Iconic Sightseeing Landmarks in Tonga
Where are the famous places in Tonga? Where is the Tonga that you see in all of the photos? This list of the most iconic sights in Tonga goes over popular sightseeing attractions in Tonga and which village/town and island group to find them in.
For more amazing places to visit, check out the 5 Famous Locations in Tonga You Can’t Miss.
1. Ha’amonga a’ Maui
The most iconic historical site in Tonga is the Ha’amonga a’ Maui stone trilithon, an ancient megalithic structure that is said to have been built in 1200 AD. The three coral limestone slabs weigh approximately 30 to 40 tons each, making it a true wonder of Tonga and well worth checking out while travelling the island of Tongatapu. Check out more sights like this in the 10 Fascinating Historical Sites in Tonga.
Location: Niutoua, Tongatapu
2. Mapu a’ Vaea Blowholes
A natural attraction that’s iconic on the island of Tongatapu, the Mapu a’ Vaea Blowholes is a display of blowholes stretching across a whopping 5km (3 miles) of coastline. Watch as the waves crash into the rugged southern coast of Tongatapu, shooting up to 30m (100ft) in the air through tens or even hundreds of blowholes. See more iconic places like this in the 10 Amazing Natural Attractions in Tongatapu.
Location: Houma, Tongatapu
3. Giant ‘Ovava Tree
A spectacular photo opportunity and a wonderful slice of nature can be found at the Giant ‘Ovava Tree on the island of ‘Eua. An ‘ovava tree is a banyan tree in Tongan, known for its impressive tangling roots. A particularly large banyan tree is, indeed, the Giant ‘Ovava Tree in ‘Eua, which is a popular stop on 4WD tours, as well as hikes into the ‘Eua National Park. See more like this in the 8 Amazing Natural Attractions in ‘Eua.
Location: Kolomaile, ‘Eua
4. Mt Talau
For an iconic view of the island group of Vava’u, do the short but steep climb to the top of Mt Talau in the Mt Talau National Park. A viewing platform here provides stunning vistas of the Port of Refuge, the town of Neiafu and the islands beyond. See more like this in the 10 Amazing Natural Attractions in Vava’u.
Location: Neiafu, Vava’u
5. The Ocean (Featuring Whales)
Ok, so the ocean is a pretty big place, but in Tonga between June and October, the surrounding waters become the temporary home of migrating humpback whales from Antarctica. Many of the photos you will see of Tonga are of the humpback whales, captured on unique whale swimming tours that are available in Tongatapu, ‘Eua, Ha’apai and Vava’u. Learn more in The Guide to Whale Swimming in Tonga.
Location: Tongatapu, ‘Eua, Ha’apai & Vava’u
6. Li’angahuo ‘a Maui Landbridge
There are a few interesting coastal arches to admire in Tonga, but one of the most iconic is the Li’angahuo ‘a Maui on the island of ‘Eua. After a short walk along the southern cliffs of the island, which are dappled in unusual rocky outcrops and home to wild horses, you’ll come across a viewing platform looking through this natural landbridge and out to the Pacific Ocean.
Location: Southern, ‘Eua
7. Swallows Cave
Yes, there is no lack of caves in Tonga either, with a must-visit being Swallows Cave in Vava’u. This cave is only accessible by kayak or boat, carved into the depths of Kapa Island where snorkelling or scuba diving unveils an amazing display of fish making patterns in large schools. With the daylight beaming through the entrance, Swallows Cave makes for a spectacular photo opportunity.
Location: Kapa Island, Vava’u
8. ‘Anahulu Cave
Another iconic cave in Tonga, ‘Anahulu Cave is iconic for its stunning limestone chamber leading to a freshwater swimming pool. The cave is lit up for visitors to admire the stalactites dangling from the ceiling. Find this cave on the island of Tongatapu and check out others in the 10 Incredible Caves in Tonga.
Location: Haveluliku, Tongatapu
9. The Royal Palace
Tonga is unique in that it’s the only South Pacific island with a monarchy, which is symbolised by the iconic Royal Palace. On the shores of Nuku’alofa, the Royal Palace features grand Victorian architecture. While the palace is not open to the public, you can enjoy the view from either the east or west side of the palace.
Location: Nuku’alofa, Tongatapu
10. The Beaches and Islands…
Ah, beaches, islands, more beaches, and more stunning islands… Many of the iconic images you see of Tonga are of its landscapes. Tonga is, after all, an island archipelago of some 170 islands awash in sandy beaches, swaying coconut palms and even a few volcanic islands.
Location: Ha’apai, Vava’u & Tongatapu
More Iconic Sights in Tonga
- The Most Instagrammable Places in Tonga
- 7 Best Wildlife Experiences in Tonga
- 10 Stunning Beaches in Tonga
That’s it for the most iconic sights in Tonga. Inspire yourself with more experiences with the 101 Best Things to Do in Tonga: The Ultimate List. Plus, get even more tips in The Complete Travel Guide to Tonga.