Sailing Times and Distances to Tonga
The great South Pacific journey awaits with the Kingdom of Tonga sitting at the centre of it all. Tonga is a hub for sailing in the South Pacific, not only for its own incredible sailing grounds across the archipelago but also for its famous Port of Refuge. The island group of Vava’u alone sees some 500+ yachts passing through in the season between May and October. So how long does it take to get to this sailing mecca? How long does it take to sail to Tonga? We go over the sailing times and distances in the lists below.
For more tips, head over to 10 Tips for Sailing in Tonga.
About Sailing to Tonga
Tonga has five ports of entry: Nuku’alofa (Tongatapu), Neiafu (Vava’u), Pangai (Ha’apai), Falehau (Niuatoputapu) and Futu (Niuafo’ou).
It is compulsory for yachts visiting from overseas to submit an Advance Notice of Arrival (Small Craft) form to Tonga Customs at least 24 hours prior to their ETA. Citizens from selected countries get a free 31-day visa upon entry into Tonga.
Yachts are required to clear in and out of each island group visited in Tonga, known as a domestic check-in/check-out.
Approaching a whale any closer than 300m (330 yards) and/or swimming with whales is prohibited unless on a whale swimming licensed vessel. It is also illegal to anchor around giant clam reserves.
For more details on the formalities and restrictions, see The Sailing Guide to Tonga.
Sailing Distances in the South Pacific
The South Pacific is a popular sailing destination with sails between various island groups taking less than a week. Tonga is in the centre of the action, making it an excellent base for South Pacific voyages. The Port of Refuge in Tonga’s Vava’u is where many haul their vessels for safe anchorage during the cyclone season. Check out some of the sailing bareboat and skippered charts in Vava’u here.
So how long does it take to sail to Tonga from Fiji, New Zealand, Samoa and more? Check out the below distance and time calculations. Note that all of the below times and distances are calculated when the vessel is doing an average speed of 10 knots. The Tongan destination is Nuku’alofa on Tongatapu.
- New Zealand to Tonga: 1099 nautical miles/4 days 14 hours
- Australia to Tonga: 2255 nautical miles/9 days 10 hours
- Fiji to Tonga: 487 nautical miles/2 days 01 hours
- Samoa to Tonga: 512 nautical miles/2 days 03 hours
- French Polynesia to Tonga: 1468 nautical miles/6 days 03 hours
- New Caledonia to Tonga: 1048 nautical miles/4 days 09 hours
- Papua New Guinea to Tonga: 2409 nautical miles/10 days 01 hours
- Solomon Islands to Tonga: 1615 nautical miles/6 days 18 hours
- Nauru to Tonga: 1629 nautical miles/6 days 19 hours
- Kiribati to Tonga: 1521 nautical miles/6 days 08 hours
Sailing Distances from the Pacific Rim
For the adventurous sailor, getting to Tonga from other Pacific Rim countries/regions will take you less than a month. That’s whether you’re sailing from Asia or the Americas.
Note that all of the below times and distances are calculated when the vessel is doing an average speed of 10 knots. The Tongan destination is Nuku’alofa on Tongatapu.
- Indonesia to Tonga: 3571 nautical miles/14 days 21 hours
- Singapore to Tonga: 5123 nautical miles/21 days 08 hours
- Philippines to Tonga: 4154 nautical miles/17 days 07 hours
- Hong Kong to Tonga: 4910 nautical miles/20 days 11 hours
- Chile to Tonga: 5684 nautical miles/23 days 16 hours
- Mexico to Tonga: 4513 nautical miles/18 days 19 hours
- Hawaii to Tonga: 2752 nautical miles/11 days 11 hours
- Los Angeles to Tonga: 4634 nautical miles/19 days 07 hours