5 Best Places for Stargazing in Tonga© TongaPocketGuide.com
5 Best Places for Stargazing in Tonga

5 Best Places for Stargazing in Tonga

© TongaPocketGuide.com

Where to Watch the Stars in Tonga + Tips for Better Stargazing

On a clear night in Tonga, you’re transported to another world…

Although Tonga is not well-known for its stargazing, it often provides some of the most vivid night skies that many of us have seen. Unpolluted by artificial lighting, Tonga’s skies at night display amazing views of the Southern Cross and the distinct shades of our Milky Way Galaxy.

Admittedly, you can go to any of the 170 islands of the remote nation in the Pacific Ocean and experience some sensational stargazing on a clear night, but if you’re looking for specifics, here are a few of our favourite places for stargazing in Tonga. Plus, scroll to the end of the this article for some of our tips for better stargazing!

1. Likufa, Ha’apai

Ha’apai is one of the least urbanised island groups in Tonga, making the stargazing here something else! Although Lifuka is, indeed, the most built-up island of this central island group in Tonga, the town is small and unobtrusive to the night sky, especially when staying at some of the island’s more remote accommodations, such as Fanga ’o Ipu Lahi Resort or even the Ha’apai Beach Resort where the stargazing is so good that they have a telescope set up in their main restaurant and bar area. Learn more about visiting this island group in The Complete Guide to Ha’apai, as well as the 50 Best Things to Do in Ha’apai.

5 Best Places for Stargazing in Tonga(c) tongapocketguide.com

2. Mounu Island, Vava’u

The Vava’u island group might be a little more built-up on its main island than others in Tonga, but it doesn’t take long to find yourself a remote piece of paradise for stargazing. One such place is Mounu Island, a small island in the southern part of Vava’u which is away from civilisation and provides impeccable stargazing. There is a private island resort on the island which has a telescope set up in the main building to make the most of it. The staff at the Mounu Island Resort are sometimes available to point out the Southern Cross and other constellations. Learn more about visiting Vava’u in The Complete Guide to Vava’u, as well as the 50 Best Things to Do in Vava’u.

5 Best Places for Stargazing in Tonga(c) tongapocketguide.com

3. Ha’amonga ‘a Maui, Tongatapu

Ancient trilithons all over the world have been connected with astronomy, as has Tonga’s very own megalithic structure, the Ha’amonga ‘a Maui. At the site, surveyors have found that as the sun rises on the shortest day of the year, the carved notch at the top of the lintel matches perfectly with the Tropic of Cancer and the other to the Tropic of Capricorn, which suggests the megalith may have been used to establish the beginning of a new year.

Needless to say, if you’re looking for a place to do some stargazing in a thematic place, then how about the Ha’amonga ‘a Maui Trilithon on the main island of Tongatapu? The unobstructed clearing beside the structure is ideal for stargazing, while the small village nearby produces hardly any light pollution. Learn more about Tongtatapu in The Complete Guide to Tongatapu, as well as the 50 Best Things to Do on Tongatapu.

5 Best Places for Stargazing in Tonga© TongaPocketGuide.com

4. ‘Eua

The island of ‘Eua is Tonga’s oldest island, which sits just a short flight or half-day ferry journey from Tongatapu. It’s never hard to find a clear dark spot on the island, which only has a handful of small villages. The best stargazing, however, can be found in remote areas on the beach, such as Ha’aluma Beach, or by large tracts of forest, such as the highest point of the island, Funga Te’emoa and the location of Soldier’s Grave, where you’ll find super dark skies for super stunning stargazing.

However, it’s not advised to wander around in the ‘Eua National Park after dark, as there are sinkholes, caves and cliff faces that have caused fatalities at night in the past.

5 Best Places for Stargazing in Tonga(c) tongapocketguide.com

5. Foa Island, Ha’apai

And back to Ha’apai and its 62 islands which are all fantastic for stargazing, another specific location for idyllic star viewings is Foa Island. At the northern tip of the island, Sandy Beach Resort and Matafonua Lodge are particularly good for stargazing from your accommodation or on the beach away from civilisation. The managers there even have a telescope should you want to get more from your stargazing experience. Compare the resorts with others in The Top 25 Resorts in Tonga.

5 Best Places for Stargazing in Tonga© TongaPocketGuide.com

5 Tips for Stargazing in Tonga

When stargazing in Tonga, it’s important to keep in mind a few tips:

  1. Check the Moon Phase: Plan your stargazing trip during a new moon or when the moon is below the horizon to ensure the darkest skies.
  2. Bring Proper Equipment: If you’re serious about stargazing, consider bringing binoculars or a telescope. Even a pair of binoculars can enhance your celestial viewing experience.
  3. Dress Warmly: While Tonga has a tropical climate, it can get chilly at night, so bring layers to stay comfortable.
  4. Respect the Environment: Be mindful of the local environment and follow “Leave No Trace” principles. Clean up after yourself and leave the natural beauty of Tonga untouched.
  5. Before you go stargazing, it’s a good idea to check with local authorities or tour operators for any specific regulations or guidelines.

More About Stargazing in Tonga and Other Activities

That’s it for the best places for stargazing in Tonga. For more beautiful aspects of nature to admire while in Tonga, take a look at the following:

Finally, 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.


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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