Tonga Travel Guide


Official name of the state

Kingdom of Tonga.


Nuku’alofa (Tongatapu Island).


As a country located in Oceania listed on extrareference, Tonga consists of 172 islands (a new island was created in 1995 through volcanic activity) in the South Pacific, which extend over an area of 700,000 square kilometers and of which only 45 are inhabited. The largest groups of islands are Tongatapu, ‘Eua, Ha’apai and Vava’u. Tonga has both tall volcanic and shallow coral islands. Some volcanoes are still active; the Falcon Island of the Vava’u Group is an undersea volcano that erupts from time to time. Lava and ash from the volcano form an island that disappears after the eruption. Nuku’alofa on Tongatapu Island has a palm-fringed harbor that is protected by a reef. The flat island has a large lagoon but no rivers and is surrounded by many smaller islets. The forested island of ‘Eua is hilly with high cliffs and beautiful beaches. The Ha’apai Islands are an almost circular group of islands located 160 km north of Tongatapu and have excellent beaches. Tofua, the largest island in the group, is an active volcano with a hot, steaming crater lake. The hilly Vava’u Islands are 90 km north of Ha’apai, are densely forested and criss-crossed by a network of narrow channels.


Constitutional monarchy (in the Commonwealth) since 1875. Constitution of 1875, last amended in 1967. 30-member parliament made up of chiefs, elected representatives, ministers (appointed by the king for life) and governors. Independent since 1970 (former British protectorate).

Head of state

King George Tupou VI, since March 2012.

Head of government

‘Akilisi Pohiva, since December 2014.


240 V, 50 Hz.

Time zone

Tonga Time: CET +14 (CET +15 from November 4 to January 14, 2017)


Traveling by plane

Airlines Tonga has regular connections between Vava’u, Ha’apai and ‘Eua.

On the way by car / bus

The road network is good and mostly paved. Left-hand traffic.

There are minibuses on Tongatapu. The destination is displayed on the front of the buses.

There are numerous taxis. They can be recognized by the ‘T’ on the license plate. Limousines, mini-mokes, minibuses and Ve’etolus (taxis on three wheels without a roof) transport passengers on request, the fare should be agreed in advance.

Rental cars
are only available in Nuku’alofa and Neiafu.

On presentation of the national driver’s license and passport, the traffic police in Nuku’alofa will issue a temporary driving license for a fee. Minimum age for drivers: 18 years.

On the way by ship

Ferries operate between all archipelagos. Regular connections from the Faua shipyard in Nuku’alofa to Ha’apai and Vava’u. Travel times may change depending on demand and weather conditions.
Further information is available from the Tonga Visitors Bureau (see contact addresses).

Tonga Travel Guide



1 Pa’anga (or Tonga dollar) = 100 Seniti. Currency abbreviation: T $, TOP (ISO code). Banknotes are available in denominations of 100, 50, 20, 10, 5, 2 and 1 T $; Coins in denominations of 50, 20, 10, 5, 2 and 1 Seniti.

Credit cards

Visa and MasterCard are accepted in larger hotels, some restaurants and international car rental companies. Details from the issuer of the credit card in question. In banks in Nuku’alofa and in the main towns on the islands of Eua and Ha’a pai, you can withdraw cash with your credit card from ATMs, for which a fee of 10 US dollars is usually charged per withdrawal.

ec / Maestro card / Sparcard

ATMs are available in the capital as well as in the larger towns on the islands. There is a fee of $ 10 per withdrawal.

Attention: Travelers who pay abroad with their bank customer card and want to withdraw money should find out about the possibilities of using their card from their bank before starting their journey.

Bank opening times

Mon-Fri 9.30 a.m.-3.30 p.m., Sat 9.30 a.m.-11 a.m.

Foreign exchange regulations

No restrictions, however, there is an obligation to declare for imports from a sum equivalent to 10,000 T $.

Currency Exchange

Possible in banks or larger hotels, there is an exchange office at the airport. Bringing US dollars, British pounds or Australian dollars with you is recommended. When traveling to the outer islands one should carry enough Pa’anga with you.



The official language is Tonga. English is also spoken.




The following articles can be imported into Tonga duty-free:

2 packs of cigarettes;
1.5 l alcoholic beverages (people over 18 years of age);
Perfume for personal use;
personal valuables (camera, laptop, etc.) when they are carried out again.

Import regulations

All food brought along must be declared.


Business etiquette

No suit requirement at most business meetings. In addition to English, French is also often spoken. Business hours: Mo-Fr 8.30 a.m.-4.30 p.m.


Ministry of Labor, Commerce and Industries
(Chamber of Commerce and Industry)
PO Box 110, Nuku’alofa
Tel: 2 54 83.

Tonga Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Taufa’ahau Road, PO Box 1704, Nuku’alofa
Tel: 251 68.

Business contacts

Ministry of Labor, Commerce and Industries
(Chamber of Commerce and Industry)
PO Box 110, Nuku’alofa
Tel: 2 54 83.

Tonga Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Taufa’ahau Road, PO Box 1704, Nuku’alofa
Tel: 251 68.



Dial-up remote service.


GSM 900. Network operator is Tonga Communications Corporation (Internet:


Internet provider is Tonga Communications Corporation. Internet cafes are available.

Post Office

The main post office is in the center of Nuku’alofa. Post office branches are on Ha’apai, Vava’u and ‘Eua. The post must be picked up from the post office. Airmail shipments to Europe take around 10 days. Post office opening times: Mon-Fri 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.


Since the use of shortwave frequencies changes several times over the course of a year, it is advisable to contact Deutsche Welle customer service directly (Tel: (+49) (0228) 429 32 08. Internet: to request.



Tapa clothing (made from the bark of mulberry trees), To’avala Pandanus mats, Pandanus baskets, polished coconut goblets and ashtrays, carved wooden models of outrigger canoes and jewelry. There are duty-free shops on Tongatapu and Vava’u. A government tax of 5% will be added to all bills.

Shop opening times:
Mon-Fri 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Sat 8 a.m.-12 p.m.



The nightlife is limited to music and dancing in the hotels and clubs as well as in the yacht club. There are also shows in the larger hotels and the Tonga National Center, and banquets and entertainment are organized.




The Niu-akalo Hotel in the Ha’apai Group offers camping facilities.



70% Protestants (including “Wesleyan Church” and “Free Church of Tonga” as well as seven-day Adventists), 20% Catholics.

Social rules of conduct

Manners: Shake hands to greet you. Large banquets are often organized for visitors. A small thank you gift from home is not expected, but is gladly accepted.

Clothing: Casual clothing is acceptable everywhere, but swimwear belongs on the beach. It is forbidden to be shirtless in public.

are not expected.


Best travel time

Slightly cooler than most of the tropical regions. Heavy rains from December to March. Best travel time May to November.


Area code +676 Area (sq km) 748 Population 106 501 Population density (per sq km) 142 Population in 2015 Member of the EU No main emergency number 911

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