What to Do in Tonga for New Year’s Eve
Tonga features on many international rankings for being one country that you need to experience for New Year. It’s one of the very first countries in the world to see New Year’s Day due to its position on the International Dateline and its time zone. With that in mind, how can you celebrate New Year in Tonga? Well, we’ve come up with a few ideas to make this New Year’s extra special!
1. Go to a New Year’s Church Service
Tonga is a devout Christian country so many Tongans see in the New Year by going to church. Even if you’re not religious, going to a Tongan church service is still a rewarding and spiritual experience. Churches of all Christian denominations put on sunset and midnight services on New Year’s Eve where visitors can experience the enthusiastic singing of the locals. The harmonious acapellas are sometimes accompanied by brass bands played by the local high school children. Check out some of the churches in Tonga in 10 Best Churches in Tonga for Tourists.
2. Relax at a Stunning Beach Resort
Another amazing way to spend the New Year is to simply escape from it all and stay at an island resort. Soak in the sun, feel your toes in the sand, swim, snorkel with tropical fish and see the New Year in at a more relaxed pace. Enjoy some drinks at the resort bar. Some resorts even put on a special Tongan feast for guests at New Year’s. Browse the resorts in Tonga in our Resorts category.
3. Watch the Sunrise at Keitahi Beach
As mentioned, Tonga is the first country in the world to see New Year’s Day. A special way to make that feel more significant is to watch the first sunrise of the New Year at one of the east coast beaches. We recommend Keitahi Beach in Vava’u, as that’s the easternmost beach in Tonga! Other beaches to try include Finehika, Ha’amalo, ‘Anahulu, Lanvengatonga and ‘Oholei in Tongatapu. Check out more beaches in the 10 Stunning Beaches in Tonga.
4. Experience a Tongan Feast
In Tonga, any special occasion is an excuse to feast and New Year’s Eve is no exception! Many communities and families across Tonga have feasts, from barbecues to “umu” which is a traditional cooking method using an underground oven. The event is usually complete with a spitroast pig. While some accommodations may put on their own feasts for guests, travellers will need to charm the locals to be invited to a local feast. Learn more about Tongan food and feasts in the Guide to Tonga Food.
5. Head to One of the Bars in Nuku’alofa
Partying is a way to celebrate the New Year in many parts of the world, and you can still get your party fix in the bars and clubs of the capital! Go out for drinks in Nuku’alofa, try some Tongan beer and dance the night away! Check out The Ultimate Guide to the Nightlife on Tongatapu and the 5 Best Bars in Nuku’alofa for inspiration on where to go.