10 Best Beaches on Tongatapu(c) tongapocketguide.com
10 Best Beaches on Tongatapu

25 Best Beaches on Tongatapu ⛱️

(c) tongapocketguide.com

The Tongatapu Beaches You Can’t Miss!

You can’t come to the tropics without feeling the sand between your toes. Although Tongatapu is not exactly home to the most perfect beaches out of Tonga’s 169 islands (pst, most of them you’ll find in Ha’apai), it still has a glorious offering. You’ll find some of Tongatapu’s best beaches on the western side of the main island, as well as on the off-shore islands north of Nuku’alofa. On the eastern side, the beaches hold many hidden surprises between caves and dramatic cliffs. So take a look at some of our top picks for beaches on Tongatapu below!

Note that Tonga is a religious country where it can be seen as disrespectful to not wear modest clothing even when swimming at the beach. If there are locals around, have a rash vest or sarong handy. Learn more about respecting local customs in our guide, Tonga Etiquette: Local Customs & Traditions

1. Ha’atafu Beach

Although one of the hardest-hit beaches from the 2022 tsunami, Ha’atafu Beach is still one of the most popular beaches on Tongatapu. It is a clean and sandy beach with a surrounding reef. Enjoy safe swimming and snorkelling at high tide within the beach’s lagoon. The beach is also home to a popular surf break on the reef (for experienced surfers only). Learn more about the latter in the 10 Best Surf Breaks on Tongatapu.

Location: Ha’atafu (access road off Hihifo Road at the southern end of Ha’atafu village), west side of Tongatapu.

10 Best Beaches in Tongatapu© TongaPocketGuide.com

2. Oholei Beach

A private beach at the Oholei Beach Resort, Oholei Beach not only boasts idyllic white sands but also the famous Hina Cave. Explore the large cave with an opening in the ceiling and see Hina herself laid to rest while still waiting for her lover to return (or at least, the rocky outline of her). Although Oholei Beach is only good for swimming in calm conditions, it’s a scenic beach to visit nonetheless. At the time of writing, the beach is free to visit but a small fee may be introduced when the resort reopens its accommodation.

Location: Oholei Beach Resort, well signposted from Lavengatonga, east side of Tongatapu.

10 Best Beaches in Tongatapu© TongaPocketGuide.com

3. Pangaimotu Island

One of the off-shore islands of Tongatapu, Pangaimotu Island boasts a glorious surrounding beach. Boat trips to the island depart from Faua Wharf several times on a Sunday, and throughout the week on demand. Snorkelling gear is available to hire, but be sure to bring everything else you might need; lunch, sunscreen, etc. Check out more amazing places to snorkel like this in the 10 Best Places to Snorkel in Tongatapu.

Location: Boats depart from Faua Wharf (behind Ngutulei Restaurant), Vuna Road, Ma’ufanga, Nuku’alofa. Learn more about getting to the island in 10 Best Island Day Trips & Tours from Nuku’alofa.

10 Best Beaches in Tongatapu© Kaylie Tongia

4. Keleti Beach

A true hidden gem, Keleti Beach can be accessed via a path through the old Keleti Beach Resort (which is no longer open, FYI). Explore a couple of sandy bays with white sand, a rocky coastline to scramble over, and surrounding reefs with blowholes. It’s possible to swim within the lagoon – just don’t go too far out.

Location: Keleti (access road off Liku Road, just south of Veitongo village), south coast of Tongatapu.

10 Best Beaches in Tongatapu© TongaPocketGuide.com

5. Katea Beach

Lining the southernmost tip of Tongatapu, Katea Beach is not only a sandy haven but features photo-worthy cliff formations such as an archway right across its golden sands. This is one that you’ll have to pay for (approximately TOP$20 per person), but the beach offers great swimming and snorkelling, as well as the benefit of the resort restaurant at Katea Retreat to refuel throughout the day. Needless to say, guests at the retreat get free access to the beach throughout their stay – see the 20 Best Hotels & Resorts on Tongatapu.

Location: Nakolo (access road off Liku Road, just south of Nakolo village), southeast coast of Tongatapu.

10 Best Beaches in Tongatapu© TongaPocketGuide.com

6. Malinoa Island

One of Tongatapu’s glorious off-shore islands, Malinoa is an uninhabited island with surrounding coral and an interesting underwater seascape for snorkelling. White sand lines the entire perimeter of the island. The island is often on the itinerary of whale swimming tours, as listed in the 5 Best Whale Swim Tours in Tongatapu & Nuku’alofa.

Location: Off-shore island north of Nuku’alofa.

10 Best Beaches on Tongatapu(c) tongapocketguide.com

7. ‘Atata Island

‘Atata Island is another one of Tongatapu’s off-shore islands that is very viable to get to, especially on snorkelling and scuba diving trips from Nuku’alofa. Take a day trip to ‘Atata Island with Deep Blue Diving, primarily to snorkel but also to experience its breathtaking beach. Note that trips to the island are not available during the whale season. Learn more about snorkelling tours to ‘Atata in The Best Snorkel & Scuba Dive Tours in Tongatapu & Nuku’alofa.

Location: Trips depart from Deep Blue Diving’s office, Faua Wharf, Vuna Road, Ma’ufanga, Nuku’alofa. See the link above to learn more.

10 Best Beaches in Tongatapu© Tong Ministry of Tourism

8. Fefe Ho Loto (Fua’amotu) Beach

One of the most accessible beaches on Tongatapu, Fefe Ho Loto Beach is located south of Fua’amotu village and Fua’amotu International Airport. The beach is a popular swimming beach. Fefe Ho Loto means “listen to your heart”.

Location: Fua’amotu (access road off Liku Road in Fua’amotu village), southeast coast of Tongatapu.

10 Best Beaches on Tongatapu(c) David Broad on Wikipedia

9. Hufangalupe Beach

Located near the Hufangalupe Cliffs Lookout and Land Bridge, a dirt trail to a lookout of Hufangalupe Beach makes the perfect photo opportunity! There is another faint trail that leads down to the beach, which can be found along the access dirt road.

Location: Access off Hufangalupe Road, southeast coast of Tongatapu. Note that the last 250 m (270 yards) of this road gets very rough, so you might want to park up on the side if you’re in a low-clearance 2WD vehicle.

10 Best Beaches on Tongatapu(c) tongapocketguide.com

10. Kanokupolu Beach

Kanokupolu Beach is a long stretch of white sand just south of Ha’afatu Beach. Enjoy long walks, don your snorkel mask at high tide (note that the coral here is still recovering after tsunami damage), and look out for breaching whales on the horizon between July and October.

Location: Kanokupolu (there are several beach access roads from the village), west side of Tongatapu.

10 Best Beaches in Tongatapu© TongaPocketGuide.com

11. Tau Island

Another gorgeous uninhabited island north of Tongatapu, Tau Island is another island that whale swimming tours are likely to take you. The tiny island is lined with a thick sandy beach with a small coconut grove in the centre.

Location: Off-shore island north of Nuku’alofa.

10 Best Beaches on Tongatapu(c) tongapocketguide.com

The Best of the Rest: West Coast Beaches

On the western arm of Tongatapu lies some of the best beaches on the main island, including surf beaches, as well as beaches ideal for snorkelling and kayaking. Find the beaches west of Ha’atafu, Kanokupolu and Kolovai.

12. ‘Otuhaka Beach

Just south of Kanokupolu, ‘Otuhaka Beach is a good beach for sunbathing, long walks, as well as snorkelling (at high tide) at the fringing reef.

13. Kolovai Beach

A smaller and less-visited beach on the west side of Tongatapu, Kolovai Beach is one of the more attractive beaches on this side.

14. ‘Utukehe Beach

A small beach dotted with palms and flanked by a rocky coast, ‘Utukehe Beach is worth a quick visit.

15. Monotapu Beach

Finally, on the west coast, Monotapu Beach boasts soft white sands backed by rocky outcrops and vegetation.

10 Best Beaches on Tongatapu(c) Tonga Ministry of Tourism

The Best of the Rest: South Coast Beaches

Arguably, some of Tongatapu’s most photogenic beaches lie on the south coast. Many of the beaches on the south coast are protected by rocky reefs. Don’t swim beyond the reefs, stay within the lagoons. Find the beaches south of Veitongo.

16. Veitongo Beach

A popular beach for swimming at high tide, Veitongo Beach has a protective reef for good swimming in the lagoon. Otherwise, the beach has some good spots for reef walking.

17. Halafuoleva Beach

A little further down the road from Keleti Beach is Halafuoleva Beach, which is another picturesque spot for sunbathing and swimming in a lagoon.

10 Best Beaches on Tongatapu(c) tongapocketguide.com

The Best of the Rest: East Coast Beaches

More beaches can be found on Tongatapu’s eastern side, which sees some of the best beaches for sunrises. What’s more, attractions like the ‘Anahulu Cave and Hina Cave can be found at the beaches on this coastline.

18. ‘Emeline Beach

A pretty white sand beach with a lagoon, turquoise waters and sheltering reef with blowholes.

19. Finehika Beach

This small beach can be found on the road between Haveliku and Niutoua. The beach is accessible by dirt road and is backed by attractive vegetation.

20. Ha’amalo Beach

A little further south of Finehika Beach is Ha’amalo Beach, which is a string of coves connected by rocky shores. Take your reef shoes and go exploring.

21. ‘Anahulu Beach

A sandy beach beside the must-see ‘Anahulu Cave. Entry to this beach is included with the fee for the caves – see the 10 Best Sights & Natural Attractions on Tongatapu. Take a picnic.

22. Laulea Beach

A quaint and quiet beach between ‘Anahulu and Oholei beaches, Laulea Beach, is an attractive beach that is popular with the locals. Be careful if you choose to swim here, as the currents are strong.

23. Lavengatonga Beach

Lavengatonga Beach is just north of ‘Oholei Beach, providing more sea, sand and (hopefully) sun.

24. ‘Ahononou Beach

‘Ahononou Beach is just a little further west along the coast from Fua’amotu Beach. It’s a good alternative if the other beach is busy.

25. Navutoka Coastline

While not exactly home to a beach, take a drive along the coastline of this eastern village to see the famous “fishing pigs”.

10 Best Beaches on Tongatapu(c) tongapocketguide.com

More About Beaches on Tongatapu

That’s it for our list of the best beaches on Tongatapu. For more tips for trip-planning success, check out the following:

Finally, if there’s anything we’ve missed, you’re likely to find it in The Complete Guide to Tongatapu.


Laura (Lola) S.

This article was reviewed and published by Laura, editor in chief and co-founder of Tonga Pocket Guide. Since arriving solo in the South Pacific over 10 years ago with nothing but a backpack and a background in journalism, her mission has been to show the world how easy (and awesome) it is to explore a paradise such as Tonga. She knows the islands inside-out and loves sharing tips on how best to experience Tonga’s must-dos and hidden gems. Laura is also editor of several other South Pacific travel guides.

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