Kingdom Of Tonga: Information & Travel Hints

The Kingdom of Tonga lies to the East of Fiji and North East of New Zealand. The chain boasts 171 islands of which only 40 are inhabited, spreading throughout 700,000 sq. km, the equivalent of 270,271 sq. miles. Tonga is the only true Kingdom of the Pacific, having managed to maintain its own identity throughout the changes of History.

There are four main Island groups that create the Kingdom; Tongatapu with the capital Nuku'alofa.  Most of the commercial businesses hail to the capital, where everyday hustle and bustle is common.  Eua is the southernmost island and also the smallest. 

Ha'apai lies north from the capital by about 100km or 62 miles and is a beautiful yet quiet destination.

Vava'u lies north from Ha'apai by roughly 100km or 62 miles; it consists of many small islands that provide great shelter and anchorage for the numerous sailboats that coast around the crystal blue waters. Beautiful beaches, fantastic snorkeling and diving, whale swimming and idyllic settings form many of the wonderful reasons why Vava'u is a perfect destination. Sheltered waters allow full enjoyment of all activities with little risk of high winds and heavy seas.

The Niuas lay 400km or 250 miles north from Vava'u about as far away as you can possibly get in the world today.

During Captain Cook's three voyages of exploration to the Pacific he had such a wonderful time in the islands of Tonga that he named the whole group "Friendly Islands". The hospitality shown to Captain Cook and his men is still alive and easily visible today in the smiles and waves of the Tongan people.

Religion
Christianity forms the main religion of the Kingdom, and the island represents most of the denominations, with many churches dotted throughout the islands. Sunday is the traditional day of rest, a fact well observed in Tonga. You will find only hotels, a few restaurants, and tour operators open for business. However Sunday is still an interesting time to walk the streets listening to the beautiful singing, which can be heard as you wander past the churches. Visitors are welcome in churches but it is important to understand the practices and rules within the churches.

Language
Tongan is the national language, although English is widely spoken and learned. Tongan is a West Polynesian language that belongs to the Oceanic branch of Austronesian languages. With only 12 consonants in the language and 16 letters in total, learning is a great experience.

Electricity
Electricity in Tonga is 240V AC, 50hz. The plugs are the same as in New Zealand and Australia. US Appliances will require a power converter. WE CARRY SOME POWER CONVERTERS ON SITE; PLEASE ASK SHOULD YOU REQUIRE MORE INFORMATION.

Traveling to Tonga
Travel to Tonga mainly comes through either Fiji or New Zealand. When coming this far it is always a good idea to cover more than one destination.

From Northern America, Los Angeles is the main departing airport and most of the major airlines fly to New Zealand and Fiji.

From Europe, flights are available through New Zealand and Fiji either by connecting through Los Angeles or by other routes.

Flights run from Tongatapu through Ha'apai and Vava'u several times a week. Schedules and information are available through the Internet.