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The Kingdom of Tonga is Polynesia's last remaining monarchy with a king who ruled absolutely until 2009. In November 2010 a slow process of reform culminated in the election of a parliament with a democratic majority for the first time. For the visitor, the Ha'apai and Vava'u groups to the north of Nuku'alofa have always been more attractive destinations than the capital island Tongatapu. Ha'apai has endless white sandy beaches while Vava'u is one of the most important yachting, kayaking, and whale watching centers in the South Pacific with good scuba diving and deep sea fishing as well. Eua Island to the east of Tongatapu has excellent ...

The Kingdom of Tonga is Polynesia's last remaining monarchy with a king who ruled absolutely until 2009. In November 2010 a slow process of reform culminated in the election of a parliament with a democratic majority for the first time. For the visitor, the Ha'apai and Vava'u groups to the north of Nuku'alofa have always been more attractive destinations than the capital island Tongatapu. Ha'apai has endless white sandy beaches while Vava'u is one of the most important yachting, kayaking, and whale watching centers in the South Pacific with good scuba diving and deep sea fishing as well. Eua Island to the east of Tongatapu has excellent hiking and birdwatching opportunities. Back in Nuku'alofa, there's traditional food and dancing in the Tonga National Center several times a week and intriguing archaeological remains at Mu'a and Ha'amonga in eastern Tongatapu.

David Stanley
About the Expert

David Stanley is the author of the Moon guidebooks Fiji, Tahiti, and South Pacific. He has been writing about the Pacific since 1979.

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David Stanley for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: The Kingdom of Tonga is an archipelago in the south Pacific Ocean comprising 169 islands, 36 of them inhabited. The islands lie south of Samoa and are about one-third of the way from New Zealand to Hawaii.
  • Language: Tongan, English
  • Currency: Tonga Pa'anga
  • Research: Wikipedia | Wikitravel
  • Weather: Daylight | Rainfall
  • Current Time:

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    The climate is pleasant with May to October the cooler, less humid season.