Tonga

Etymology

In many Polynesian languages including Tongan, the word tonga means “south”, as the archipelago is the southernmost group of the islands of central Polynesia. The name of Tonga is cognate to the Hawaiian region of Kona. In Malay, the name of “Tonga” is also cognate to the word “Tenggara” (Southeastern). [wikipedia]

Places to Meet People

Places to Meet People

Billfish Bar & Restaurant – Billfish Bar & Restaurant was opened on the 4th of May 1995. Our founder Liz Sullivan had the dream of creating an environment where people come come, enjoy great drinks and food in a relaxed atmosphere. Billfish continues to be a family business with Liz’s son Robert now running the Billfish Bar & Restaurant. [facebook]

Reload Bar Tonga – Probably the best bar in Tonga. [facebook]

How to Find a Date

How to Find a Date

Connecting Singles – Connecting Singles is a 100% FREE online dating site where you can make friends and meet Tonga singles. Find an activity partner, new friends, a cool date or a soulmate, for a casual or long term relationship. Meet quality singles in your Tonga area or worldwide (US singles, Canada singles, UK singles, singles in Western Europe and Australia) looking for online dating, friendship, love, marriage, romance, or just someone to chat or hang out with. [connecting singles]

Interracial Dating Central – Stop sitting by yourself all week without the loving touch of another and open a InterracialDatingCentral account. men in Tonga are readily available with us online. Nervous about online dating? Don’t be! Online dating is fast becoming one of the primary methods for meeting singles and InterracialDatingCentral is fast becoming the world’s best dating platform for interracial couples. [interracial dating central]

Mingle 2 – Mingle2.com is a 100% Tonga Free Dating Service. Meet thousands of fun, attractive, Tonga men and Tonga women for FREE. No gimmicks, no tricks. Stop paying for online dating now. [mingle 2]

Walking Tours

Walking Tours

Fikco – We offer 10 different multi-day tour packages in the Vava’u and Ha’apai island groups of Tonga for everyone from novice to experienced paddlers and from camping to resort based trips. The two island groups differ in many ways so that returning guests say they gain a different tour experience and a deeper appreciation of Tongan culture and tradition. [fikco]

Tours By Locals – Welcome to Tonga! The only kingdom in the South Pacific, Tonga is made up of over 170 islands, each one more sunny and welcoming than the next. The capital of paradise is Nuku’alofa, which is also where the King resides. Take a private Nukualofa tour and get to know Tonga with a friendly and knowledgeable local guide. [tours by locals]

Free Things to Do

Free Things to Do

Aerial view of the islands – The domestic flight from Tongatapu to Vava’u offers breathtaking aerial views of luscious green islands ringed by turquoise reef and deep blue water – worth the ticket price alone! [atlas and boots]

Diving and snorkelling in Vava’u – Tonga isn’t yet a renowned diving spot, but that doesn’t mean it can’t compete on a world stage. Sunset Reef offers some of the clearest water we’ve ever seen replete with a stunning range of sea life. [atlas and boots]

Fishing – If you’d like some downtime, charter a boat for a day on the water (try Dolphin Pacific or Tongan Expeditions on Vava’u). Tonga’s islands on the horizon make for an impressive view, so even if you don’t catch anything, you’ll get some value for money! [atlas and boots]

Sunbathing – Well, it’s only fair! We recommend taking a day trip to Pangaimotu which boasts some of the finest beaches in Tonga (see ‘Transport’ below). We hear the parties go on well into the early hours but we unfortunately had to get the 5pm ferry back! [atlas and boots]

Sunday church service – Tonga is one of the more conservative nations in the South Pacific. It is illegal to work on Sunday (even gardening qualifies!) so almost everything is closed. For a dose of local culture, use your Sunday to attend the church service at Centenary Chapel where, if you’re lucky, you may even spot the King. [atlas and boots]

Swimming with whales – Every year, whales migrate from the Antarctic to breed in Tonga’s warm waters, offering a rare chance to swim among these majestic creatures. We were lucky enough to swim with a mother and her calf via Dolphin Pacific in Vava’u – a humbling and awe-inspiring experience. Tonga has strict laws to protect the whales so learn what they are and never pressure your guide. [atlas and boots]

Tongan feast – The grand feast at Oholei centers on a huge suckling pig surrounded by sumptuous dishes of meat, fish and vegetarian options. The lavish feast is followed by a traditional show in Hina Cave topped off with the best fire dance we’ve seen yet. Ask your hostel to book you a place. [atlas and boots]

Tonga’s oldest island – Eu’a can be reached by a two-hour boat ride from the main island of Tongatapu. Dated at 40 million years old, it has a rocky landscape that is both dramatic and beautiful. Visit the rock gardens and look closely to see fossils enclosed in the rock. [atlas and boots]

Tongatapu day tour – Public transport on the main island isn’t really a viable option so book onto Toni’s Tours for a journey around Tongatapu, taking in Ha’amonga ‘a (the Pacific’s answer to Stonehenge), a natural rock bridge, a line of blowholes and Captain Cook’s landing site. [atlas and boots]

Uninhabited islands of Vava’u – If you really want to get off the beaten path, take a boat from Vava’u to Mafana Island’s eco lodge which has rainwater showers, a compost toilet and complete isolation. If the weather’s good, grab a kayak and explore the tiny uninhabited islands nearby. [atlas and boots]

Festivals

Festivals

‘Eua Tourism Festival – Held on the island of ‘Eua, this is one of the first festivals of the annual calendar. It is held in the second week of May and attracts visitors from around the globe to experience and learn about traditional Tongan culture. [iexplore]

Ha’apai Tourism Festival – Held in the second week of June every year, this festival showcases the islands’ finest culinary and cultural delights. It is designed to attract tourists, and plenty come to experience the relaxed atmosphere and to enjoy and learn about traditional Tongan cooking and culture. [iexplore]

Heilala – The largest festival in Tonga is celebrated nationally. On July 4, Tongans celebrate the birthday of their king, which is then followed by a week-long festival. Almost like clockwork, this time of year coincides with the flowering of the heilala, which is Tonga’s national flower. The locals are proud of this beautiful tropical flower that unfolds a pink, cross-like shape, and as part of the festival, they adorn themselves in heilala necklaces. [iexplore]

Vava’u Festival & Regatta – This week-long festival is held in the last week of September every year. Different activities are scheduled each day, including boat races around the island, although possibly the best day is a culmination of the week’s events at the traditional Tongan Cultural Feast at Ano Beach, which turns into an all-night party. [iexplore]

Public Transit

Public Transit

Bus – Once again like the ferries, the bus services are mainly used by locals, and run from between 8am and 5pm and can be waved down. Local knowledge about how to use the service is a real advantage and both locals and the drivers are only too happy to assist in this area. [tonga holiday]

Rental Cars – Rental cars are another popular way to get around Tonga and there are a number of companies operating rental fleets in Tonga. A Tongan visitor driver’s license can be easily obtained from the Ministry of Transport in Nuku‘alofa and is required for all drivers in Tonga. Tongan’s drive on the left hand side of the road and the speed limits are generally low compared with Europe or the USA. [tonga holiday]

Taxis – There are many taxis throughout Tonga with the majority based in Tongatapu. Taxis are often unmarked and are identified by the letter T at the beginning of the number plate. [tonga holiday]

Water Taxis – One way or round trip transfers between islands on fast, reliable and comfortable speed boats fitted with modern safety equipment will take you to your destination in comfort and style. [tonga holiday]

Professional Groups & Events

Professional Groups & Events

Catering Professionals Tonga – Our catering service offers not only quality cuisine but experienced staff who are fully trained in all aspects of hospitality, food preparation, bar and wedding. [facebook]

Tonga Consult – TongaConsult is a premier provider of “Consulting, Management, Services” in Tonga. [facebook]

Language Exchange

Language Exchange

Living in Tonga – If you are (or plan to be) an expat living in Tonga, please find below a list of expat clubs, schools, general links for women living in Tonga, country information and more… [expat woman]

Tonga Expatriates – People of all Nationalities from all over the Globe who have lived and worked in the Kingdom of Tonga. [facebook]

LGBT Groups

LGBT Groups

Resources

Resources

Places in Tonga

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