Tonga Quick Facts:
- Number of Islands: 171 (Tongatapu = main island)
- Population: 106,000
- Time: 13 hours ahead of GMT
- Currency: Tongan Pa’anga (Currency Conversion Calculator)
- Languages: Tongan and English
- Country Code: 676
- Airport Code: Nukualofa – Fuaamotu International Airport (TBU Vava’u Airport (VAV) – Nearest Airport
- Electricity: 240 volts AC 50 cycles (same as UK, Australia and New Zealand)
- VAT / Consumption Tax: 15% on all purchases
Tonga Airline Information:
- Direct flights operate extensively to and from other south pacific countries but again mostly on a weekly basis. So, if you are trying to organize a trip outside of the 1-week, 2-week structure, then you will need to do some shuffling.
- Air New Zealand is the main airline offering flights to Tonga – Fua’amotu Airport (TBU) – with direct flights from Auckland (4/week) and Samoa (1/week).
- Travelers from Los Angeles / London are best served by the Air New Zealand service to Samoa and on to Tonga (1/week) or to Auckland and back to Tonga (3/week).
- Air Pacific offer a twice weekly service between Nandi (Fiji), Air Fiji flies to Suva (3/week)
- The high season for travel is between December and February when flights are often full with Tongans living abroad returning to visit relatives.
- In 2010 we will possibly see a second airline in the Kingdom, more direct international flights direct into Vava’u (the main tourist destination).
- Air Temperature – min/max……………. 20°C to 28°C year round
- Sea Temperature – average…………….. 24°C to 28°C year round
- Peak Months……….. June to October
- The legal drinking………………………….. 18 years old
- Duty Free Allowance……………………… 2.25 liters of spirit or alcoholic beverages
- Tipping: Tipping and haggling are not the usual custom in Tonga, though in some tourist facilities they do occur. Tongan Dancing is the exception; take plenty of T$1 and T$2 notes to stick on the oiled arms of dancers – it is a show of appreciation not begging. While tipping is an excellent way to show your appreciation (many Tongans put tips towards paying school fees).