Tonga Family Itinerary: 14 Days
Tonga Family Itinerary: 14 Days

Tonga Family Itinerary: 14 Days / Two Weeks

(c) tongapocketguide.com

14-Day Family Itinerary for Tonga

For the adventurous family who wants to try a new and still relatively unexplored region of the South Pacific, Tonga is an excellent choice! It provides the ideal mix of relaxation and adventure, with culture-filled towns and villages, waters harbouring all kinds of life (including whales!), and, of course, white sand beaches. While there are five major island groups in Tonga, we only recommend visiting three if travelling with youngsters, allowing for enough time to rest between each destination and to make the most of the places you visit. Get inspiration for where to go with this Tonga family itinerary for 14 days!

For holiday ideas with less moving around, take a look at What to Do for 14 Days in Tonga on a Family Vacation TI044.

How to Get Around Tonga in 14 Days

The itinerary below involves travel both over land and over water – that’s the beauty of travelling a South Pacific nation! While we do give travel tips throughout this itinerary, here’s a quick rundown of how to get around Tonga with a family.

Road Transport in Tonga

The largest islands in the island groups mentioned below are well-connected by roads. Tongatapu and Vava’u have car rentals and taxi services, while all destinations mentioned have accommodations that offer transfers to and from your arrival airport/wharf.

Overwater Transport in Tonga

Getting between the island groups requires travel by either plane or ferry. Ferries are the cheapest option at the expense of time, which can take several hours to get between the three island groups mentioned in this itinerary. While they could be a viable option for travelling between Tongatapu and Ha’apai, then Ha’apai to Vava’u, we recommend flying back from Vava’u to Tongatapu to avoid at least a 16 to 24 hours journey by ferry. Flights operate between the islands daily except on Sundays.

Learn more about transport in each of the destinations mentioned in the following guides:

Tonga Family Itinerary: 14 Days(c) tongapocketguide.com

Day 1 – Kanokupolu, Tongatapu

Travel time: 50 minutes

Welcome to Tonga! Your arrival island in Tongatapu where you’ll land at Fua’motu International Airport. To get over your flight and prepare yourself for the two weeks ahead, we recommend spending a couple of days in one of Tongatapu’s glorious beachfront resorts in the Kanokupolu area on the west side of the island. Accommodations offer airport transfers, so arrange that before arriving on the island. They’ll be waiting for you at the airport on arrival, ready to whisk you away to paradise.

Check into your family-friendly resort or beach fales (bungalows) and make the most of the resorts’ complimentary use of kayaks, snorkelling gear and build sandcastles on the beach. Dine at your resort’s restaurant or buy groceries from the nearest kale koloa (convenience store).

Family Accommodation in Kanokupolu

Learn more about these accommodations and more in 10 Best Family Accommodation on Tongatapu.

Tonga Family Itinerary: 14 Days(c) tongapocketguide.com

Day 2 – Kanokupolu, Tongatapu

Take another day to relax at your resort or do a couple of short sightseeing trips in the area. Swim, snorkel and play at Ha’atafu Beach, check out the scenic lookout at the Abel Tasman Landing Site and watch the flying foxes in the village of Kolovai. If it’s a Wednesday or a Friday, catch a cultural show at either the Vakaloa Resort or Liku’alofa Resort, complete with a delicious Tongan buffet feast!

Things to Do in Kanokupolu, Tongatapu with Kids

  • See the flying foxes in Kolovai
  • Build sandcastles on one of the Tongatapu beaches
  • Watch a Tongan cultural show and indulge in a Tongan feast
  • Watch whales from shore between July and October
  • See the Abel Tasman Landing Site
  • See the Christianity Landing Site

Learn more about each experience in our 10 Things to Do on Tongatapu with Kids.

Tonga Family Itinerary: 14 Days(c) tongapocketguide.com

Day 3 – Kanokuplu to Nuku’alofa

Travel time: 30 minutes

Now that you’re well-rested, you can head to the main hub of the island, Nuku’alofa. This is where all your major activities depart. Plus, it makes a great base for sightseeing trips. Take the time to explore the town, and if you want to hire a car, pick up your car rental in town.

Things to Do in Nuku’alofa with Kids

  • Shop for Tongan presents at the Talamahu Market
  • Check out interesting city sights, like the Royal Palace, the Royal Tombs and more
  • Play and have a picnic at Popua Park
  • Learn how to do Tongan arts and crafts at Ancient Tonga (more info on Viator and Tripadvisor)
  • Have a coffee while the kids play at the playground at Tupu’Anga Cafe

For more information on each activity, take a look at the 10 Things to Do in Nuku’alofa with Kids.

Family Accommodation in Nuku’alofa

Learn more about our top recommendations in the 10 Best Family Accommodation in Nuku’alofa.

Tonga Family Itinerary: 14 Days(c) tongapocketguide.com

Day 4 – Nuku’alofa

Now is a good time to do one of the day trips available from Nuku’alofa, such as sightseeing around Tongatapu checking out Mapu ‘a Vaea Blowholes, Tsunami Rock, Ha’amonga ‘ Maui Trilithon and more. Otherwise, there are whale watching tours (children are better off watching from the boat if they are not competent swimmers), snorkelling day trips and island day trips to one of the nearby outer islands.

Family Day Trips from Nuku’alofa

For more information, for sightseeing tours, see The Best Guided Tours of Tongatapu. Plus, check out the best sights around Tongatapu to see with children in the 10 Things To Do on Tongatapu with Kids.

Tonga Family Itinerary: 14 Days(c) Tonga Ministry of Tourism

Day 5 – Nuku’alofa to Ha’apai

Travel time: 50 minutes flight or 8-12 hours ferry

Today, you either fly or take the ferry to Tonga’s middle island group, Ha’apai! It will feel like a whole slower pace of life here even compared to Tongatapu. The islands are extremely family-friendly with sheltered waters to do a number of watersports – not to mention the beaches! This is where you’ll get your relaxing South Seas holiday experience in Tonga.

Your accommodation will arrange transfers from the wharf/airport to their resort. Get settled in and embrace “island time”.

Family Accommodation in Ha’apai

Find out more about each accommodation in our 7 Best Family Accommodation in Ha’apai.

Tonga Family Itinerary: 14 Days(c) tongapocketguide.com

Day 6 – Ha’apai

You have the next few days to discover what Ha’apai is all about! It’s a spectacular island group for whale watching tours between July and October thanks to its uncrowded waters with very few operators. The waters are sheltered enough for kids to snorkel, kayak, even surf from the beach.

Things to Do in Ha’apai with Kids

  • Watch whales on a whale watching tour
  • Check out the tropical fish by snorkelling from your resort
  • Go on a family mission in a kayak or stand-up paddleboard
  • Learn how to make your own woven basket with the local villagers
  • Explore the islands on horseback

For more details on each experience, see the 10 Things To Do in Ha’apai with Kids.

Tonga Family Itinerary: 14 Days(c) Tonga Ministry of Tourism

Day 7 – Ha’apai

You have much more time to relax in Ha’apai! Here are some more ways to spend your time with the family in paradise…

More Things to Do in Ha’apai with Kids

  • Head out on a family fishing trip
  • Do some reef walking
  • Build sandcastles on the beach
  • Check out some of the historical sites
  • Drink from a coconut
  • Do a Ha’apai sightseeing tour with Teta Tours & Travel (more info on Viator and Tripadvisor)

Again, more details can be found in the 10 Things To Do in Ha’apai with Kids.

Tonga Family Itinerary: 14 Days(c) Tonga Ministry of Tourism

Day 8 – Ha’apai

It’s your final full day in the island paradise of Ha’apai. If you haven’t managed to do everything mentioned so far, then you might find more inspiration for things to do in our Ha’apai recommendations:

Tonga Family Itinerary: 14 Days(c) tongapocketguide.com

Day 9 – Ha’apai to Vava’u

Travel time: 7 to 9 hours by ferry or 2 hours flight via Tongatapu (direct flights are no longer available between Ha’apai and Vava’u)

Catch the ferry to the next island group on the itinerary, Vava’u! Vava’u is the ultimate adventure playground with a few fantastic experiences for all ages. We’ll get more into that tomorrow. For now, you’ll arrive at the wharf in the main town, Neiafu. Accommodation providers will arrange transfers or taxis are available.

Family Accommodation in Vava’u

For more information on each accommodation, check out the 10 Best Family Accommodation in Vava’u.

Tonga Family Itinerary: 14 Days(c) Tonga Ministry of Tourism

Day 10 – Vava’u

There are highlights both on land and on the water in Vava’u, where one of the top sights include Swallow’s Cave, a large sea cave that you can swim into with magnificent schools of fish. Additionally, don’t miss the ‘Ene’io Botanical Gardens where there’s plenty of space for the little ones to run around while mum and dad can learn about the fascinating tropical plants found across the islands.

Things to Do in Vava’u with Kids

  • Go on a whale-watching boat tour
  • Do a boat cruise and see Swallows’ Cave
  • See a cultural show, play at the beach and do a guided tour at ‘Ene’io Botanical Garden
  • Have a peek and a swim in the Veimumuni Cave
  • Do some kayaking
  • Snorkel from your resort
  • Build sandcastles on the beach
  • Treat yourselves to a family sailing trip
  • See the sights on a land tour of Vava’u’s main islands
  • Visit a local school and donate some supplies!

Learn more about each activity in the 10 Things To Do in Vava’u with Kids.

Tonga Family Itinerary: 14 Days(c) tongapocketguide.com

Day 11 – Vava’u

Take the time today to do anything on your bucket list that you might have missed yesterday. Otherwise, you can get a lot more inspiration for things to do from the following guides:

Tonga Family Itinerary: 14 Days(c) tongapocketguide.com

Day 12 – Vava’u to Tongatapu

Travel time: 1-hour flight

It’s time to leave the islands of Vava’u behind. Although it would be nicer to stay longer before returning to the mainland, we recommend leaving a couple of days before your scheduled flight out of Tonga, as flights from Vava’u are often cancelled if there is low visibility or bad weather. And yes, we recommend flying over the ferry for your return trip to Tongatapu, as the ferry crossing is at least 10 hours, which can be exhausting for all ages…

Once you arrive back in Tongatapu, accommodation providers can transport you to your Nuku’alofa accommodation. Otherwise, taxis and shuttles are available. As a reminder, these are some of the best places to stay for families in Nuku’alofa…

Family Accommodation in Nuku’alofa

See the 10 Best Family Accommodation in Nuku’alofa for more details.

Tonga Family Itinerary: 14 Days(c) tongapocketguide.com

Day 13 – Nuku’alofa

You have one final full day in Tongatapu to do anything you might have missed, whether it’s taking a tour to see some of the amazing sights like the Ha’amonga ‘a Maui Trilithon or the hilarious “Fishing Pigs”! If it’s a Sunday, be sure to experience some of the glorious harmonious singing at one of the Sunday church services!

For more tips on how to spend your final day in Nuku’alofa, see The Guide to Nuku’alofa for Families.

Tonga Family Itinerary: 14 Days(c) tongapocketguide.com

Day 14 – Nuku’alofa to Fua’amotu International Airport

Travel time: 30 minutes

Taxis and accommodation transfers are available to transport you and your family from Nuku’alofa to Fua’amotu International Airport. Have a bite to eat in the city before making your way to the airport, using the recommendations in our Guide to the Best Eats & Restaurants in Nuku’alofa, as the airport cafe is expensive (and frankly not good).

Nofo a (goodbye) from Tonga!

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