How to Plan an Adults-Only Getaway to Tongatapu
We get it, not everyone wants to be disturbed by noisy kids on their island getaway. While other islands in the South Pacific have a reputation for being “full of kids”, that’s certainly not the case in Tonga. With much fewer visitors than other South Pacific islands, even in the high season, you’ll be surprised how easy it is to find yourself alone at major attractions and go whole days without seeing children (except perhaps the locals). But if you’re really wanting to make sure that your trip to Tongatapu has the desired tone, there is the odd adults-only lodge, as well as a few experiences aimed toward adults. Follow our advice in this adults-only travel guide to Tongatapu!
5 Adult-Only Activities on Tongatapu
Before we get into the nitty-gritty of planning an adults-only trip to Tongatapu, get an overview of experiences with these adult-only activities:
- Surf the epic reef breaks at Ha’atafu Beach
- Rent a car and explore the sights of Tongatapu
- Indulge in a relaxing island spa treatment
- Drink and be merry at Nuku’alofa’s bars and nightclubs
- Scuba or freedive among caves and corals.
Find out more about each activity in our list of the 10 Best Adult-Only Activities in Nuku’alofa & Tongatapu. Otherwise, simply keep on reading…
How to Get to Tongatapu
Tongatapu is the main hub of Tonga and one of the easiest Tongan islands to get to from overseas. The island has an international airport and cruise ship port and offers a wealth of ways to get around, from taxis to rental cars. Here’s more information on how to get to Tongatapu, as well as adult-only-friendly transport methods.
Tongatapu By Plane
Flights to Tongatapu arrive at Fua’amotu International Airport, approximately a 30-minute drive from Nuku’alofa. Direct flights to Fua’amotu Airport are available from Auckland (New Zealand), Sydney (Australia) and Nadi (Fiji), which all have connections. See Which Airlines Fly Straight to Tonga? for more advice. Domestic flights between Tongatapu and Tonga’s other islands are also available at the domestic terminal, as described in The Guide to Domestic Flights in Tonga. As for getting to Nuku’alofa or your accommodation from the airport, check out Tonga Airports: Your Airport Transfer Options.
Tongatapu By Cruise
Several international cruise liners have Tongatapu on the itinerary, anchoring at Vuna Wharf on the waterfront of Nuku’alofa. Although there are no adult-only cruises that visit Tongatapu, cruise ships that go to the island are listed in the 10 Cruises That Visit Tonga. For more information, check out The Guide to Taking a Cruise to Tonga.
How to Get Around Tongatapu
Tongatapu is well-connected by roads across and around the island, with most transport connections made in Nuku’alofa. Car rentals and bicycle rentals are an option for independent travel. Alternatively, bus services, taxis and guided tours are also available. Find out all you need to know about transport in our Tongatapu Transport Guide: 10 Ways to Get to (& Around) Tongatapu.
Activities on Tongatapu for Adults
Unlike other destinations in the South Pacific, you can often visit the “must-see” sights of Tongatapu with rarely any other tourists in sight! With that in mind, part of your adults-only holiday on Tongatapu can simply be hiring a car and hitting amazing sights like the Ha’amonga ‘a Maui Trilithon or relaxing on some of the nearly deserted beaches, like Keleti Beach and Monotapu Beach. We’ve made it easy with A Self-Guided Day Trip of Tongatapu: One Day Itinerary. Alternatively, private bespoke tours of the island are available with Tonga Travel Troupe and others listed in the 5 Best Guided Island Land Tours of Tongatapu. Otherwise, here are more ideas for adults-only holiday experiences…
A hidden gem of surfing in the South Pacific, Ha’atafu Beach is home to some of Tonga’s best surf breaks! Enjoy around 10 different surf breaks, uncrowded and ideal for experienced surfers (so don’t worry, you’re seriously unlikely to be sharing the waves with mini surfboards). The coastline here is perfectly situated to take advantage of swells from the distant South Pacific Ocean. For more tips, check out The Complete Guide to Surfing in Tonga.
In a private spa treatment room, shut out from the rest of the world and experience your own cacoon of bliss. Needless to say, an island massage is a reliably “adults only” experience. Some of the best spas can be found in Nuku’alofa, such as Island Glow (Taufa’ahau Road) offering a wide range of massages, couples massages, facials and beauty treatments. Compare your options using The 5 Best Spas in Nuku’alofa & Tongatapu.
Scuba or Freediving
Although not “adult-exclusive”, your group can hire a small charter dive boat for a reasonable price in Nuku’alofa. Either way, it’s not likely that your dive boat is likely to be full of kids, due to scuba divers having to be certified. As for the experience, Tonga’s underwater world presents many exciting sights! Explore caves created by volcanic activity now harbouring coral reefs viewed through crystal clear waters. Join operators from Faua Wharf for their fantastic dive offerings – check out The Best Snorkel & Scuba Dive Tours in Tongatapu & Nuku’alofa.
Tonga Golf Club
If you’re looking for a destination that naturally isn’t swarming with families, then you’re bound to find sanctuary at Tonga’s one and only golf course. The Tonga Golf Club is a park course with nine holes of challenges winding through the coconut palms. Learn more about the course in The Complete Guide to Golf in Tonga.
More Things to Do on Tongatapu
On top of all the activities mentioned, Tongatapu also has bicycle rental, local fitness classes, private tours and much more. We go over them all in the 10 Adult-Only Activities in Nuku’alofa & Tongatapu. For more experiences that don’t necessarily fall into the “adults-only” category but are still just as amazing, take a look at the 50 Best Things to Do on Tongatapu.
Nightlife on Tongatapu
The nightlife on Tongatapu mostly revolved around the nation’s capital, Nuku’alofa, where bars and nightclubs can be found along the waterfront and the city centre. Outside of Nuku’alofa, bars are found in the resorts around Tongatapu.
Bars and Nightclubs in Nuku’alofa
Nuku’alofa offers a wide range of nightlife, from a vibrant bar and nightclub scene to relaxing waterfront bars. Seaview Restaurant (Vuna Road) provides an endearing setting for sundowners with their cocktail deck soaking in the sunset during happy hour.
Poolside drinks can be enjoyed at the Tanoa International Dateline Hotel (Vuna Road). Their Fresh Bar & Grill offers seating in or out of the shade right by the pool, which offers an attractive setting to meet with friends and loved ones.
Alternatively, hit the karaoke at Nauti Ruby’s (Faua Wharf) before the evening’s DJ set begins or head to the city centre nightclubs of Reload (Taufa’auha Road) and Ciora (Taufa’auha Road). Finally, mingle with the locals and enjoy contemporary Tongan tunes at Tali’eva Inn & Bar (Taufa’auha Road).
Learn more about Nuku’alofa’s bar scene in Nuku’alofa & Tongatapu Nightlife Guide + 5 Things to Do at Night. Plus, check out happy hours in The Ultimate Guide to Nightlife in Tonga.
Tongan Umu Feasts and Floor Shows
An unmissable nightlife experience on Tongatapu is the Tongan umu feast and floor show. Resorts like ‘Oholei Beach Resort (Lavengatonga) and Katea Retreat (Nakolo) host elaborate buffets of traditional staples slow-cooked by hot stones, international favourites, and a Tongan favourite – a spitroast pig. Once you’re full to the brim, a floor show begins with traditional dancing and costume performed with grace and vigour – all depending on the dance style. A Tongan floor show is not a floor show without the fire dance finale! Learn more about these experiences in the 10 Best Cultural Shows in Tonga.
Dining on Tongatapu
Casual dine-in experiences with mouthwatering cuisine are what dining on Tongatapu is all about. Try some of Tonga’s local delicacies, such as ota ika (raw fish marinated in coconut cream) or lu (meat and coconut cream wrapped in taro leaves). Alternatively, European and Asian cuisine is well represented across Tongatapu’s restaurants should you want to mix things up. Alternatively, those on a budget will find that self-catering is a viable option.
Restaurants on Tongatapu
The largest and most diverse choice of restaurants can be found in Nuku’alofa. Get your dose of European cuisine with a Polynesian twist at Chef Zero (Popua). Their specialities include steaks with a choice of sauces, pork with mouthwatering apple sauce, and fish served in local and international ways.
Dine in or eat al fresco at Little Italy (Vuna Road) on the waterfront. There’s a wonderful choice of creative pizzas, as well as safe favourites. Pasta, steak, lobster and fish are also available on the menu.
A little further along from Little Italy, Seaview Lodge & Restaurant (Vuna Road) offers an upmarket dining experience and cocktail deck overlooking the waterfront. Favourites include octopus with grilled vegetables and grilled snapper on homemade lemon butter sauce.
Get amazing views of the city from The TOP Restaurant & Lounge (Cnr Wellington & Taua’ahau Rds). The entrance is simply an elevator taking you to a large lounge and dining area. As for the menu, choose from an array of international dishes, from tacos to seafood to gourmet burgers.
A surefire way to save money on food and ensure a quiet night is to cook your own meals. Stay at one of the 10 Best Self-Catering Accommodations in Nuku’alofa & Tongatapu and pick up groceries from the many convenience stores, fale koloa and roadside produce stalls to whip up your own sustenance! Check out The Guide to Supermarkets & Food Shopping in Tonga for more tips for a self-catering trip.
More About Planning an Adults-Only Trip to Tongatapu
That’s it for our guide to adults-only trips to Tongatapu. For more about planning the ultimate adults-only escape to Tonga, take a look at the following:
- 5 Best Adults-Only Resorts in Tonga
- The Adults-Only Vacation Guide to Tonga
- 10 Adult-Only Activities in Tonga