The beautiful island of Tonga is best reached and traversed by Air or Sea. Your personal yacht will definitely come in handy for island hopping on the warm pacific waters. Public ferries operate between the main island groups. Once you reach an island the best way to get around is on your own two feet while enjoying the serenity of island life.
With 176 islands making up the Kingdom of Tonga, you will need a lot of time and strong sea legs to see them all!
Our Tonga Transportation Guide provides some insight in to the best ways to get to, from and around the scenic Kingdom of Tonga. We have a range of Tonga tours available that make traveling around, and seeing the Tonga tourist attractions a breeze.
Tonga Transportation Guide
Getting to Tonga
Tonga is serviced by three airlines:
Air Pacific Ltd - Telephone +676 24022, 24021.
Air New Zealand - GSA Forum Travel - Telephone +676 23192, Fax +676 23447
Pacific Blue - Telephone +676 24566
From Fiji, Auckland & Sydney, all arrive at Fua'amotu International Airport.
Visit the South Pacific Pass: This pass is accepted by several airlines operating in the region, even large ones such as Air Marshall Islands, Air Niugini, Air Vanuatu, Qantas, Air Caledonia, Air Nauru, Air Pacific, Polynesian Airlines, and Solomon Airlines. The pass is sector based and offers discounts of up to 40% on standard airfares.
Travelers can hop around island destinations such as Vanuatu, the Cook Islands, Tonga, Fiji, Tahiti, Nauru, Samoa, New Caledonia, the rather remote Melanesian and Micronesian islands, and also the major cities of Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane in Australia, and Wellington, Christchurch, and Auckland in New Zealand.
The pass is for travelers who reside outside the South Pacific. The journey must begin outside this region and travelers are allowed just one stopover in Australia. At least two sectors must be purchased before the journey, while other sectors can be bought along the way. Each person is allowed one pass only and it is valid for six months, starting from the first day of the journey. Children below 12 years have to pay 75% of the full fare.
The South Pacific Tourism Organization can be contacted for more information.
Included in air tickets upon issuance
Fua'amotu (TBU) is located 13 km (8 miles) from Nuku'alofa.
To/from the Airport: Taxis and buses are available.
Facilities: The airport in Tonga is equipped with banks/bureau de change, bars, rental car services, shops, a duty free shop, and tourist information services.
For transport from the airport to the city (or from the city to the airport), we recommend Green Path Transfers, who offer eco-friendly airport transfers in hundreds of destinations around the world.
Visit our partner Air Valid for Airline Reviews and Information about Tonga.
Flights to Tonga
Main ports: Pangai, Nuku'alofa, Niuatoputapu, and Neiafu.
Regular passenger services are not available, although cruise ships may have available berths.
Duty Free and Regulations
Goods that can be brought into Tonga by individuals above the age of 18 without having to pay customs duty are 250g of tobacco, 250g of cigars, or 200 cigarettes; 1 litre of alcoholic beverage (traveler must be above 21 years); one camera and personal belongings; and a reasonable amount of perfume.
Import of arms, ammunition, and pornographic materials is strictly prohibited.
Import of fruits, plants, birds, and animals are regulated by quarantine rules.
Restrictions exist on the export of valuable artifacts, certain flora, and fauna.
Getting Around Tonga
Inter-island services are provided by domestic carrier Chattams Pacific
All the island groups are connected by local Tonga ferry services. Regular services are available to Vava'u and Ha'apai from Faua Wharf in Nuku'alofa. Ferry schedules may change depending on the weather and demand.
Going on a cruise is a must while in Tonga. The best cruises in Tonga are around Vava'u. Cruising Tonga offers visitors an excellent opportunity to meet many village communities.
Another favoured tour is an Eco-tour in the neighboring villages. To explore the marine caves and the mesmerizing coral reef, cross the rocky shoreline and hire a kayak. Kayaks carry all the equipment required for whale watching and snorkeling.
Left hand driving is the norm here. In spite of a few potholes, the metaled road network is pretty good. It is quite common to see people using horses too. Speed limits, which are quite low, are obeyed strictly.
Bus: Tongatapu is serviced by a good network of minibuses.
Taxi: Minibuses, and saloon-car taxis are available.
Documentation: To drive in Tonga, you must have a current local driving license. It can be obtained from the Police Traffic Department in Nuku'alofa after paying the fee and presenting a passport, and a valid international or national license. Individuals must be above 18 years to drive.