TONGA, the archipelago of ‘The Friendly Islands’, a Polynesian kingdom, is one of the last unexplored gems of the South Pacific. Located Latitude: 18°60’S and Longitude: 174°00’W, the 171 extraordinarily diverse islands of the Tongan archipelago are divided into four main island groups – Tongatapu, He’apai, Vava’u and the Niuas with fewer than 40 islands that are inhabited.

The archipelago is scattered over an area nearly as big as Japan. Tonga was united into a Polynesian kingdom in 1845. It became a constitutional monarchy in 1875 and it remains the only monarchy in the Pacific. Tonga has a population of over 100,000 and the head of state is His Majesty King Siaosi Tupou.

Tonga’s waters are a favourite breeding ground of the humpback whale. These majestic animals arrive in their hundreds from May to November and can be seen throughout Tonga. Fishing is abundant in the coastal waters with principal species being tuna and marlin. Whale-watching is also a popular attraction, as whales return each winter to the protected warm waters to give birth and mate.

As for diving; Tonga has drop-offs, sea mountains, walls, caves, coral gardens… in fact it has so many dive sites that it fulfils every wish a diver could have. Vava’u and Ha’apai are well-known dive spots, and recently there was a huge ‘cathedral’ discovered near the “forgotten island” of Eua.

Swimming, surfing and sailing are popular. Most visitors enjoy a traditional evening feast of suckling pig, crayfish, chicken, and accompaniments. The tourist industry is small but growing, with the majority of visitors coming from Australia and New Zealand.

In spite of Tonga’s remoteness, facilities are surprisingly good and the setting up of a small industrial centre near the capital Nuku’alofa has encouraged several boating-related foreign companies to start operations in Tonga. Superyacht service companies have established themselves in what will undoubtedly become a frequently cruised superyacht destination.

Captain’s log: Tonga the Kingdom Come

Superyacht Services

Super Yacht Services Tonga
T: +676 878 1410

Tonga Ministry of Marine and Ports
T: +676 22-555

Yacht Help Tonga
T: +676 776 2055