Tonga Travel Guide, Gap Year Volunteering and Tours
Tonga is a off the beaten track destination but you will not be dissapointed if you visit. There are 169 islands many of which are uninhabited as well as spectacular beaches, a rainforest and incredible coral reefs. You can experience history, culture, tradition and a laid back paced life - there are lots of tourist resorts and hotels with thousands of people visiting every year.
Activities & Travel Packages in Tonga
Search travel operators offering various trips and adventure travel opportunities
Tonga Destination Guide
Get information, advice and inspiration for visiting Tonga:
- Capital: Nuku'alofa
- Currency: Pa'anga (TOP)
- Population: 106,000 (approx)
- Language: Tongan, English
Top Reasons to Visit Tonga
- Spectacular beaches
- Relatively undiscovered compared to similar destinations
- Less tourists = a more authentic experience
- Amazing resorts
Best Time to Visit Tonga
If you are looking when to go to Tonga then the most popular time with international tourists is from May to October. Prices for accommodation can be more expensive during this period as this is consider peak. Tonga is an all year round destination though with a warm climate most months.
Travel to Tonga
One of the highlights of visiting Tonga is the beaches, coast, whale watching tours, island hopping and scuba diving. Due to the location of Tonga, this destination is especially popular with people from Australia.
Best Things to See & Do in Tonga
Here are some of the best attractions in Tonga, be sure to try to add some to your itinerary:
- Sit by the Plane Window - Flying into Tonga is really amazing, there are spectacular islands surrounded by turquoise reefs and the blue ocean
- Swim with Whales - Each year hundreds of whales migrate to breed in Tonga’s ocean and this is a once in a lifetime chance to see these creature up close. There are excursions available and some operators offer the chance to swim with whales which will be one of the most amazing experiences in your life.
- Go island hopping - Escape the resorts and see more of the country
- Adventure Sports - There are lots of sports avaiable all year round including swimming, diving, snorkelling, kite surfing, fishing and kayaking
- Sample of the local food - there are lots of tasty meat, fish and vegetarian meals available.
- Visit Tu'a - Tonga’s oldest island.
- Stay in an Eco Lorge - There are several in Tonga where you stay in true nature. Mafana Island’s eco lodge is highly recommended.
- Seek Out the Best Beach - When it comes to beaches there are so many to choose from! We recommend heading to Pangaimotu where some of the best beaches are located.
- Tongatapu day tour - A good way to spend a day out
- Go Trekking - You can find lots of volcanoes and mountains throughout the country
How to Get Around
Public transport is very unreliable and so your best bet is to book transport with a private operator - this can easily be done at accommodation or at tourist centres.
Top rated places to stay include:
- Blue Lagoon Resort
- Fafa Island Resort
- Waterfront Lodge
View our Fiji travel guide.
Organisations offering Volunteering Progams in Tonga
- Large international organisations like Peace Corps have been working in Tonga for decades to improve for decades, they have placed over 1500 volunteers since 1967. Peace Corps currently have around 40 volunteers from the United States working in Tonga on community on education projects.
- Volunteer Service Abroad (VSA) offer New Zealanders the chance to volunteer in Tonga helping local people and businesses.
- Projects Abroad offer volunteer programs to international participants in the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu but you can also visit Tonga in your spare time
Please note there are limited volunteer programs available to join in Tonga, you might want to check out similar destinations: