Largest Landmasses in Tonga
Will you be visiting the largest island in Tonga? Does Tonga even have large islands? Find out in this list of the 10 largest islands in Tonga!
Tonga as a whole covers an area of 747 km2 (288 sq mi), with 717 km2 (277 sq mi) of that being land and 30 km2 (12 sq mi) being water. The highest point is on Kao at 1,033m (3,389ft). Tonga has 419km (260 mi) of coastline.
Tonga’s main arrival island and home to the capital is also Tonga’s largest island at 257km2 (99.24 sq mi). The island is mostly flat and is made up of the capital, Nuku’alofa, as well as villages, plantations and beaches. Tongatapu located in the southern part of the Tonga archipelago and features several smaller islands off the north coast, which makes the island groups total area size 260.5km2 (100.6 sq mi). Find out more about the island group in The Complete Guide to Tongatapu.
Land area: 257km2 / 99.24 sq mi
2. ‘Utu Vava’u
‘Utu Vava’u is the largest island in the Vava’u Group of islands and the second-largest island in Tonga. The island is home to Tonga’s second-largest town, Neiafu, and is connected to several other islands in the Vava’u group through causeways. However, these islands do not add to ‘Utu Vava’u’s landmass. Find out more about Vava’u in The Complete Guide to Vava’u.
Land area: 97km2 / 37 sq mi
‘Eua is a lone island sitting 45km (28 miles) southeast of Tongatapu. It’s Tonga’s oldest island at around 40 million years old, while it’s also Tonga’s third largest island at around 87.44 km2 (33.8 sq mi). ‘Eua is famous for the ‘Eua National Park, as well as for having the largest sea cave in the South Pacific, Cathedral Cave. Learn more about ‘Eua in The Complete Guide to ‘Eua.
Land area: 87.44 km2 / 33.8 sq mi
A volcanic caldera in the northern reaches of Tonga, Niuafo’ou is Tonga’s most remote island at approximately 380km (236 miles) from Vava’u and 100km (62 miles) from its neighbour Niuatoputapu. The island has several villages and two lakes. It used to be nicknamed “Tin Can Island” due to its unusual method of sending and receiving mail by tin biscuit box tossed back and forth to passing ships. Learn more about this island in The Complete Guide to The Niuas.
Land area: 49km2 / 19 sq mi
This uninhabited volcanic island sits in a remote location in the southern part of the Vava’u Group. On the island is a 400m/yard-wide and 150m/yard-deep summit crater with a lake. The island is habitat to rare species of birds only found in Tonga, such as the Tongan whistler and the shy ground dove.
Land area: 28km2 / 10.9 sq mi
The other island that forms the island group The Niuas, Niuatoputapu is approximately 18km2 (7 sq mi). The island is considered the administrative hub of The Niuas with the group’s largest village, Hihifo, located here. The island is an extinct volcano with the highest point being 157m (515ft). Learn more about this island in The Complete Guide to The Niuas.
Land area: 18km2 / 7 sq mi
One of the largest islands in Ha’apai, Foa Island sits north of the main town of Ha’apai, Pangai, and is connected to Lifuka Island by a causeway. Foa Island is home to a couple of villages, as well as a couple of beach resorts. Learn more about the Ha’apai islands in The Complete Guide to Ha’apai.
Land area: 13.4km2 / 5.2 sq mi
Connected to Foa Island, Lifuka Island is considered the main island of the Ha’apai Group – an island group which is 62 islands scattered between Tongatapu and Vava’u. Lifuka Island is home to Pangai, the largest town in Ha’apai, and also has a number of villages. Lifuka also has a ferry terminal and an airport.
Land area: 11.4km2 / 4.4 sq mi
9. Pangaimotu (Vava’u)
Pangaimotu is an island attached to ‘Utu Vava’u in the Vava’u Group. It is home to a number of villages, a small selection of tourist accommodations, as well as plantations, especially for vanilla.
Land area: 9.2km2 / 3.5 sq mi
Nomuka lies in the south of the Ha’apai Group. The island with white sands, palm trees and a brackish lake in the middle is home to villages, plantations and a yacht club. There are no tourist accommodations on the island, but it is accessible by ferry.
Land area: 7km2 / 2.7 sq mi
More About the Largest Islands in Tonga
- Visiting Tonga: Main Island Vs. Outer Islands
- Understanding the Regions in Tonga
- The Best Islands to Visit in Tonga
That’s it for the largest islands in Tonga. For itineraries to put these destinations together, take a look at the following compilations: The Best Tonga Itineraries for 2 Weeks, The Best Tonga Itineraries for 1 Week, The Best Tonga Itineraries for 5 Days and The Best Tonga Itineraries for a Weekend.