TONGA TRAVEL GUIDE
Tonga is a Polynesian kingdom of more than 170 South Pacific islands, many uninhabited, most lined in white beaches and coral reefs and covered with tropical rainforest. The main island, Tongatapu, is protected by lagoons and limestone cliffs. It’s home to the rural capital of Nuku'alofa, as well as beach resorts, plantations and the Ha'amonga ʻa Maui, a monumental coral gate from the 1200s.
Primarily volcanic in origin, Tonga rises from the sea ringed by low coral reefs, making it ideal for snorkelling and scuba diving. Relatively cooler than most tropical islands, Tonga has the perfect weather for a vacation - not too hot, not too cold. A chain of 83 islands about 800 km. west of Fiji reminded Capt Cook of the dark, forbidding, wind buffeted islands off the Scottish coast and he named them New Hebrides. The islands range from towering volcanoes to those covered in dense rainforests to those with wide beaches with deep natural harbours.
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TONGA QUICK FACTS
- Capital: Nuku'alofa
- Government: Hereditary constitutional monarchy
- Currency: pa'anga (TOP)
- Area; 748 km2
- Population: 103 197 (2018)
- Language: Tongan, English
- Religion: Christian
- Electricity: 230V, 50Hz (Australian plug)
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TONGA PUBLIC HOLIDAYS
- 25 April, ANZAC Day
- 4 June, Emancipation Day
- 4 July, King Tupou VI’s Birthday
- 17 September, Birthday of Crown Prince Tupouto’a Ulukalala
- 4 November, National Day (Constitution Day)
- 4 December, King Tupou I Day
- 26 December, Boxing Day
Also, Good Friday and Easter Monday.
TONGA WEATHER SYNOPSIS
Tonga’s climate is tropical and is defined by a wet season from November to April with moderate and variable rainfall, and a dry season from May to October. The wettest months are January, February, and March with precipitation exceeding 250 mm of rainfall per month. During the dry season, precipitation per month is less than 250 mm. The mean annual temperature in Tonga varies from 26°C to 23°C. During the wet season, the average temperature ranges from 25–26°C, whereas during the dry season the average temperature ranges from 21-24°C.
SPORT & ACTIVITIES
HIKING & CYCLING IN TONGA
The best months for outdoor activities in Tonga is from June to August. Whales also arrive sometime around mid-June and stay till early October.
BEACH OPTIONS IN TONGA
Tonga enjoys a hot, tropical climate suitable for beach going all year round. The driest months are typically from May to December, so these are best for enjoying the beaches. Whales also arrive sometime around mid-June and stay till early October.
SURFING IN TONGA
Tonga enjoys world class surfing year round with two very distinct seasons. You can enjoy the North Pacific Winter Swell from November to March, while the Southern Hemisphere winter swell season runs from April to October. Just note that pretty much all surfspots break over coral reefs, some dangerously shallow and require intermediate to advanced skill levels.
KITESURF IN TONGA
Kitesurfing in Tonga is mostly in the outer island groups of Vava'u and Ha'apai, where the southeast trade winds provide ideal conditions from May to late October.
HEALTH RISKS IN TONGA
Be aware of possible health risks in
Zika Virus - Zika is spread mostly by the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito. These mosquitoes bite during the day and night. Zika can be passed from a pregnant woman to her fetus. Infection during pregnancy can cause certain birth defects. There is no vaccine or medicine for Zika.
Dengue - Dengue is spread mostly by the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito. These mosquitoes bite during the day and night. About one in four people infected with dengue will get sick. For people who get sick with dengue, symptoms can be mild or severe.