lodge 

Only a 5-minute stroll from the Vaiola Hospital Compound, Dayspring Lodge has complimentary breakfast, free WiFi, and a T.V. lounge. Each room has access to a communal restroom with hot water. The Tonga National Center is just a 10-minute walk from Dayspring Lodge. The waterfront in Nuku’alofa and the Royal Palace is 8 minutes away by car. The drive to Fua’amotu International Airport takes 25 minutes. 

Visitors are welcome to utilise the spacious communal kitchen and dining room for an extra fee. Other features include a communal outdoor deck and a garden with chaise lounges. With your continental breakfast, you get toast, fruit, fresh juice, coffee, and tea.

Waterfront Lodge

The restaurant at Waterfront Lodge has views of the ocean and is situated across from Fauna Wharf. It provides accommodations with a private patio overlooking the garden or ocean and a complimentary continental breakfast. The Royal Tomb is 3 minute drive from Waterfront Lodge, located a 10-minute walk from the heart of Nuku’alofa. The distance to Fua’amotu International Airport is 30 minutes by car. Fijian mahogany furniture and vibrant wall paintings are found in every room. 

A flat-screen T.V. with satellite channels, a refrigerator, and tea and coffee-making amenities are included in each air-conditioned accommodation. The tour desk can arrange for whale watching, scuba diving, snorkelling, and cave diving, as well as tours of Tongatapu. 

Additionally, there is a guest laundry on the property. Tongan specialities are among the many cuisines from around the world available at the café. The menu includes fresh fish, steaks, seafood platters, and raw Tongan fish with vegetables and coconut cream.

JeZami Hotel Tonga 

All of the rooms at JeZami Hotel Tonga have a balcony and a coffee maker, and they are only 5 minutes from the beach. It provides complimentary breakfast and free WiFi in public areas. The Interisland Ferry Terminal and the Nuku’alofa City Center are 5 and 7 minutes from the JeZami Hotel. There is a 10-minute walk to the Tonga Royal Palace. 

Linen and towels are offered. A tour desk at this hotel is open round-the-clock and can schedule island cruises and village tours. The hotel bar offers drinks where you may unwind. The complimentary breakfast served to guests comprises toast, cereal, fresh tropical fruit, and various beverages.

Little Italy Hotel

The seaside Little Italy Hotel is only a 2-minute drive from Nuku’alofa’s city centre and has free unrestricted WiFi and a complimentary cooked and continental breakfast. It has a bar and a well-known Italian restaurant. 

The décor in each room of the Nuku’alofa Little Italy Hotel blends traditional Tongan and Italian styles. A refrigerator, safety deposit box, and tea/coffee-making capabilities are standard in every room. Additionally, some accommodations have a private balcony with ocean views. 

The Italian food served at Little Italy Restaurant includes pizzas, pasta, steak, lobster, and poultry dishes. Guests can relax with a candlelight supper or enjoy the ocean views while dining. Various domestic and foreign beers and wines are available in the bar. 

The tour desk can help book local activities and trips and airport transfers. A wide variety of rental cars are also offered. The Talamahu Market is a 20-minute walk from Little Italy Hotel and about 1 kilometre from the Royal Palace. The distance to Fua’Amotu International Airport is 15 kilometres.


Tonga is an island country in the South Pacific that is also referred to as the Kingdom of Tonga. : 251 square miles (650 sq km). Population: 100,200 (as of 2022). Capital: Nukuʿalofa. The inhabitants are of Polynesian descent. Tongan and English are both spoken (both official). 

Religions include Christianity (mainly Protestant; also Roman Catholic and other Christians) and Bahá’. Paanga is the currency. Tonga is an archipelago of over 170 islands that spans 500 miles north to south in two parallel chains (800 km). 

While the western islands are hilly and of volcanic origin, and four of the West of islands are active volcanoes, the eastern islands are flat and made of coral limestone.

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