The Kingdom of Tonga is the official name of the islands.
Tonga lies south of the equator and is one of the most southerly of the tropical South Pacific islands. It lies directly to the south of Samoa, south east of Fiji and south west of Niue, the Cook Islands and Tahiti
Tonga Quick Facts:
- Number of Islands: 171 (Tongatapu = main island)
- Population: 106,000
- Time: 13 hours ahead of GMT
- Currency: Tongan Pa’anga (Currency Conversion Calculator)
- Languages: Tongan and English
- Country Code: 676
- Airport Code: Nukualofa – Fuaamotu International Airport (TBU Vava’u Airport (VAV) – Nearest Airport
- Electricity: 240 volts AC 50 cycles (same as UK, Australia and New Zealand)
Tonga Airline Information:
- Direct flights operate extensively to and from other south pacific countries but again mostly on a weekly basis. So, if you are trying to organize a trip outside of the 1-week, 2-week structure, then you will need to do some shuffling.
- Air New Zealand is the main airline offering flights to Tonga – Fua’amotu Airport (TBU) – with direct flights from Auckland (4/week) and Samoa (1/week).
- Travelers from Los Angeles / London are best served by the Air New Zealand service to Samoa and on to Tonga (1/week) or to Auckland and back to Tonga (3/week).
- Fiji Airways offer a twice weekly service between Nandi (Fiji), Air Fiji flies to Suva (3/week)
- The high season for travel is between December and February when flights are often full with Tongans living abroad returning to visit relatives.
- In 2010 we will possibly see a second airline in the Kingdom, more direct international flights direct into Vava’u (the main tourist destination).
- Air Temperature – min/max……………. 20°C to 28°C year round
- Sea Temperature – average…………….. 24°C to 28°C year round
- Peak Months...…….. June to October
- The legal drinking………………………….. 18 years old
- Duty Free Allowance……………………… 2.25 liters of spirit or alcoholic beverages
- Tipping: Tipping and haggling are not the usual custom in Tonga, though in some tourist facilities they do occur. Tongan Dancing is the exception; take plenty of T$1 and T$2 notes to stick on the oiled arms of dancers – it is a show of appreciation not begging. While tipping is an excellent way to show your appreciation (many Tongans put tips towards paying school fees).