Tonga is a Polynesian country and archipelago in the South Pacific Ocean, comprising of around 170 islands, of which 36 are inhabited. Spanning approximately across 800 kilometres (500 mi) in a north-south line. It is surrounded by Fiji to the northwest, Samoa to the northeast, and about two-thirds of the way from Hawaii to New Zealand.
The islands are divided into three main groups – Vava'u, Ha'apai, and Tongatapu, which is the largest island, covering 257 square kilometres (99 sq mi). The capital city of Nukuʻalofa is located on Tongatapu.
Tonga is GMT +13
The current time in Tonga is:
The climate in Tonga is subtropical, with an average daytime temperature of 24ºC (75ºF). There are 2 seasons in Tonga; summer and winter.
In the summer, (December to April) the temperatures are warmer and more humid but never above 35ºC (95ºF). It generally around 32ºC (90ºF).
In the Winter, (May to November) the temperatures are cooler and dryer, the temperate is generally between 18ºC (64ºF) and 27ºC (80ºF). Although there are essentially two seasons, Tonga does not experience dramatic changes in climate conditions making it an ideal year-round holiday destination.
Most rain falls during the warm season between January and April, with the wettest month being March. The average daily humidity in Tonga sits around 80%.
The area experiences a few cyclones, which generally occur between November and March with a major cyclone occurring, on average, every 10-15 years.
Use this weather information as a guide, as things do change from year to year depending on the southern oscillations and alternating La Nina/El Nino weather patterns.
During the month of July, August and September you are most likely to experience good weather with pleasant average temperatures that fall between 20 degrees Celsius (68°F) and 25 degrees Celsius (77°F).
Like other Polynesian cultures, Tongans put value on close family relationships and religious observance. Most Tongans are Christian and stores and shops close on Sunday. Tongan society is very conservative and highly religions. You will be expected to dress modestly and respect local customs and culture. Tonga strictly observes the Sabbath. On Sundays and recreational activities undertaken outside of Island resorts may be seen as provocative. Tonga closes down on Sundays: plan ahead accordingly.
Tonga enjoys a laidback pace of life, time is a flexible entity in Tonga. Make sure you check your ferry and Real Tonga flight schedules as they can change.
It is acceptable to dress casually, however beachwear should be only worn at the beach. It is important to dress respectfully, Tongan law prohibits both men and women to go shirtless in a public place. It is recommended to avoid singlets as well. Swimsuits should be worn only at resorts, Tongans swim fully dressed.
Banking and Currency
There are three major banks on Tongatapu, ANZ Bank, MBF Bank and Westpac Bank. There are also several ATM’s in Nuku’alofa and Fua’amotu International Airport. All the ATM’s are currently operated by ANZ or Westpac.
Currency can be exchanged by all the major banks as well as the EM Jones Travel Centre and Western Union
The pa'anga is the currency used in Tonga. The pa'anga is divided into 100 seniti. A pa'anga is often referred to in English as a dollar and seniti as cents.
The country code for Tonga is +676
When making a call to Tonga, you may also need city codes. To make a phone call from Tonga, first dial the country code, then area code of the country you are calling, followed by the telephone number.
International roaming is available. Pre-paid SIM cards are available from the two mobile phone service providers, TCC and Digicel.
Electricity is 240 volts (the same as in the UK, Australia and New Zealand). If you come from the US you will need a convertor.
The water in Apia, Pago Pago and Nuku’alofa is safe to drink, but avoid tap water from other areas. In some places the only freshwater available is from rain water collected in tanks, this should be boiled before drinking. As in Fiji, stay away from ice cubes.
Public Holidays in Tonga 2019
Jan 1st - New Year’s Day
Apr 19th - Good Friday
Apr 22nd - Easter Monday
Apr 25th - Anzac Day
Jun 4th - Emancipation Day
Jul 4th - Official Birthday of HM King Tupou VI
Sep 17th - Birthday of HRH Crown Prince
Nov 4th - Constitution Day
Dec 4th - Tupou I Day
Dec 25th - Christmas Day
Dec 26th - Boxing Day