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

10 Best Things to Do on Tongatapu with Kids

© TongaPocketGuide.com

The Top Family-Friendly Activities on Tongatapu

An adventurous holiday awaits families heading to Tongatapu! Tonga’s main island is awash in amazing land formations, fascinating (and funny) wildlife, as well as an interesting culture. There are certainly several ways to experience all of these aspects and more as a family, so take a look at the list of things to do in Tongatapu with kids and get inspired!

While you’re here, don’t miss The Guide to Tongatapu for Families for more trip-planning wisdom.

1. Explore and Swim in ‘Anahulu Cave

Delve into a breathtaking limestone cave with a short walkway and a swimming hole at the end. ‘Anahulu Cave, on the eastern side of Tongatapu, has a small entry fee for a self-guided walk on a well-formed path through the impressive cave. The cave is well-lit and boasts a refreshing pool to swim at the end, so take your swimwear! Check out more attractions like this in our guide to Sightseeing on Tongatapu: Top 10 Sights & Natural Attractions.

Location: Signposted from the southern end of Haveluliku village, east side of Tongatapu.

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

2. Learn About Tongan Traditions on a Culture Tour

Speaking of ‘Anahulu Cave, combine this awe-inspiring setting with learning about Tonga’s rich culture with Teta Tours. Their “Culture Tour” is an enlightening experience featuring a mat weaving and tapa demonstration, coconut husking and grating, and a kava ceremony. Alternatively, a fantastic culture tour in Nuku’alofa is 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 both tours in the 10 Best Cultural Activities in Tonga.

Location: Teta Tours – Transfers are provided from Nuku’alofa or make your way to ‘Anahulu Cave (see above). Ancient Tonga – Tamakautonga Road, Popua, Nuku’alofa.

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

3. See Flying Foxes in Kolovai

You’ll probably hear their unusual squeaks before you see the flying foxes in the trees of Kolovai. While flying foxes, otherwise known as “peka” or fruit bats, can be seen across Tongatapu, one of the best places to see them is in this western village on Tongatapu where there is a flying fox sanctuary. Stop by the village and simply look up at the trees to see the huge bats interacting. The best time to see flying foxes is between October and February.

Location: Hihifo Road, Kolovai, west side of Tongatapu.

10 Things To Do on Tongatapu with Kids(c) tongapocketguide.com

4. Go on a Family Snorkelling Excursion or Island Day Trip

Discover Tonga’s amazing array of corals and tropical fish on a family-friendly snorkelling trip from Nuku’alofa. Snorkelling tours are in sheltered waters that are safe for even younger kids (as long as they know how to swim), usually alongside idyllic islands some 20-30 minutes off the city’s shores. All of the snorkelling gear will be provided, including a mask, snorkel and fins. So all you need to do is enjoy the boat journey and discover the amazing underwater world together as a family. Note that snorkelling tours are typically only available between November and June (in other words, outside of the whale season). See current tour operators in The Best Snorkel & Scuba Dive Tours in Tongatapu & Nuku’alofa.

Alternatively, island day trips to the nearby Pangaimotu Island are available on Sundays departing from Faua Wharf at 11 am and 12 pm or on demand throughout the week if minimum numbers are met. The day trip is ideal for all ages – just think of it as the ultimate day at the beach! Learn more about the day trip in the 10 Best Island Day Trips & Tours from Nuku’alofa.

Location: See recommended tours in the link above. Most tours depart from Faua Wharf, Vuna Road.

10 Things to Do in Tongatapu with Kids© Kaylie Tongia

5. Check Out the Awesome Mapua ‘a Vaea Blowholes

Watch the sea bursting through hundreds of blowholes at the Mapua ‘a Vaea Blowholes! The blowholes stretch some 5 km (3 mi) along the southwest coast of Tongatapu creating amazing natural displays that the kids will love! While it’s fun to see the blowholes at any time, the best times are during high tide, windy days or when the swells are strong to see water shooting up to 30 m (100 ft).

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

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

6. Build Sandcastles at One of Tongatapu’s Beaches

What kid doesn’t love the beach?! Tongatapu really has an amazing array of beaches, ideal for building sandcastles, collecting shells, swimming, snorkelling and reef-walking. Swim and watch the surfers at Ha’atafu Beach, swim in the lagoons of Keleti Beach, or join the locals at Fefe Ho Loto Beach. Learn more about which beaches to visit in the 25 Best Beaches on Tongatapu.

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

10 Best Things to Do on Tongatapu with Kids© TongaPocketGuide.com

7. See the Hilarious Fishing Pigs

Yes, this is a real attraction that the kids are sure to find incredibly funny. Head along the coast of the village of Navutoka to see the village’s pigs sticking their heads in the water, giving them the name, the “Fishing Pigs”! They simply have a taste for seafood, unlike the usual land-based porker. See more fun and free attractions like this in the 20 Free & Cheap Things to Do on Tongatapu.

Location: Signposted along Tahi Road, Navutoka, east side of Tongatapu.

10 Things To Do on Tongatapu with Kids(c) tongapocketguide.com

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

An unmissable experience on Tongatapu is the Tongan umu feast and floor show. Resorts like ‘Oholei Beach Resort and Katea Retreat 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 Tongatapu! See the link above for recommendations and their locations.

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

9. 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 Tongatapu & Nuku’alofa.

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

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

10. See the Whales Between July and October

Whale watching and swimming tours are available from Nuku’alofa between July and October. Whale swimming is a popular option with families with older kids and teens who are strong swimmers, as swimming is in the open water and involves a lot of getting on and off the boat. Those with younger kids can experience just as much excitement from the whale tour boats, watching the whales swimming to the surface, lifting their fluke into the air, and even sometimes breaching! Learn more about the experience in The Guide to Whale Swimming in Tonga.

Location: Tours depart from Faua Wharf, Vuna Road. See operators in the 5 Best Whale Swim Tours in Tongatapu & Nuku’alofa.

10 Things To Do on Tongatapu with Kids(c) tongapocketguide.com

More Things to Do on Tongatapu with Kids

That’s it for the best things to do on Tongatapu with kids. For more tips for planning the ultimate family getaway to The Kingdom, take a look at the following:

Finally, make your holiday super simple with our Tonga Family Itinerary: 14 DaysTonga Family Itinerary: 7 Days and Tonga Family Itinerary: 5 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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