Video courtesy of Tonga Tourism
“Malo e lelei – Welcome to the Friendly Islands.”
In Tonga you can enjoy not only the warm hospitality of its people, but Culture & History, beaches and water sports, adventure, festivals and events.
The Government is a Constitutional monarchy. Gained full independence within the Commonwealth in 1970. Head of State: His Majesty King George TupouI V since 2006. The Head of Government is Prime Minister Dr. Feleti Vakauta SEVELE (since 11 February 2006); Deputy Prime Minister Dr. Viliami TANGI (since 16 May 2006)
The Kingdom of Tonga is located in Western Polynesia. Its nearest neighbor country is Fiji to the west and the Samoas to the north. Western Polynesia includes the islands of Tonga, Samoa, Niue, Tuvala and Tokelau. Tonga is one of the most scenic and unspoiled of the Pacific Island nations. Nuku’alofa, the capital, is located on the main island of Tongatapu. There are 176 islands in the Kingdom of Tonga and to see them all you need is plenty of time.
Activities & Sights
Plenty of activities abound, you may wish to go Saling, Bird Watching, Fishing, Diving, take a Guided Tour or take in the fascination Whale Watch Tours of the Humpback Whales.
Rental cars and motorcycles, buses and ferries make it easy to discover the hidden corners of Tonga’s pristine island groups at your own pace. Just remember to slow right down and allow yourself to escape into relaxed and unhurried rhythms of ‘Tonga Time’.
Active adventure and passive relaxation is on tap, always delivered with traditional Tongan hospitality and warmth.
Accommodation & Dining
From village home-stays and simple guesthouses to relax-at-all-costs boutique resorts and eco-lodges, the Kindgom of Tonga offers accommodation options for travellers of all budgets and preferences. Most accommodation is locally-owned, guaranteeing a warm Tongan welcome, and often located on remote, pristine islands or on sweeping world-class beaches.
Tongans are big foodies, food is at the centre of many Tongan celebrations, and it’s customary to prepare feasts of far more food than even the heartiest all-you-can-eat buffet champion could stomach.
A Culinary Culture
What you’ll see most: markets overflowing with yams, taro, squash and the mouth-and-mind-numbing kava root, as well as bananas, papayas, breadfruit, coconuts and mandarins piled high. Pigs and chickens roaming the streets (before becoming dinner) and earth ovens (‘umu) in the yards of each household – some are dug right in the ground while more modern earth ovens are made from modified washing-machine tubs. Visiting Tonga is like visiting the grocery store: food is everywhere.
Traditional Tongan Food
Traditional Tongan foods are impressive, the preparation and cooking of traditional Tongan food involves clever and sustainable uses of natural resources. For example, the banana leaf is used as an organic “tin-foil” for wrapping foods to be placed in earth ovens; the leaf stem pulled tight is used to peel vegetables; and whole leaves act as lids —as food!
Coconut water is a natural “Gatorade,” full of electrolytes; coconut meat can be enjoyed alone or shaved and “milked” (mixed with water and drained through a cloth) to get a rich coconut cream; shells are used as cups and bowls; and the husks are great kindling for cooking over.
The main airlines serving Tonga are Fiji Airways, Air New Zealand, Virgin Australia. There are direct flights from Auckland, Sydney and Fiji.
Real Tonga is the domestic airlines connect the island groups of Tongatapu, Eua, Vava’u and Ha’apai and the two Niuas Islands.
Schedules from USA (LAX)
Fiji Airways fly to Fiji six times weekly and connects to Tongatapu twice weekly (Sat, Tue)
May to October is the best time to visit……. November to April is Summer, and is the cyclone season. It can be hot, humid and wet. The peak travel season is December and January (Tongans living abroad are returning home), so make reservations well in advance.
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