What Sports Can You Do in Tonga?
Tonga might be featured on the world stage for rugby union and has provided athletes for the Olympics, but what sports can you get stuck into when in Tonga? There are many sports to enjoy recreationally, from SUP to kayaking, as well as sports to enjoy competitively, from fishing to golf. Unsurprisingly, being an island nation, Tonga’s sports are mainly water-based where you even have the opportunity to do unique sports, such as kitesurfing or adventure sports like scuba diving. Dive deeper into the sports in Tonga you can try for yourself with this list!
An adventure watersport that you don’t often get to embrace, kitesurfing is huge in Tonga. Islands in the Ha’apai and Vava’u groups provide the ideal conditions for kitesurfing with sheltered lagoons for terrain and tradewinds of around 12 to 25 knots all year round. One of the top spots for kitesurfing, whether you’re a novice or an expert, is Fanifo Lofa Kitesurf Tonga in Ha’apai, which has limited gear for hire. Alternatively, Mouna Island Resort in Vava’u offers kitesurfing lessons from their safe sandy-bottom lagoon. Learn more about getting stuck into kitesurfing in The Guide to Kitesurfing in Tonga.
Perhaps not as abundant as kitesurfing, surfing is still a watersport to enjoy in Tonga in selected areas. In Tongatapu, the western Ha’atafu Beach is not only a reserve but an amazing hub for surfing in Tonga with around 10 different reef breaks. The nearby resorts can hook you up with surfboard hire. Alternatively, there is some amazing surfing to be had with just swimming off the shores of Foa Island in Ha’apai when the conditions are just right. Learn more about surfing in Tonga in The Complete Guide to Surfing in Tonga.
Sports fishing is a big deal in Tonga, with fishing for marlin, mahimahi, giant trevally, tuna and much more is available just about anywhere in Tonga. Each island group is home to passionate fishermen and fishing guides keen to show you a few tricks to fishing in tropical waters and take you to the best spots for your targeted catch. There are several fishing competitions running throughout the year in Tonga, including the Tongan International Bill Fish Tournament in Vava’u. The Nuku’alofa Fishing Club also hosts several tournaments throughout the dry season, such as the Open Fishing Competition and the October Fishing Competition. See how you can get stuck into fishing in The Complete Guide to Fishing in Tonga.
Yes, Tonga does have a golf course and it’s based on the island of Tongatapu. Just an 8km (5-mile) drive out of Nuku’alofa town centre, the Royal Tongan Golf Club is a 9-hole affair on a parkland-style course. The golf club offers gear rental from their clubhouse so you can enjoy a relaxed game where no one takes themselves too seriously – this is golfing island style! Learn more in The Complete Guide to Golf in Tonga.
5. Scuba Diving
Something you can really get stuck into in Tonga, even if you are a beginner, is scuba diving. Tonga is an incredible place to learn how to scuba dive, with many scuba diving operators certified by PADI to provide instruction. You can get your scuba diving certification in Tonga, which is recognised worldwide. Learn how to dive among warm and clear waters full of tropical marine life, from turtles to corals! Check out how you can get into scuba in The Guide to Scuba Diving in Tonga.
With many stunning sandy beaches, it’s no surprise that beach sports like volleyball are popular in Tonga. While many island resorts have their own set-up for beach volleyball as a way for guests to unwind at the end of the day, there are also public beach volleyball nets to enjoy, such as at Popua Park in Nuku’alofa. You’ll just need your own ball for the latter.
Tonga is a country that spends a lot of time on the water, so of course, kayaking is huge here! Stay at any beachfront accommodation and there’s a very high chance that there will be complimentary kayaks to hire. Admittedly, there’s nothing competitive about kayaking in Tonga. Kayaks are simply used to explore the coasts and reefs in a relaxed manner. However, if you’re looking to do something more than a casual paddle, check out island-hopping kayaking tours with Taufatahi Charters and the Friendly Islands Kayak Company. Learn more about paddling in Tonga in The Guide to Kayaking in Tonga.
8. Stand-Up Paddleboarding
While not as readily available as kayaking, stand-up paddleboards (SUP) can be found at selected beach resorts throughout Tonga. Resorts in Ha’apai offer SUP fitness and yoga classes to allow guests to get more out of paddleboarding. Otherwise, resorts that do offer SUP hire allow you to explore the lagoons and reefs fringing islands in an alternative way. Learn more about how you can get stuck into SUP with The Guide to Stand-Up Paddle Boarding in Tonga.