How to Camp in Tonga
Zipping open your tent on a pristine beach and popping your toes in the sand is what most of us imagine when camping in Tonga. But can you actually camp in Tonga? While you might not be allowed to camp just anywhere, there are accommodations with campsites, camping tours, as well as glamping experiences. We go through all of your options for camping in Tonga in the guide below.
Can You Camp in Tonga?
You can only camp in Tonga with the permission of the landowner. It is illegal to camp on public land and reserves.
The best way to camp in Tonga is to stay at accommodation which has tent sites, to stay at a resort that offering “glamping”, or to partake in a tour that offers camping where the appropriate permissions have be sought on your behalf. We go through all of those ways of camping in the guide below.
Accommodation with Campsites
There are a few accommodations around Tonga that allow guests to bring their own tents and camp on their grounds. There is a fee to camp at these accommodations, which is typically around TOP$20. This gives you access to the accommodation’s communal facilities.
Some of the accommodations in Tonga which offer camping include…
On the island of ‘Eua, Taina’s Place has spacious grounds for camping. The accommodation is located beside the ‘Eua National Park where there are self-guided hikes available. Your hosts can also organise guided hikes, whale watching, cultural activities and other activities. The accommodation is not close to shops or supermarkets, so bring your own supplies to use in the communal kitchen or meals are available on request. Learn more about staying on this island in The Guide to ‘Eua on a Budget.
On the uninhabited island of Uoleva in Ha’apai, Taiana’s Resort offers its own beach fales, as well as the option to camp on their beachfront grounds. The accommodation is good for snorkelling and kayak hire is available for a fee. The resort is quite remote, so meals need to be purchased with the resort. Learn more about staying in this island group in The Guide to Ha’apai on a Budget.
Tours with Camping
Another way to experience camping in Tonga is on a guided experience. This means that permission has been acquired by local landowners from your tour operator. Camping gear is also included in the tours. A couple of camping tours in Tonga include…
Friendly Islands Kayak Company
The Friendly Islands Kayak Company offer multi-day kayaking trips in the island groups of Vava’u and Ha’apai. Many of their tours involve camping each night of the trip or doing a mix of camping and staying in resorts.
A tent, groundsheet and foam air mattress are included in the tour. Their tents have two doors for ventilation, mosquito screening and are seam-sealed against the rain. Guests will need to bring a summer-weight sleeping bag.
Learn more about their kayak tours in The Best Kayak Tours in Tonga.
Beluga Diving is based in Neiafu, Vava’u. They offer camping trips to some of the uninhabited islands of Vava’u with camping on the beach.
They transport guests by boat to the islands for camping, as well as other activities such as whale watching (in the whale season), snorkelling, scuba diving, kayaking and relaxing. They also organise barbecues on the beach for guests.
Glamping in Tonga
Forget about “roughing it”, there’s also the option to do glamping in Tonga. There are a couple of resorts in Tonga that have safari tents set up on elevated decks and kitted out with bedroom furniture to provide a more comfortable camping experience.
Sea Change Eco Retreat
An eco-resort on Uoleva Island in Ha’apai, Sea Change Eco Retreat offers glamping in large safari tents which are more than 2m (6.5ft) tall. Each tent is set in its own private space in the coastal forest and is kitted out with a queen-sized bed and solar lighting, while the private front garden has a hammock and a deck with a table and chairs. There is also a private bathroom with hot showers and a composting toilet near the tent site. Check out more resorts like this in the 10 Best Eco Resorts in Tonga.
The Lolofutu Beach Barn
Also in Ha’apai, The Lolofutu Beach Barn is operated by Whale Discoveries and is only available in the whale season to combine the stay with an all-inclusive package with whale swimming. Accommodation is in safari tents with a private deck and a sun/rain cover. Guests share bathroom facilities with cold water and a composting toilet.