How Much Does it Cost to Travel Tonga by Bus?(c)
How Much Does it Cost to Travel Tonga by Bus?

How Much Does it Cost to Travel Tonga by Bus?


Tonga Bus Fares

How much does it cost to travel Tonga by bus? The short answer is “not much”! Buses provide the cheapest transport for getting around Tonga, where fares will only ever cost you around a couple of pa’anga per trip. Buses can be found on Tonga’s two most developed islands, Tongatapu and Vava’u Island (and its causeway-connected islands). Buses are very old exported buses from China, which are usually very loud with music and bustling crowds of kids around the beginning/end of the school day. It sure makes for an interesting cultural experience!

Learn more about buses and other ways to get around Tonga in The Guide to Commuting in Tonga.

Tips for Taking the Bus in Tonga

  • Buses can be a viable option for getting around in Tongatapu, however, it’s not recommended to rely on the buses in Vava’u
  • Buses in Tongatapu run from 7am to 5pm Monday-Friday and stop earlier on a Saturday
  • There are no buses on a Sunday
  • Buses don’t run on a set schedule, ask what time your bus returns when you get on the bus
  • Hail the bus down by waving at the driver
  • Buses usually have loud music playing for a fun cultural experience!

For more tips, see the 10 Tips for Taking the Bus in Tonga.

How Much Does it Cost to Travel Tonga by Bus?(c)

Bus Fares in Tongatapu

Tongatapu is the only island where you can viably travel the island by bus. It can be a real cultural experience, where it’s likely to be booming with loud music as you make your way around Nuku’alofa, the eastern side of the island or the western side. To learn more about where the buses go, see How to Travel Around Tonga By Bus.

Tongatapu Bus Fares

Bus fares in Tongatapu are determined by the distance travelled and the age of the passenger. Take coins and small notes to pay for your fare – check out Where to Book Bus Transport in Tonga? for more information.

Around Nuku’alofa (VAIOLA): Approximately TOP$1
To the eastern side (HAHAKE): Approximately TOP$1-$3
To the western side (HIHIFO): Approximately TOP$1-$3

Note that there are no buses to Fua’amotu Airport.

How Much Does it Cost to Travel Tonga by Bus?(c)

Bus Fares in Vava’u

The bus services on Vava’u are much less reliable as a way of travelling around Vava’u. Buses only really tend to run in conjunction with the beginning and end of the school day, taking children between the villages of Vava’u’s main islands and Neiafu. Buses also will wait in Neiafu to transport passengers around the main islands, only leaving when full. Those wishing to take the bus in Vava’u to travel will need a lot of time and/or a lot of patience. Learn more about where to catch the bus in Vava’u in How to Travel Around Tonga By Bus.

Vava’u Bus Fares

Bus fares are loosely determined by the distance travel. If it’s a short distance, some drivers will offer to transport you for free but it’s still appreciated to pay a couple of pa’anga per person.

Neiafu to anywhere in Vava’u: Under TOP$2

Note there are no buses to Lupepauʻu Airport.


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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