From towering, active volcanoes to flat-topped coral atolls, Tonga, made up of 176 islands, is a diverse Pacific travel destination. The way of life in Tonga is easygoing and relaxed. Most visitors like to blend in and relax on one of the gorgeous white-sand beaches or explore the stunning coral reefs in wet suits. From June to November whales can be seen here returning to their breeding grounds. With emerald green, lush vegetation and hidden coves, many of the islands are uninhabited but are open to exploration. Worth visiting are the Royal Palace on the water in Nuku’alofa, the Mala’ekula (Royal Tombs) and the subterranean Anahulu Cave with its stalactites and stalagmites. Tonga is the last kingdom of Polynesia. The ancestral gallery of Tonga’s royal family dates back more than 1,000 years. In 2020, Tonga celebrates 50 years of independence from Great Britain. See other countries in Oceania on aristmarketing.
Arriving by plane
Air New Zealand (NZ), Fiji Airways (FJ) and Samoa Airways (OL) fly to Tonga, among others.
Frankfurt/M. – Nuku’alofa: approx. 37 hrs 55 mins; Vienna – Nuku’alofa: 39 hrs 55 mins; Zurich – Nuku’alofa: 38 hrs 15 mins (Journey times vary depending on length of stopovers and route chosen.)
Approx. €9 (T$25); Transit passengers who fly on within 24 hours and children under the age of 12 are exempt.
Arrival by car
Tolls: There are no tolls on Tonga’s roads. Documentation: A temporary driver’s license can be obtained from the Traffic Police in Nuku’alofa on presentation of your passport and national driver’s license.
Arrival by ship
A few cruise ships call at the main ports of Nuku’alofa, Pangai, Neiafu and Niuatoputapu.
Hapag Lloyd and AIDA also call at Tonga on their world cruises departing from Hamburg. In addition, cruise ships from Hapag Lloyd, Aida, Holland America Line and Celebrity Cruises from New Zealand, Tahiti, Chile or the USA head for Tonga, among others.
Traveling by plane
REALtonga (RLT), the national carrier, connects the Tonga islands of Tongatapu, Vava’u, Ha’apai, ‘Eua and Niuafo’ou with regular domestic flights.
Traveling by car/bus
The road network has a total length of approx. 700 km and is well developed. On Tongatapu, roads run along the coast and through the interior of the island. Tolls: There are no toll roads on Tonga. Gas stations are sufficiently available.
Right-hand traffic/left-hand traffic
Condition of the roads
Most of the roads are paved.
Car rentals are available with and without a driver at Tongatapu Airport and in the city.
There are numerous taxis, identified by a T in front of the car number. Sedans, mini-mokes, minibuses and ve’etolus (three-wheeled cabs without a roof) transport passengers on request. Taxis are cheap and can also be hired for the whole day. There are no taximeters; the fare should therefore be agreed before departure.
Bicycles can be hired in larger towns on the islands.
Minibuses operate on Tongatapu, connecting Nuku’alofa with the rest of the island towns. The destination is displayed at the front of the buses.
Traffic regulations: – right before left in roundabouts; – Alcohol limit: 0.8 ‰. Speed limits: – urban: 40 km/h; – extra-urban: 70 km/h.
Temporary driver’s license is issued by Nuku’alofa Traffic Police for a fee upon presentation of national driver’s license and passport. The minimum age for drivers is 18 years.
Traveling in the city
Nuku’alofa is easy to explore on foot due to its small size. Taxis are also available if needed.
Traveling by ship
A catamaran ferry operates between the islands of Tongatapu, Vava’u, Ha’apai and ‘Eua. Departure times are subject to change based on demand and weather conditions. Information is available from the Tonga Visitors Bureau (see contact addresses). Inexpensive ferries, used primarily by Tonga residents, connect most of the archipelagos.