10 Things to Do in Tonga with Kids(c) Tonga Ministry of Tourism
10 Things to Do in Tonga with Kids

15 Best Things to Do in Tonga with Kids

(c) Tonga Ministry of Tourism

The Top Family Activities in Tonga

Tonga is not your typical family getaway, so you’re sure to have many first-time experiences together as a tribe. From life-changing moments like watching humpback whales to the simple pleasure of drinking from a coconut, there is lots to do in Tonga to keep the whole family entertained. We go over some of the top experiences to have with the little ones in this list of things to do in Tonga with kids!

1. Watch Humpback Whales from Shore

Adults and kids alike want to experience the awe of seeing a humpback whale up close. Between July and October each year, you can do just that in Tonga’s waters with licenced whale watching tours. With swimming in the open water and bobbing around in small boats, however, it’s not the most appropriate option for kids, not to mention pricey. Although you can stay on the boat and watch the whales, simply watching whales from shore can be a rewarding experience. Some of the best islands to watch whales from shore are Uoleva in Ha’apai, Foeata in Vava’u and ‘Eua near Tongatapu, as explained in the 10 Best Places to See Whales in Tonga From Shore.

Location: All over Tonga! See the link above for recommendations and their locations.

10 Things to Do in Tonga with Kids(c) tongapocketguide.com

2. Swim in Natural Cave Swimming Pools

Kids love any excuse to splash about, but one of the most unique swimming experiences lies in ‘Anahulu Cave on Tongatapu. An affordable entry fee allows you to duck into the cave entrance and follow a walkway through a lit-up cavern of limestone formations, such as stalactites and stalagmites. At the end of the walkway is a freshwater pool making for some refreshing swimming! If you’re visiting Vava’u, there’s the Veimumuni Cave which also has a freshwater pool that kids typically love! Learn more about each in The Most Beautiful Swimming Holes in Tonga.

Location: ‘Anahulu Cave – Signposted from the southern end of Haveluliku village, east side of Tongatapu. Veimumuni Cave – Signposted from the main road in Toula village, ‘Utu Vava’u, Vava’u.

10 Things to Do in Tonga with Kids© TongaPocketGuide.com

3. Be Amazed by Natural Attractions like the Mapua ‘a Vaea Blowholes

Tonga is home to spectacular natural land bridges, awesome caves, sweeping beaches, sinkholes and more – take a look at the 10 Best Natural Attractions in Tonga to be inspired. The best natural attraction for kids, however, is the Mapua ‘a Vaea Blowholes on Tongatapu. Kids love watching the water shooting up to 30 m (100 ft) into the air as the waves crash across the coast. Around 5 km (3 mi) of Tongatapu’s southern coastline is filled with these amazing blowhole formations, which look like nature’s own incredible water display. Check out more things to do on Tonga’s main island in the 10 Things To Do on Tongatapu with Kids.

Location: End of Vaea Road, Houma, southwest side of Tongatapu.

10 Things to Do in Tonga with Kids© James Blackwood - Tonga Ministry of Tourism

4. Explore the Islands on Horseback

Interactions with animals are always a fun experience for kids; one of the animal-related activities in Tonga is horse riding. On the islands of Ha’apai, explore glorious bush and beach with the sister resorts of Matafonua Lodge and Sandy Beach Resort. The ride takes you on saddleback (or bareback, Tongan style, if you want to give it a go) through the comfortable shade of lush tropical forest before returning along Ha’apai’s silky white sands. Riders have the opportunity to take the horses for a swim (note that saddles will be removed for swimming). Learn more about the experience in The Guide to Horse Riding in Tonga and check out more activities to do in the 10 Things To Do in Ha’apai with Kids.

Location: Matafonua Lodge and Sandy Beach Resort, northern Foa Island, Ha’apai.

10 Things to Do in Tonga with Kids(c) Tonga Ministry of Tourism

5. Snorkel Above Colourful Coral Reefs

Snorkelling is one of the most accessible ways for kids to enjoy exploring Tonga’s incredible underwater world through crystal clear and warm tropical waters. They’ll be amazed by the tropical fish and colourful corals while simply experiencing the joy of swimming. For planning a holiday with plenty of snorkel time, take a look at 10 Best Resorts for Snorkelling in Tonga and 10 Best Places to Snorkel in Tonga.

Location: All over Tonga! See recommended locations in the links above.

10 Things to Do in Tonga with Kids© Matafonua Lodge - Tonga Ministry of Tourism

6. Learn About Tongan Traditions at Ancient Tonga

Tonga is a nation with a rich island culture, experienced through captivating performances and arts and crafts seen across the islands. A one-stop shop to experience it all in one tour, however, is within Nuku’alofa at Ancient Tonga! The cultural centre offers “Half” and “Full Culture Tours” revolving around Tongan arts, crafts, dance and food. It’s a great way to get the kids involved in a more hands-on learning experience. Find out more about the tours in the 10 Best Cultural Activities in Tonga. Plus, check out more experiences for the whole family in the capital in the 10 Things to Do in Nuku’alofa with Kids.

Location: Tamakautonga Road, Popua, Nuku’alofa.

10 Things to Do in Tonga with Kids© TongaPocketGuide.com

7. Make Tongan Souvenirs in a Crafting Lesson at Tina’s Workshop

Let the little ones embrace their creative streak and create something that both you and they can be proud of in a Tongan handicraft lesson. Tongan handicrafts of woven items and tapa-paintings are a special part of the Tongan culture that you and your family can be a part of by taking part in a lesson, such as Tina’s Workshop. Make your own Tongan sei (flower hairpiece), tapa notebook, angel or doll and enjoy a traditionally cooked umu lunch. Find out more about the experience in Where to Learn Tongan Handicrafts.

Location: Fehoko Oceanic Arts Studio, Tamakautonga Road, Popua, Nuku’alofa, Tongatapu.

10 Things to Do in Tonga with Kids(c) tongapocketguide.com

8. Go on a Family Kayaking Mission from Your Resort…

If staying at one of the waterfront resorts in Tonga, there will likely be complimentary kayak hire for the whole family to enjoy. Double up in a kayak with your kids and head out on the lagoon to drift over coral bommies, explore the coast and teach the little ones how to paddle. If you’re really keen on kayaking, check out the 10 Best Resorts for Kayaking in Tonga.

Location: All over Tonga! See the link above or The Complete Guide to Kayaking in Tonga for recommendations and their locations.

10 Things to Do in Tonga with Kids(c) tongapocketguide.com

9. … Or an Island-Hopping Snorkelling Cruise

Most of Tonga’s islands are pristine and uninhabited, so it would be a shame to miss these out by just staying on one island! One of the best ways to get out on the water with the kids is on an island-hopping and snorkelling cruise, which are available from Tongatapu, Ha’apai and Vava’u. Particularly, Vava’u is a good destination for this, where you can stop by some stunning sandy shores for a barbecue lunch, snorkel over coral gardens and swim into large sea caves with large schools of fish. Check out the 10 Best Boat Tours & Day Cruises in Tonga for inspiration. Plus, check out more things to do in this island group in the 10 Things To Do in Vava’u with Kids.

Location: All over Tonga! See the link above for recommendations and their locations.

10 Things to Do in Tonga with Kids© TongaPocketGuide.com

10. Find the Fishing Pigs or the Flying Foxes

More animal fun can be found on the island of Tongatapu with attractions such as the “Fishing Pigs” and the Flying Foxes. In the village of Navutoka, pigs can be seen popping their heads in the water in search of food – best seen at low tide. Additionally, in the village of Kolovai, simply look up into the trees to see large fruitbats known as flying foxes. See more ways to experience Tonga’s wacky wildlife in the 10 Best Nature & Wildlife Experiences in Tonga.

Location: Fishing Pigs – Signposted along Tahi Road, Navutoka, east side of Tongatapu. Flying Foxes – Hihifo Road, Kolovai, west side of Tongatapu.

10 Things to Do in Tonga with Kids© TongaPocketGuide.com

11. Watch a Cultural Show and Indulge in a Tongan Feast

An unmissable experience in Tonga is the Tongan umu feast and floor show. Resorts and restaurants across the islands host elaborate buffets of traditional staples slow-cooked by hot stones, international favourites, and a Tongan favourite – a spitroast pig. Once you’re full to the brim, a floor show begins with traditional dancing and costume performed with grace and vigour – all depending on the dance style. A Tongan floor show is not a floor show without the fire dance finale! Learn more about these experiences in the 10 Best Cultural Shows in Tonga.

Location: All over Tonga! See the link above for recommendations and their locations.

10 Things to Do in Tonga with Kids© TongaPocketGuide.com

12. Explore ‘Eua Island on a 4WD Tour

See the natural and cultural highlights of ‘Eua in a way that’s practical for the whole family on a 4WD tour. Most accommodations on the island offer island tours that involve short walks to a range of must-see attractions. Climb to stunning viewpoints, stop for a swim and a snorkel at deserted beaches, see two astonishing 800-year-old ‘Ovava Trees, check out the amazing sinkholes of the Smoking Cave, visit the southern Rock Gardens, Li’angahuo ‘a Maui natural archway and much much more! Make your bucket list of sights from the 10 Amazing Natural Attractions on ‘Eua. Plus, discover more ways to experience this island with kids in tow in the 10 Things to Do in ‘Eua with Kids.

Location: All over ‘Eua! Most accommodations have their own island tours or can organise one on your behalf. See The Best Guided Tours in ‘Eua for some excellent examples.

10 Things to Do in Tonga with Kids© TongaPocketGuide.com

13. See the Epic Ha’amonga ‘a Maui Trilithon

Ha’amonga ‘a Maui Trilithon, also known as “Maui’s Burden”, is an intriguing ancient monument believed to have been constructed in the 13th Century by the 11th Tu’i Tonga (king), Tu’itatui. The attraction near Niutoua is within an attractive park setting with souvenir stalls and a grassy walkway leading to Maka Fa’akinanga or “Tu’itatui’s Backrest”, which is said to be where the king would lean against while he watched the construction of the monument. Interpretation panels at the site explain the history of the site. Check out more sites like this that are sure to get the little ones’ imaginations running in the 10 Best Historical Sites in Tonga.

Location: Signposted along Taufa’ahau Road, Niutoua, east side of Tongatapu.

10 Things to Do in Tonga with Kids© Tonga Ministry of Tourism

14. Build Sandcastles on the Beach

Ok, this might seem like an obvious one, but it’s important to let the kids (and yourself) enjoy some downtime. With Tonga being home to glorious beaches, you won’t have trouble finding somewhere to build some sandcastles and dip your feet in the water. Don’t waste any time browsing the 20 Best Beaches in Tonga to get inspired!

Location: All over Tonga! See the link above for recommendations and their locations.

10 Things to Do in Tonga with Kids© TongaPocketGuide.com

15. Drink From a Coconut

Finally, don’t forget to enjoy the simple pleasures of island life, like sipping fresh coconut water from a coconut. It might sound silly, but it’s moments like this that stick with kids. Fresh coconuts are available to purchase from cafes and resorts across Tonga. Some resort staff might even get you a coconut straight from the tree if you ask. Just get a coconut to share though, as those fruits hold a LOT of juice!

Location: All over Tonga! See more drinks to taste in the 10 Drinks in Tonga You HAVE to Try!

15 Best Things to Do in Tonga with Kids© TongaPocketGuide.com

More Things to Do in Tonga with Kids

That’s it for the best things to do in Tonga with kids. For more advice on planning a family getaway, check out for following guides:

Finally, plan your whole trip with family antics in find using the Tonga Family Itinerary: 14 DaysTonga Family Itinerary: 7 DaysTonga Family Itinerary: 5 Days and Tonga Family Itinerary: 3 Days.


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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