The far east of Tonga
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The far east of Tonga

© Creative Commons / Antoine Hubert

Tonga Travel Guide

Key Facts
Area

748 sq km (289 sq miles).

Population

106,915 (UN estimate 2016).

Population density

142.4 per sq km.

Capital

Nuku'alofa.

Government

Constitutional monarchy.

Head of state

King George Tupou VI since 2012.

Head of government

Prime Minister 'Akilisi Pōhiva since 2014.

Electricity

240 volts AC, 50Hz. Australian-style plugs with three flat, angled pins are used.

From steep, active volcanoes, to low coral atolls, Tonga's 176 islands offer a truly diverse array of backdrops for those seeking a Pacific getaway.

Tonga enjoys a laidback pace of life which visitors find easy to adopt, whether relaxing on one of the magnificent white sand beaches, first-class diving amid the stunning coral reefs or watching the migratory whales return to their breeding grounds (June to November). Many of the islands are uninhabited, and have much emerald flora and secluded coves to explore.

Sightseeing highlights include the Royal Palace on the waterfront in Nuku'alofa, the Mala'ekula (Royal Tombs), and the Anahulu Cave: an underground cavern of stalactites and stalagmites. Tonga is ruled by the last remaining Kingdom of Polynesia. The ruling family of Tonga, the last remaining Polynesian Kingdom, can be traced back more than 1,000 years.

Travel Advice

Last updated: 13 March 2017

The travel advice summary below is provided by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in the UK. 'We' refers to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. For their full travel advice, visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.


Crime

Most visits to Tonga are trouble free. The crime rate is low. However, petty crime and theft do take place. You should remain vigilant, especially at night.

Road travel

You can obtain a local visitor’s driving licence on production of a full UK driving licence. Roads are generally in good condition but can be narrow and are sometimes potholed. The low speed limits are strictly applied with on the spot fines. Take particular care when driving after dark and in poor weather.

Air travel 

A list of recent incidents and accidents can be found on the website of the Aviation Safety network.

The FCO can’t offer advice on the safety of individual airlines. However, the International Air Transport Association publishes a list of registered airlines that have been audited and found to meet a number of operational safety standards and recommended practices. This list is not exhaustive and the absence of an airline from this list does not necessarily mean that it is unsafe.

In 2010 an audit of Tonga’s Civil Aviation Authority by the International Civil Aviation Organisation found that the level of implementation of the critical elements of safety oversight in Tonga was well below the global average.

Internal flights are not always on schedule and can be subject to adverse weather conditions.

The MA60 aircraft is used for some internal flights. The MA60 is not certified for use in the European Union.

Political situation

The political situation is currently stable following democratic elections in November 2014.

Contact details

New Zealand High Commission, Nukualofa

Address: Corner Taufaahau and Salote Roads, Nukualofa; Tonga Postal Address: PO Box 830, Nukualofa, Tonga; Telephone: +676 23122; Fax: +676 23487; Email: nzhcnuk@kalianet.to; Office Hours: Mon – Fri 8am to 12:30pm and 1pm to 4pm

Visa and passport information is updated regularly and is correct at the time of publishing. You should verify critical travel information independently with the relevant embassy before you travel.