There are a wide variety of accommodation styles available on Tonga, from backpackers, to serviced apartments, hotels guesthouses, and resorts. Tonga hotel industry has something to suit any budget and taste.
The pa’anga is the currency of Tonga. One pa’anga equals 100 seniti. In Tonga the pa’anga is often referred to in English as a dollar and the seniti as cent.
Credit cards are accepted by major hotels, car rental companies, travel agencies, and some restaurants. ANZ Bank, Bank of the South Pacific, Tonga Development Bank and Malaysia, Borneo Bank (MBf Bank) have offices in Nuku’alofa, some banks to the outer islands of Vava’u, Ha’apai and ‘Eua. There are three currency exchange counters at the international airport: Western Union, MBF Bank, and E.M.Jones.
Electricity in Tonga is 240 volts and Australian type plugs are used. Adapters are necessary to run US appliances.
There are several Internet cafes in Nuku’alofa, Neiafu and Ha’apai. A few resorts and guest houses offer internet access for guests. International calls can be placed from any phone using a prepaid phone cards, which can be bought at many shops.
For passengers over the age of 18 years, the duty free allowances are: 250 cigarettes 2 liters (approx. 76 oz.) of spirits or 12 bottles of wine but depending on percentage of alcohol.
Tongans dress casually and summer clothing is recommended, but a sweater or jacket for the evenings can be helpful. Visitors should not wear bathing suits outside of the hotel.
Air New Zealand, Virgin Australia and Fiji Airways all offer services to Tonga. Air New Zealand flies five times a week from Auckland to Tonga. Virgin Australia flies direct to/from Sydney to Tonga twice a week and twice weekly from Auckland.
Fiji Airways operates three times a week from Honolulu and Los Angeles through Fiji and flies four times a week to Tonga. Pua Airline (of Real Tonga Airlines) flies twice a week to/from Apia.
The government provides comprehensive medical and dental facilities for visitors, including modern hospitals in Nuku’alofa, Ha’apai, Vava’u, ‘Eua and the two Niuas. There are also dispensaries, chemists and pharmacies available.
The official languages are Tongan and English, which is widely spoken and used in formal meetings.
A 15% Consumption Tax (CT) is added to all goods and services.
Tonga is 13 hours ahead Greenwich Time (UTC/GMT), which means that its 21 hours earlier in Tonga than in California. No daylight saving time.
Tongans do not expect tips, although no offence will be caused if special service is rewarded in this way.
The easiest and most efficient way to travel between the far-flung islands of Tonga is by air. Real Tonga Airlines is the Kingdom’s national domestic carrier with services to the 5 major island groups.
Friendly Island Shipping Agency (FISA) and ‘Eua Shipping Service offer weekly services to Vava’u and Ha’apai and bimonthly to the two Niuas.
‘Eua Shipping and Ramsey’s Shipping offer daily services (except Sunday) to ‘Eua. Check with the Ministry of Tourism for the latest update on ferry schedules. If you plan to travel straight out to the northern islands, email or phone to check departure times prior to your arrival.
Tongatapu has a local bus services and taxis. In order to rent a car a local driver’s license must be obtained. International driver’s licenses are not accepted.
Bona-fide tourists and business people from most countries, including New Zealand, Australia, United States, United Kingdom, Australia OR Commonwealth countries may enter Tonga for a period not exceeding 31 days without a visa, but visitors from certain countries will need a visa prior to arrival. Check with your travel agent when you book your ticket or email Immigration Tonga at firstname.lastname@example.org for visa requirements.
No tax is to be paid upon your departure from Tonga as it has been prepaid with your airline ticket.
Ministry of Tourism
PO Box 37
Kingdom of Tonga
Ph: +676 – 25334/24436/23895
The name Tonga means south and it is further from the equator than islands such as Samoa, thus it has a cooler but still tropical climate. It receives less rain than other tropical areas, and maximum temperatures average 80 F with only moderate humidity. The rainy season lasts from December to April.