Useful information on Tonga, regarding all the things you need to know to organize trips or vacations in this island state of Oceania located in the Pacific Ocean.
Tonga in short
- Capital: Nuku’alofa
- Area in sq km: 748
- Population: 103,967 (2009)
- Religion: Mostly Christian, especially Methodist.
Where is it
Tonga is an island state of Oceania formed by an archipelago located in the southern Pacific Ocean, south of Samoa and east of Fiji. The archipelago is made up of 170 islands and islets, mostly uninhabited.
The highest point of its territory is the Kao volcano (1,030 m) which is located on the island of the same name, in the group of the Ha'apai islands.
The islands develop aligned from north-east to south-west forming two sectors, the western one and the eastern one.
The western sector is made up of about ten small volcanic islands characterized by high altitudes and rugged and steep profiles.
The eastern sector, located on the edge of the Tonga pit (one of the deepest ocean pits), is made up of limestone islands of coral origin, whose altitude is generally only a few dozen meters above sea level.
The islands are divided into three main groups that are more than 300 km apart. The northeastern end is formed by the group of Vava'u islands where the Vava'u island is located, the second largest island in the state.
In the center is the Ha'apai group of islands, made up of many islands.
To the south is the group of Tongatapu islands, which makes up half of the state's territory. The capital Nuku’alofa is located on the north coast of the main island, Tongatapu.
The three volcanic islands of Niuafo'ou, Niuatoputapu and Tafahi belonging to the Niuas group, located north of the archipelago, are also part of Tonga.
In Tonga during the southern winter (from July to September), temperatures are pleasant and the climate is drier.Recommended readings
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From December to April, during the southern summer temperatures rise (vary from 25 ° C to 33 ° C), and there are frequent precipitations.
In particular, cyclones can occur in the period from January to March.
The majority of Tongans are of Polynesian lineage.
In Tonga, the time difference is 12 hours ahead of Italy. When daylight saving time is in effect in Italy, the difference is 11 hours ahead.
The official languages are Tongan and English.
Tonga's economy is mainly based on exports of agricultural products (bananas, coconut, vanilla, pumpkins, pineapples, citrus fruits and more).
In recent years, the government has sought to develop the tourism, fishing and light industry sectors.
The typical local handicrafts are very interesting for tourists.
When to go
The best time to visit the Tonga archipelago is from May to October.
To enter Tonga you need a passport valid for at least 6 months from the date of arrival, the return ticket and proof of being economically self-sufficient.
Upon arrival, a 30-day visa is granted. To extend this period it is necessary to apply to the "Principal Immigration Officer" of Tonga.
- The international code to call Tonga from Italy is: 00676
- The international prefix for telephoning from Tonga in Italy is: 0039
- The GSM 900 cellular network is active. To make calls, you can purchase rechargeable GSM cards at the offices of Tonga Communications Corporation and Digicel.
The electric current in Tonga is at 240 V 50 HZ. Plugs are flat slats, therefore an adapter is required.
The official currency of the state of Tonga is the Tongan dollar or Pa'anga.
It is possible to exchange foreign currency at banks, at the exchange office at the airport and at major hotels, where the main credit cards are also accepted.
There are ATMs.
How to get
There are no direct flights from Italy to Tonga.
From Europe, the airline Air New Zealand flies to Tonga via London / Los Angeles / Honolulu.
The air connection to Tonga is direct from New Zealand, Australia, Fiji, Samoa, Hawaii and Los Angeles.
Auckland (New Zealand) and Nadi / Suva (Fiji Islands) airports offer the most flights to these islands.
The stopovers in Tonga are Fua’Amotu International Airport located near the capital Nuku’alofa on Tongatapu Island, and Lupepapau’u International Airport which is located on Vava’u Island.
The main islands are connected to each other with internal flights and by sea with ferries.
To visit Tonga no vaccination is mandatory. Vaccination against yellow fever is required only from those who come from infected areas.
Vaccinations against hepatitis A and B, anti-tetanization and anti-tetanus are recommended, always after medical consultation.
It is appropriate to follow some hygienic measures, drink only bottled water without adding ice, eat only cooked meats and vegetables, fruit only if peeled personally.
Before departure, it is recommended to take out health insurance that covers medical costs and a possible repatriation.