Tonga vacations

This oneís right out of a fairytale Ė a South Pacific kingdom where you can swim with humpback whales one day and hike in remote jungle the next.
The Kingdom of Tonga has a warmth and authenticity thatís far removed from some of the South Pacificís more touristy hotspots. You wonít find party islands or slick, sealed-off chain resorts here, the vibe is very low-key; and the welcoming population ensures that youíll soon get a handle on Tongan culture. If you prefer your vacations with a little more action, though, thereís plenty to keep you busy. Of course, thereís all the snorkelling, diving, yachting and kayaking that you could hope for, as well as the rare chance to swim with humpback whales. Head inland, meanwhile, and youíll see thereís almost as much to do above the water, with plentiful hiking and biking trails and forested national parks to explore.

Our top Tonga Vacation

Swim with humpback whales in Tonga

Swim with humpback whales in Tonga

Swim with humpbacks - stay at beachside resort in Vava'u!

From AU $5975 to AU $6050 8 days ex flights
Small group travel:
2019: 1 Aug, 10 Sep
Helpdesk
Hello. If you'd like to chat about Tonga or need help finding a vacation to suit you we're very happy to help. Rosy & team.

Landscapes in Tonga

Set to the south east of Fiji and south of Samoa, Tonga is home to 170 islands, 40 of which are inhabited. Itís divided into four different island groups, which include craggy volcanic islands, low-lying coral islets and a healthy serving of colourful coral reefs. The southernmost group is Tongatapu, home to capital city Nuku'alofa.

Tongaís history & culture

Thereѝs evidence of human settlement in Tonga as far back as 1000 BCE and Tonga was once the most powerful country in the South Pacific region, lead by the legendary 12th century chief Tѝui Tonga. Dutch sailors landed on these shores in the 17th century, followed by British explorer Captain Cook, who first visited the islands in 1773, calling them the ќFriendly Islandsѝ. In 1900 Tonga became a British protectorate, remaining part of the British Empire until 1970. Even during this colonial period, Tonga retained its indigenous governance, and the Tongan royal family is one of the longest running hereditary monarchies anywhere in the world.

Tongan culture is typically Polynesian and Tongans are welcoming, relaxed and known for their hospitality. As with most countries in the region, family is the central unit of Tongan life, with elders commanding the most respect. Traditional dress and dance still feature heavily in Tongan culture, and tapa cloth making and mat weaving is an everyday part of Tongan life, with women gathering in small groups to weave and chat ї a bit like a Tongan version of a knitting circle. Thanks to the countryѝs colonial heritage around 98 percent of the population is Christian and the vast majority of Tongans go to church every Sunday ї if you get the chance to join them, snap it up ї itѝs a cultural experience not to be missed.

Things to do in Tonga

Many people visit Tonga with one purpose in mind only ї swimming with whales. Humpbacks visit the calm, clear waters off Tonga from July to October each year to breed and to birth their young. Small group tours let you get up close and personal with these impressive beasts, with full briefings and professional guides provided for your undersea adventure, whoѝll not only guide you through the waters, but give you the low down on humpback whale behaviour. The ќEua Island in the Tongatapu Group is a haven for walkers and nature lovers, with the best trekking in Tonga. The mountainous forest of ќEua National Park offers some great challenges for walkers and along the way you can enjoy the views at one of the parkѝs stunning lookouts.
Written by Nana Luckham
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