Types of Tourism in Tonga
In the period from April to November, a stable southeast trade wind prevails on the islands, which forms fairly high waves off the coast of the islands. This is the best time for surfing. In principle, summer (December-March) rainy months are also suitable for surfing, but the most favorable climatic conditions and the biggest waves occur from June to August. It is worth remembering that many islands are surrounded by coral reefs, which can easily hurt you, and in general, only trained tourists will be able to surf in these places. The most popular beach suitable for surfing is located in the northwestern part of the island of Tongatapu, 21 km from Nuku’alofa – Haatafu Beach. There is a resort of the same name specializing in surfing. The resort has been operating since 1979. For accommodation, tourists are offered 10 bungalows, accommodating 24 people, with all amenities. Such a small number of places determines the atmosphere of the resort – it is a quiet, calm place where surfers go with their whole families or friendly companies. Check top-medical-schools.org for travel information in Tonga.
Numerous coral reefs of the archipelago with their rich underwater world, as well as volcanic islands with picturesque landscapes and lush vegetation, are carefully protected by the state. There are many protected areas in the country. The main natural attraction of Tonga is the Eua Island National Park., which is located 40 km southeast of the island of Tongatapu. The park covers an area of 450 hectares and protects the most extensive rainforest in the archipelago, which covers the slopes of the mountains. About 120 species of birds live in the local forests, including the red-breasted parrot “coki” that lives only on this island, as well as rare Pacific pigeon, collared kingfisher, red crowned spotted pigeon and lorikit. Eua Island National Park is one of the best hiking destinations in Tonga. It can be easily explored on foot or by bike or horse. Numerous hiking trails pass through observation platforms, which are located on the slopes of the mountains, through karst caves and picturesque beaches. Between June and September, humpback whales can be seen off the eastern coast of the island, coming here to mate and give birth.
Several conservation areas of the archipelago are located on the island of Tongatapu. 2 km west of Nuku’alofa on one of the most famous beaches of the island – Haatafu beach – there is a reserve of the same name. This is the only nature reserve on the island that can be reached by road. In addition to being home to 130 species of tropical fish, a variety of soft and hard corals, the reserve is known for its surfing opportunities. In the eastern part of Nuku’alofa Bay is the Pangaimotu Reef Sanctuary. It covers an area of 48 hectares and protects mangrove forests, underwater fields of Zostera seagrass, fish and a variety of invertebrates. On the northern coast of the island of Tongatapu on the shores of the Fangauta and Fangakakau lagoons on an area of 2835 hectares, the Marine Reserve is spread. On the coast here you can see mangroves and salt marshes, where birds such as the Pacific black duck, Pacific reef heron, tern and Pacific golden plover live. In addition, a variety of tropical fish and invertebrates are found in the waters of the lagoons. 7 km north of Nuku’alofa, in the Malinoa Island Reserve, an area of 73 hectares is home to octopuses, groupers and numerous colorful tropical fish. Also north of Nuku’alofa will be of interest to the Monuafe Island Reserve and the Hakaumamao Reef Reserve, where parrot fish are protected.
In 1995, the entire island group of Ha’apai has been declared a protected area. In this section of the archipelago, you can see coral reefs, one of the most active volcanoes not only in the state, but in the entire region, some of which are hidden under water (the Falcon underwater volcanic chain), underwater lava fields and picturesque coastal plant communities.
On the island of Vavau lies the Mount Talau National Park. Mount Talau has a height of 131 m. A hiking trail leads to its top, a journey along which takes 45 minutes. The park is home to a rare stone lizard and many flying foxes.
Each island in the archipelago is suitable for hiking. You can walk along the beaches of coral islands, meet the sunrise or sunset here, walk along the banks where limestone cliffs rise, explore the life of tropical forests, visit karst caves, and climb the tops of volcanoes.
Between June and November, numerous herds of humpback whales can be seen off the eastern coasts of the Tonga archipelago, which come here to mate and breed. The best time for whale watching is from July to September, and the best place is the island group of Vavau. In the local capital – Neiafu – you will find many companies that will offer you to go to the sea in order to watch whales. To do this, excursions are offered on boats, catamarans, boats, yachts or canoes, or walking tours along the rocky east coasts. During a sea excursion, you can not only see whales from a boat, but also swim near them with a mask. It is worth remembering that you should go to the sea to see the whales only with a guide accredited by the Ministry of Fisheries. Diving near the whales is not allowed, but swimming or snorkeling within 30m is allowed.
The outer sides of the reefs of the archipelago have chosen such large fish as barracuda, marlin, sailfish, dorado and tuna. This diversity attracts numerous fishermen to the local waters. Most of the fishing goes from the island of Vavau, and every year in September the International Tongan Fishing Tournament is held on this island.