Tonga Nightlife: Where to Drink, Where to Relax and Where to Party
Ok, so Tonga isn’t no Ibiza but it does have a surprising mix of nightlife across the islands. In the capital, which is one of the world’s smallest metropolises, you’ll find a range of cool waterfront bars, as well as a nightclub in the centre. Travel to Tonga’s central island group, Ha’apai, and you can drink at the island’s sole bar (or you could mission to one of the resort bars). Or if you’re spending time in Vava’u, drink with the yachties in one of the town’s bars with epic views of the harbour. Well, that’s the Tonga nightlife in a nutshell, but you can jump into more detail in the below guide to the nightlife in Tonga.
Drinks That You Have to Try in Tonga
- Kava – Kava is the national drink of Tonga, but it is not typically served in bars. Kava is the ground-up root of a pepper plant mixed with water, which can be tried at some resorts
- ‘Otai – A Tongan fruit drink usually made with watermelon
- Maui Pacific Larger – A Tongan craft beer from the Pacific Brewing Co.
- Coconut Water – It hardly gets fresher than tasting coconut water fresh from the nut!
- Tropical Cocktail – Made with real fruit harvested from the islands!
Learn more about each drink mentioned and more in the 10 Drinks in Tonga You Have to Try.
Bars and Nightclubs in Tongatapu
Arguably the best place to experience the Tonga nightlife is in the city centre or waterfront bars of Nuku’alofa. Known as the “abode of love”, Nuku’alofa is the nation’s capital and most developed area of Tonga. With that in mind, it is where you’ll find your party vibe until around 1am Monday-Friday and until 12am on a Saturday. As for the rest of Tongatapu, you’ll only really find bars at the resorts.
Bars and Nightclubs in Nuku’alofa
At Faua Wharf, you have a few awesome venues to drink with the boaties, watch the game and relax with your mates or the locals. Nauti Ruby’s Bar & Nightclub has a fun nautical theme and serves up a great selection of Tongan beers, wines, cocktails and fresh coconuts! Nearby, Ngutulei Bar & Restaurant is also a popular spot, which often has good deals on whisky shots, bourbon and cola and beer.
Opposite Faua Wharf, check out the Billfish Bar & Restaurant. This popular open-air bar has a full bar with a range of Australian, New Zealand and Tongan drinks.
Elsewhere on the waterfront of Nuku’alofa, you’ll find Vuna Restaurant & Bar on the west side of the Royal Palace. Unwind with a drink in their attractive beer garden and catch live bands and chat with the locals.
Finally, in the city centre opposite the Friends Cafe, is the Reload Bar is your ultimate party bar in Nuku’alofa. Beer comes in pints, jugs and towers and music comes in all kinds of styles and themes depending on which night you go.
The Best Resort Bars in Tongatapu
While we simply don’t have enough space to list all the possible resort bars you can head to around Tongatapu, some of the best to enjoy as both a guest of the resorts and as a non-guest include the Heilala Holiday Lodge at Ha’atafu Beach on the western side of Tongatapu. A good place to watch the sunset and have a couple of sundowners from the elevated deck is at the Treetop Bar at the Liku’alofa Resort.
And if you’re staying on one of the outer islands or visiting as part of a day trip, The Royal Sunset Island Resort on ‘Atata Island has a good open-air bar and restaurant in an attractive high-ceiling fale, which pour a wide range of drinks. Fafa Island Resort‘s on-site bar is also a great place to end a hard day of whale swimming, snorkelling or simply doing nothing at all. They have New Zealand and Australian wines, local and international beers and creative cocktails where, of course, the coconut milk is fresh!
Bars in Ha’apai
Ha’apai is one of the least-developed island groups in Tonga, so certainly don’t expect a choice if you come here seeking watering holes. Nevertheless, it is home to an iconic and well-established bar, the Mariner’s Cafe & Restaurant. Open for breakfast, lunch, dinner and drinks, the Mariner’s Cafe on Fau Road, Pangai is a popular traveller’s hangout and a good place to get information on epic things to do around the islands. They have Tongan beer on tap, tropical punches, iced coffee, fresh lemonade and much more.
Travel to the tip of Foa Island or stay at one of the resorts there and you’ll find Matafonua Lodge and its restaurant and bar. Gaze across the sandy shores as you enjoy something from their surprisingly extensive wine list or enjoy a refreshing beer.
Another resort with a bar that is open to non-guests is the Ha’apai Beach Resort, which is on Fau Road on Lifuka. They have a relaxed bar looking out across the beach.
Check out the other resorts around Ha’apai in the 10 Best Resorts in Ha’apai.
Bars in Vava’u
In the islands of Vava’u, you’ll find Tonga’s second-largest town, Neiafu, with its own small but good selection of watering holes. Otherwise, there are resorts dotted around the 50 islands of the group which will keep you watered while you’re in your own piece of isolated paradise.
Bars in Neiafu
Drink with the yachties which practically use the Mango Cafe on the waterfront as the Neiafu Yacht Club. Dangling over the edge of the marina, the Mango Cafe has a variety of beers on tap, as well as wines, cocktails and more to keep you merry.
Get a more elevated view of the small-boat marina from the Bellavista Cafe & Restaurant which might be more renowned for its food but makes for a good place to drink at the bar and watch the harbour. They pour a range of mixers, wines, beers and a few cocktails.
On the hillside at the southern end of Neiafu on Fatafehi Road, The Basque Tavern has a bar, free WiFi and a pool table, so what more could you need?
Learn more about these bars’ food offerings in the Guide to the Best Eats & Restaurants in Vava’u.
The Best Resort Bars in Vava’u
If staying on the main islands of Vava’u, you’ll be able to check out the bar at the Tongan Beach Resort. They have a huge cocktail menu to take advantage of, as well as all the other essential drinks, including mixers, wines and beers. Find them on the shores of ‘Utungake, connected to the main island by a causeway.
Many of Vava’u’s other island resorts are pretty hard to get to unless you’re a guest or on a cruise ship, but some of the bars that stand out include the Moby Dick Bar at the Mounu Island Resort, the bar and restaurant at The Reef Resort, the Mandala Restaurant & Beach Bar at the Mandala Island Resort, the bar at Treasure Island Eco Resort and more!
Check out the 10 Best Resorts in Vava’u.