Top ChoiceArchaeological Site in Around Tongatapu

Ha’amonga ‘a Maui Trilithon

The South Pacific’s equivalent of Stonehenge, the Ha’amonga ‘a Maui (Maui’s Burden) trilithon near Niutoua, is one of ancient Polynesia’s most intriguing monuments. Archaeologists and oral history credit its...

Top ChoiceLandmark in Around Tongatapu

Mapu’a ‘a Vaea Blowholes

Mapu’a ‘a Vaea Blowholes

On an especially good day at Mapu’a ‘a Vaea (Chief’s Whistles), hundreds of blowholes spurt skywards at once. Time your visit for a windy day with a strong swell, when the surf, forced up through eroded vents in...

Top ChoiceBeach in Around Tongatapu

Ha’atafu Beach

On the sunset side of the island, Ha’atafu Beach is a sandy slice protected by a reef, where some of Tonga's best surf peels in (experienced surfers only need apply). There’s sheltered swimming and snorkelling at...

Top ChoiceLandmark in Around Tongatapu

Hufangalupe Archway

Near nowhere in particular is this impressive arch, aka ‘the pigeon’s doorway’ – a natural land bridge over the pounding Pacific waves, formed when the roof of a sea cave collapsed. Walk across the top and peer...

Archaeological Site in Around Tongatapu

Mu’a

The Mu’a area contains Tonga's richest concentration of archaeological remnants. In AD 1200, Tu’itatui, the 11th of the Tu’i Tonga kings, moved the royal capital from Heketa (near present-day Niutoua) to Mu’a....

Cave in Around Tongatapu

‘Anahulu Cave

Tongatapu’s most famous cave is an over-loved, slightly eerie place full of stalactites and stalagmites, and blackened from the soot of flaming-frond torches and too much traffic. Inside is an underground...

Landmark in Around Tongatapu

Royal Residences

South of Nuku’alofa, between Tofoa and Pe’a, you’ll pass the private royal residences of the Princess, adorned with white tigers and cannons, and the King, an austere European-style hilltop palace opposite (why...

Landmark in Around Tongatapu

Fishing Pigs

As you round the coast to the north of Mu’a, keep an eye out for Tonga's famed fishing pigs. When the tide is out, these unusual porkers trot out into the shallows and snuffle around in search of seafood. The...

Landmark in Around Tongatapu

Flying Foxes

While you’ll get the opportunity to see flying foxes (aka fruit bats, or peka) in many places in Tonga, one spot renowned for their presence is the village of Kolovai, up near the western tip of the island. They...

Historic Site in Around Tongatapu

Abel Tasman Monument

At the northwestern tip of Tongatapu is a modest monument commemorating Dutchman Abel Tasman's 'discovery' of Tongatapu in 1643. He was on his way back to Batavia (present-day Jakarta) after firstly bumping into...

Landmark in Around Tongatapu

Triple-headed Coconut Tree

If you think we must be scratching around for highlights to include a triple-headed coconut tree, then think again. Locals swear that this is the only coconut tree with three separate crowns in Tonga...some say...

Historic Site in Around Tongatapu

Captain Cook Landing Site

A modest cairn above a mangrove inlet near Holonga village marks the spot where Captain Cook came ashore in 1777 (on his third trip to Tonga) and where Queen Elizabeth II popped by to commemorate it in 1970....