Visit Tonga in the Off-Season!
Tonga has one and only one busy season for tourists, the whale season. Sure, swimming with humpback whales, which you can only do between June and October, is a dream for many but Tonga has so much more to offer. From a true South Pacific culture, countless uninhabited and unspoiled islands, a mesmerising underwater world and some of the oldest historical sites in the South Pacific, there’s lots to explore in Tonga in the low season. So when is the low season in Tonga? The low season, also known as the “off-season” or “quiet season”, is between November and May – that’s a huge period to explore Tonga at its quietest and cheapest time! Discover more reasons to travel in the low season in Tonga in the list below…
1. Cheaper Flights
Often, what stands in the way between you and a getaway is the price of flights. Admittedly, there only seems to be a small window of decreased international airfares to Tonga around February and March, but airfare sales are much more abundant in the South Pacific between November and May. Where you’ll make the most savings in the low season, however, are on domestic flights in Tonga! The one domestic carrier is known to do airfare sales at various times throughout the low season where you’ll see fares as low as TOP$200 to Vava’u, TOP$50 to ‘Eua and TOP$150 to Ha’apai! Get more tips for getting cheaper airfares in How Much Does it Cost to Fly in Tonga?
2. Cheaper Accommodation Rates
During the whale season in Tonga, accommodation rates are cranked up to their highest, but in the low season, get ready to see some appealing decreases. Resorts, especially, will do deals such as “pay for 5 stay for 7”, while many other accommodations will have specific “low season rates”. Some low season rates might not be advertised so we recommend asking about low season rates before booking. Learn more about accommodation prices in Tonga in What is the Cost of Accommodation in Tonga?
3. Amazing Activity Deals!
Even the activity providers get in on the low-season-deals action too! You’ll see many activity operators advertising low season deals on their websites. As for the activity operators who don’t have websites (there are many – Tonga is a little behind on the times), it’s always worth asking about low season deals before booking. Just some of the companies that do low season deals include the Tonga Travel Troupe, Vava’u Sport Fishing Charters, Dive Tonga and Friendly Island Kayaking Co. Learn more about activity prices in What is the Cost of Activities in Tonga?
4. The Weather is Mostly Glorious
What puts many travellers off travelling Tonga in the low season is the term “wet season”. This conjures up images of constant rain, tropical storms and general misery for your holiday. However, this really isn’t the case! Tonga is still mostly sunny and hot, even in the low season. There’s just an increased amount of rain and a risk of cyclones. See what the wet season actually means by checking out our article on What is the Weather Like in Tonga?
5. Tonga Looks Amazing All Year Round
Tonga is a tropical paradise all your round. There’s no season where the landscapes or seascapes look better than the other. Waters are clear, corals are teeming with life, the historical sites still stand majestically, and the beaches and small islands dotting the archipelago still look like something from a postcard. Whatever time of the year you visit Tonga, there will be plenty of photo opportunities.
6. Feel Like You Have the Whole Place to Yourself
Admittedly, even in the high season, Tonga never feels too crowded. But travel in the low season and you really get that feeling of having the whole place to yourself! You can visit all of the top attractions around Tongatapu for a whole day, for instance, and not see another single tourist! As for accommodation, have you ever experienced staying in a resort where you’re the only guest?!
7. It’s the Ideal Destination for Christmas
Christmas is a popular time to travel anywhere around the world. In the South Pacific, Christmas is usually the exception to the low season rule, where resorts fill up for the Christmas period. But for Tonga, it’s still relatively undiscovered as a Christmas destination. So if you want to enjoy a family, couple or solo getaway for Christmas, you’ll get to experience without the crowds in Tonga! Check out some fun things you could be doing for Christmas in Where to Spend Christmas in Tonga.
8. Be More Impulsive
For travellers who just like to go with the flow, the low season is the perfect time to travel Tonga. In the high season, Tonga’s boutique accommodations get booked up quickly. In the low season, you can walk into accommodations and just ask for a room. What’s more, if you discover an island you love and want to stay longer, it’s easy to book yourself a few extra nights on the spot!
9. There are Plenty of Events
Only in the low season can you experience a New Year in Tonga, which is one of the first countries in the world to see the New Year in due to its time zone. Check out how Tongans celebrate the New Year in Where to Spend New Year’s Eve in Tonga. Other events to experience in the low season include Christmas, Easter and Tonga’s National Day. Check out more things happening throughout the year in Travelling Tonga: Month-by-Month Guide.
10. Getting in the Water Feels Oh-So-Refreshing!
Believe it or not, after a whale swim in Tonga, many tourists are sat on the boat shivering with the cool breeze while the boat speeds off to the next whale. Sure, Tonga is warm all year round, but admittedly, there are times and occasions when it can be a little chillier in the high season, which is Tonga’s winter by the way! In Tonga’s low season, which is summer, water activities are nothing short of refreshing, while feeling the balmy breeze on your skin is a good way to dry off.