Relaxing Tonga

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Just west of the International Dateline, the Tongan archipelago covers over 700,000 square kilometers of the Pacific Ocean with a total of 170 islands. It is made up of four main groups of islands, the principal island being Tongatapu where the nation's capital Nuku'alofa and the main international airport are located. Less than 40 of the islands are populated so as you can imagine, there is plenty of space for you to experience total freedom in Tonga.

 

It is thought that the islands were first inhabited between 1500 and 1300 BC, the first recorded European visitiors were Dutch navigators who arrived in 1616, followed by Captain Cook in the 'Endeavour' in 1773 (he missed the islands in an earlier voyage!).  But the most beautiful parts of Tonga escaped him as he believed that many of the islands did not have good anchorage.  Something that today's mariner does not have to worry about.

 

Unlike most of its neighbours, Tonga has never been under foreign rule.  The Kingdom of Tonga is a fully functional Monarchy, not simply a ceremonial one.  Its people are very proud of their independence and heritage which, they say, can be traced back to the Gods of ancient Polynesia.  If people know the name of no other Tongan, they invariably know that of Queen Salote, and recall the coronation of Elizabeth II, when she rode through the pouring rain in an open carriage rather than show disrespect to England's Queen by covering herself.

 

Tonga has been very cautious in developing tourism as it feared the loss of its traditions.  Fortunately, they have managed to facilitate the outside world's interest in their island nation and retain their dignity and traditional way of life.  The Hotel accommodation in Tonga is clean but basic.  There are no four star hotels and by European standards, the majority of them would be two  star plus. The food served at the hotels we offer is very good and will not disappoint you!  However, it is a joy to see that they make no attempt to adopt the fast-track lifestyle of their visitiors.  Modern Tonga offers a wonderful blend of centuries old Polynesian cultural history with the breathtaking scenery of their South Pacific Island paradise.

 

Coconut palms, the niu, are widespread throughout the islands, with its fruit being an essential element to the economic culture both as a source of food as well as for practical and decorative weaving.  Parts of the Kingdom are still forested and hibiscus, calophyllum and hernandia (the children use its fruit as marbles) are some of the most common plants and trees.  Over 40 species of bird inhabit the islands but there are few land animals and more than a few people will be pleased to learn that there is not much in the way of anything that creeps or crawls, apart from the very cute little gekos that scamper about at dusk.

 

Tonga's second largest island is Vava'u which lies to the north of Nuka 'alofa, which has an abundance of beautiful white sand beaches protected by colourful coral reefs.  Excellent cruising and sailing conditions are found along the eastern edge of Vava'u which is protected from winds and ocean swells by a string of outer islands and reefs.  Swimming, snorkelling and reef viewing are superb.  For the novice and the experienced anglers they will find the fishing superb!  Why not try for a barracuda or marlin!  A must to visit are the mystical blue-lit cavern of Mariners' Cave on the island of Nuapapu.

 

Although Tonga has some wonderful beaches, they are mainly located on the smaller islands of the Haiapai group which are located half way between the main islands of Tongatapu in the south and Vava'u in the north.  The Kingdom of Tonga is similar to Vanuatu, in that the island's culture has changed very little over the centuries, apart from the day to day dress code.

 

If you like sailing, then Tonga is the place for you.  Yacht chartering is a very popular way of experiencing the Tongan islands, as there are plenty of deserted ones for you to anchor off.  Plus, you will see the islands the way Captain Cook and the other 18th Century explorers did, as very little has changed.

 

We believe that Tonga is for those travellers who are looking to experience the culture of the South Pacific and get away from everything 21st century!  There are no TV's, so take lots of books or someone you like 'doing nothing' with!  If you would like to get back to the basics of life, then visit the timelessly unspoilt Kingdom of Tonga.  You will find it a truly wonderful experience.

 

Cruises around Tonga

Currently, there are no locally based cruise companies offering cruse itineraries around Tonga.  There are a few major cruise companies operating the large luxury liners, who offer itineraries across and around the Pacific that will visit some of these islands, but they are not frequent or on a regular basis.

 

However during the Humpback Whale seasons from July to October there are one or two live on boats that allow you a five or six night cruise to sail and swim with the whales, these boats sail form Vava'u, details are available on request.

 

Please note: We are constantly updating the prices shown on this website, but due to volatility of the currency exchange markets at the moment with the UK Sterling rates, prices may vary from those shown.  If you wish to confirm any prices shown here, please contact us directly.



Transpacific's recommended hotel selection
Reef Resort, Vava'u

Reef Resort, Vava'u

A small, personal, boutique property set on a quiet sandy beach with professional chefs as your hosts.

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Sandy Beach Resort

Sandy Beach Resort

The resort is located on a stunningly beautiful unspoiled white sand beach on the island of Foa, within Tonga's Ha'apai group.

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Fafa Island Resort

Fafa Island Resort

A dream holiday setting with deserted beaches and turquoise blue waters, a first class resort.

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 Mounu Island Resort

Mounu Island Resort

Thirty minutes by boat from Vava'u and set in six and a half acres of coral island with the chance to see Humpback Whales.

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Waterfront Lodge

Waterfront Lodge

A small eight room property built right on the ocean front across the road from the cities small dock area.

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In addition to our selected hotels/resorts listed here we can provide you with prices and information for any other property in Relaxing Tonga that you may be interested in.

Please call our reservations centre on
01342 840555 or contact your preferred travel agent.

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