Vacationing on Tonga Islands – Tips & Trivia

Exotic Wilderness Travel: Tonga Tourism

 

The Kingdom of Tonga is a country in Polynesia situated on islands with the total area of 748,000 square kilometers, or 289,000 square miles. Tonga is a member state of the British Commonwealth.

Form of government: constitutional monarchy.

Administrative division: island groups 'Eua, Ha'apai, Niuas, Tongatapu, and Vava'u.

Largest island: Tongatapu.

Capital: Nuku'alofa. Tonga International Airport is located here.

Official languages: Tongan, English.

Climate: tropical.

The are two seasons: arid from May to October and rainy from November to April. Average yearly air temperature is 24º Celsius (75º Fahrenheit).

Visa policy: The tourist visa for the duration of less than 31 day can be obtained upon arrival in the country free of charge, provided that the applicant has a tourist voucher and the round trip air tickets. The visa may be extended at the Immigration Department in the capital.

A visa for the duration of more than 30 days must be applied for in an embassy. This visa may be extended on the islands for another month.

Insurance: Common for all Oceania countries. When planning your Tonga wilderness travel, it is recommended that you purchase full coverage, since emergency rescue services are usually performed via air transportation, which is very costly.

Local currency: pa'anga (Tongan dollar). Large stores located on the central islands accept credit cards.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Telephony: The local standard is GSM 900, although the coverage area is limited mostly to the central islands. The country code is 676 (followed by the phone number). The number for all kinds of emergency is 911.

Time: The time zone in Tonga is GMT + 13:00. Sunday is a day off for everyone so businesses and offices are closed and no tours conducted.

Electric power: 240V, 50 Hz. Large hotels may have 110V and/or 220V. The standard outlets and plugs are round, 3-pronged ones of the type used in Australia and New Zealand. Smaller islands may have limited, schedule-based power availability.

Shopping on Tonga Islands is rather poor. It is better to come well-stocked on all exotic travel necessities, especially electronic gadgets, batteries, memory cards, and medicine (except most commonly used drugs). Be sure to bring along a mosquito repellent and warm clothes for night walks during the colder period from May to November.

National dishes: ufi, lu pulu, breadfruit.

National drinks: coconut water, royal coffee.

Items prohibited to import: weapons, ammunition, pornographic materials, materials containing narcotic substances, objects of natural origin (without explicit permission). Violation of these policies leads to the seizure of the items and very large fines.

Items prohibited to export: some objects of natural origin, including corals picked up in the ocean.

Safety: Tonga tourism is considered generally safe. Recommendations include regular hygiene and drinking boiled or bottled water.