5 Famous Places in Tonga
5 Famous Places in Tonga

5 Famous Places in Tonga

(c) Tonga Ministry of Tourism

What are the Places in Tonga that People Know About?

How can we make a list of famous places in an island nation that, well, not many people know about? Well, if you know anything about Tonga or have seen any iconic images of Tonga, then chances are it’s at least one of the famous places in Tonga listed below. Whether you’re looking for a popular attraction or like the comfort of going somewhere a little more explored in an otherwise more unexplored landscape for tourism, then this list should point you in the right direction.

1. Nuku’alofa

The capital of Tonga is, for obvious reasons, the most recognised settlement name in Tonga. Located on the northern coast of Tongatapu, Nuku’alofa has iconic landmarks such as the Royal Palace and the Talamahu Market. Despite being the capital of the South Pacific’s only kingdom, the town itself is quite petite! Learn more about visiting Nuku’alofa in The Complete Guide to Nuku’alofa.

5 Famous Places in Tonga(c) tongapocketguide.com

2. Ha’amonga ‘a Maui

One of the most famous historic sites in Tonga is the stone trilithon, Ha’amonga ‘a Maui. The coral limestone megalithic structure in Tongatapu is said to have been built in 1200 AD by an early king, Tu’i Tonga Tu’itatui. Also at the site is the Maka Faakinanga, a leaning stone that is said to have served as the king’s throne. See more places like this in the 10 Fascinating Historical Sites in Tonga.

5 Famous Places in Tonga(c) tongapocketguide.com

3. The Pacific Ocean

Ok, so the Pacific Ocean is quite a big place, but we mention it as Tonga is arguably most famous for its whale swimming experiences. It’s one of the only places in the world where you can legally swim with humpback whales. The surrounding Pacific Ocean of Tonga’s 170 islands becomes a mating and calving ground for humpback whales between June and October. Learn more in The Guide to Whale Swimming in Tonga.

5 Famous Places in Tonga(c) tongapocketguide.com

4. Mapu ‘a Vaea Blowholes

A famous natural attraction in Tonga is the Mapu ‘a Vaea Blowholes. This natural water display stretches some 5km (3 miles) along the southern coastline of Tongatapu, shooting the ocean’s waves up to 30m (100ft) in the air through narrow blowholes. When the water falls back to earth, it cascades down the tiered reef. Check out more famous natural attractions in the 10 Best Natural Attractions in Tonga.

5 Famous Places in Tonga(c) Tonga Ministry of Tourism

5. Swallows Cave

If you’ve seen photos of an underwater cave with thousands of fish and beams of light casting through the cave’s entrance, then chances are it’s of Swallows Cave. Etched into the cliffs of Kapa Island in Vava’u, Swallows Cave is a top spot to visit on snorkelling and boating tours in the island group. The cave is known for being home to rare Pacific swallows, but the snorkelling here is what the cave is most famous for. Check out more sights like this in the 10 Amazing Natural Attractions in Vava’u.

5 Famous Places in Tonga(c) tongapocketguide.com

More Famous Places in Tonga

That’s it for the most famous places in Tonga. 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 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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