Tonga

Haamonga

Tonga is located in the very heart of the South Pacific lying east of Fiji and south of Samoa. It is one of the most scenic and unspoiled of the Pacific island nations. The 176 islands range from high volcanic to low coral terrain create scenic variety seldom matched elsewhere in the world.

Nuku'alofa, the capital, is located on the main island of Tongatapu. It is more developed than its neighbours but still maintains an unhurried and peaceful lifestyle. More than its natural history or its socio-economics, Tonga is about its people and its traditional culture. Tongans are welcoming, relaxed, and generally happy.

Minor things like delays or noise tend not to cause any stress. Tongans enjoy the beach, collecting from the sea, singing, and dancing. Any occasion, big or small, can become a good reason for getting together to celebrate with friends and family.

Images courtesy of Tonga Visitors Bureau

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Life's a beach.
Local girl with flower.
Sailing in crystal clear waters.

Climate

Tonga receives less rain than other tropical areas, and maximum temperatures average 27?C with only moderate humidity. The rainy season lasts from December to April when temperatures and humidity are higher. Tonga averages two tropical hurricanes every year (sometimes as late as May). May to November are characterized by southeast trade winds, while easterlies prevail the remainder of the year. During summer (especially from February to March), north winds bring heat waves and heavy rains. Wind speeds average 12-15 knots (slightly less in Tongatapu).

Underwater Recommendations

One of the main attractions of Tonga are the humpback whales that visit from July to November each year. In addition, the magnificent clarity of the waters, the sprinkling of so many islands means there is always somewhere sheltered to dive. Dive amongst pretty soft corals, crinoids, many underwater caves, walls, overhangs, gorgonian fans and diverse fish life all in unbelievably blue waters.

Getting There

Air New Zealand, Air Pacific and Polynesian Airlines are the current international carriers. Once on the Islands, there are domestic flights, busses, ferries, taxies - you can rent cars in some locations - or just hire a bicycle.

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