Taxis in Tonga: Travel Advice
Taxis are the universal symbol of “getting around”. While in some countries, they are known to be horrifically expensive, in Tonga, taxi travel is actually quite affordable – not your cheapest option, but affordable. If you need to travel to or from the airport, travel across town or get to an out-of-town accommodation, taxis are usually a reliable way to go. Find out about where you can get taxis, what to expect and how much they cost in this guide to taxis in Tonga.
Tips for Taking the Taxi in Tonga
- Registered taxis in Tonga have a “T” at the beginning of their registration plate
- Ask the going rate for your trip before getting in the taxi, as most taxis in Tonga don’t use meters
- Guest houses might say that they are arranging a “taxi” for you, but know that most of the time its a family member giving you a ride
- Taxis do not operate on Sundays (unless, ya know, it’s an “unofficial” taxi)
- Taxi drivers can be hired on an hourly basis in Vava’u
For more details on each tip, as well as more travel advice, see the 10 Things to Know About Taxis in Tonga.
What are the Taxis Like in Tonga?
Taxis in Tonga are usually pretty old cars, people-movers and minivans. While some taxis will have the taxi sign on the roof of the vehicle, others will not. But all “official” taxis can be identified by the letter “T” at the beginning of the vehicle’s number plate.
Some taxis in Tongatapu have meters, while most taxis don’t or don’t use them, so it’s always best to ask an approximate fare before getting in the cab so that you don’t end up with any unwanted surprises. You will need to pay the taxi driver with cash.
Some taxis, particularly on Vava’u, offer tours or driver hire for an hourly rate. See Hiring a Driver in Tonga for more information.
Note that when you ask to book a taxi at guest houses, you’ll sometimes find that you’re provided with one of the owner’s family members with a car. You’ll just pay the rate offered.
Where to Get a Taxi in Tonga
Taxis are available on the main islands of Tongatapu, Vava’u and sometimes on Lifuka Island in Ha’apai. There are no taxi services in ‘Eua and The Niuas.
Taxis in Tongatapu
Taxis in Tongatapu meet incoming flights at Fua’amotu International Airport. Taxi ranks can also be found outside of the Talamahu Market in Nuku’alofa. There are also taxi depots in the centre of Nuku’alofa, including Wellington Taxi on Wellington Road, Oneway Road Taxi Service on the oneway road between Unga Road and Taufa’ahau Road, and Holiday Taxi on Fatafehi Road. You can ask your accommodation to book taxis for you.
Learn more about transport in Tongatapu here.
Taxis in Vava’u
Taxis can be found on the main island of Vava’u at Lupepauʻu International Airport. They can also be found in the town of Neiafu, parked up on Kovana Road next to the Tonga Post Office and opposite the ANZ bank building. Taxis can also be booked through accommodation.
Learn more about transport in Vava’u here.
Taxis in Ha’apai
Taxi services come and go in Ha’apai, where your best bet is to try your chances when landing at Salote Pilolevu Airport or ask at the Tourist Information Centre or the Mariner’s Cafe for the latest taxi services and their phone numbers. Currently, there’s “Becky and Longo” offering taxi services and tours of the island.
Learn more about transport in Ha’apai here.
The Cost of Taxis in Tonga
Some taxis in Tongatapu have metres but only a limited few use them. It’s more common in Tonga to have set rates for common destinations, especially in Vava’u where rates are recommended by the government.
Typical Taxi Fares in Tongatapu
- Fua’amotu Airport – Nuku’alofa: Around TOP$30-$50
- Fua’amotu Airport International Terminal-Domestic Terminal: Around TOP$5
- Around Nuku’alofa: Around TOP$5-$8
Typical Taxi Fares in Vava’u
- Lupepauʻu Airport – Neiafu: Around TOP$25
- Neiafu – ‘Utungake Island (Tongan Beach Resort, Mystic Sands): Around TOP$35
- Neiafu – Talihau: Around TOP$40
- Neiafu – Mt Talau – Around TOP$5-$10
For more taxi fare examples anf more information on prices, see Taxi Prices in Tonga: The Costs You Need to Know.