3-Day Family Itinerary for Tonga
With 169 islands spread into five major island groups, Tonga is certainly an island nation that you’re going to want to explore in at least a week – at the very least! But if you don’t have the time to spend a week or two in Tonga, don’t worry. You can still take the kids on a long-weekend getaway to the main island on Tonga, Tongatapu. The island is home to some amazing water activities, from snorkelling excurisions to whale watching. Additionally, the island has most of Tonga’s main natural and historical attractions dotted around the 260km2 (100miles2) island. See how you can make the most of a weekend away in this Tonga family itinerary for 3 days.
For more holiday ideas, take a look at What to Do for 3 Days in Tonga on a Family Vacation TI047.
How to Get Around Tonga in 3 Days
The itinerary below sticks to the island of Tongatapu, which is well-connected by roads. Airport transfers, taxis, guided driving tours and car rentals are a viable option for getting around the island. If you want to rent a car, you will need to pick up a Visitor’s Driving License from the Transport Division from the Ministry of Infrastructure in Nuku’alofa – more information on that in Things to Know About Car Rental in Tonga.
Learn more about transport in Tongatapu in the 10 Ways to Get to Tongatapu (& Around Tongatapu).
Day 1 – Fua’amotu Airport to Nuku’alofa
Travel time: 30 minutes
Welcome to Tonga and Tongatapu! You’ll arrive at Fua’amotu International Airport where an accommodation transfer will be waiting for you if you’ve arranged it. Otherwise, taxis will be waiting to take you to where you need to go.
Nuku’alofa is the main hub of Tongatapu and a great base for a three-day trip to Tonga. It’s where most tours and experiences depart and where you’ll also find the widest range of kid-friendly accommodation. Not to mention the array of restaurants.
Get started on exploring the town, checking out the majestic Royal Palace or shopping for fun gifts at the Talamahu Market, which won’t take you long. If you want to hire a car, you can sort out the logistics by getting your Visitor Driving License.
Things to Do in Nuku’alofa with Kids
- Spend an afternoon of learning all about the Tongan culture at Ancient Tonga
- Shop for unique Tongan gifts at the Talamahu Market
- See the sights, like the Royal Palace, the Royal Tombs and more
- Let the kids loose while you have a picnic at Popua Park
- Try Tongan coffee and treats while the kids play at the playground at Tupu’Anga Cafe
For more information on each activity, see the 10 Things to Do in Nuku’alofa with Kids.
Family Accommodation in Nuku’alofa
- Little Italy Hotel & Restaurant
- Joe’s Khana Resort
- Nanisi Apartments
- Villa Apartments
- Villa Lodge
- Villa Ishadora
- Tanoa International Dateline Hotel
- City Hotel
- The Friendly Islander (Papiloa’s Place)
- Emerald Hotel
- JeZAmi Hotel
- Diamond-Lei Haven
- Green Lodge Holiday Homes
- Toni’s Guesthouse
- Tungi Colonnade Hotel
Learn more about our top recommendations in the 10 Best Family Accommodation in Nuku’alofa.
Day 2 – Explore Tongatapu
Travel time: Sightseeing to all the major highlights can be comfortably done in 6 hours or less if you want to miss a few things out.
Make the most of your one full day in Tonga by exploring the sights! There are some amazing natural and historical attractions that the kids will love, including the Mapu ‘a Vaea Blowholes, the flying foxes in the village of Kolovai or the hilarious Fishing Pigs near Mu’a. The Ha’amonga ‘a Maui Trilithon, otherwise known as the Stonehenge of the South Pacific, is definitely one for the list, while Tsunami Rock is an interesting natural attraction which you’ll learn more about on the interpretation signs there.
Things to Do in Tongatapu with Kids
- Check out the natural water features of the Mapu ‘a Vaea Blowholes
- Delve into ‘Anahulu Cave and swim in the cave pool
- See and listen to the squeaking flying foxes in the trees of Kolovai
- Watch the hilarious fishing pigs in Mu’a
- Check out Tsunami Rock
- Build sandcastles at one of Tongatapu’s glorious beaches
- Kayak around a tranquil lagoon in Holonga Village
- See what a Tongan school is like at the Toloa Topou College and check out its rainforest
- Watch a Tongan cultural show
- Go whale watching in the whale season (June-October)
Learn more about each experience and more in our 10 Things to Do on Tongatapu with Kids.
Day 3 – Nuku’alofa to Fua’amotu International Airport
Travel time: 30 minutes
What did we tell you: three days is definitely not enough to fully experience Tonga! Next time, you’ll have to come for one week or even two to explore more of the islands.
In the meantime, have some food in town – take a look at our Nuku’alofa Food Guide for recommendations, before making your way to the airport. The cafe there is expensive and, well, let’s just day you’ll prefer eating in town. Most accommodations in Nuku’alofa offer airport transfers, but if not, ask them to book you a taxi.
Nofo a (goodbye) from Tonga!