Where to Watch the Stars in Tonga
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 favourites places for stargazing in Tonga.
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’s sky, especially when staying at some of the island’s more remote accommodations, such as Billy’s Place 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.
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, away from civilisation providing 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. Sometimes the staff at the Mounu Island Resort are available to point out the Southern Cross and other constellations. Learn more about visiting Vava’u in The Complete Guide to Vava’u.
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. 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.
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 fit a clear dark spot on the island, which only has a handful of small villages. Many of the accommodations have remote areas on the beach or by large tracts of forest, where you’ll find super dark skies for super stunning stargazing. Check out some of these accommodations in the 6 Best Resorts in ‘Eua.
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, the Sandy Beach Resort is particularly good for stargazing from your accommodation or on the beach away from civilisation. The manager there even has a telescope should you want to get more from your stargazing experience. Compare the Sandy Beach Resort with others in the 10 Best Resorts in Ha’apai.