5-Day Family Itinerary for Tonga

If you’re lucky enough to be heading to the Kingdom of Tonga but are unlucky enough to only have five days on the islands, then this itinerary will show you how to make the most of it! Even when travelling with kids, you can enjoy a couple of island groups, Tongatapu and Ha’apai, which we recommend as the most family-friendly. We’ll guide you through the things to do, where to stay and how to get around in this Tonga family itinerary for 5 days!

For family holiday ideas with less travel and more relaxing, take a look at What to Do for 5 Days in Tonga on a Family Vacation TI046.

How to Get Around Tonga in 5 Days

To really make the most of your five days in Tonga, you’re going to want to do both land and overwater travel. Although we give some travel tips in the itinerary, here’s a quick overview for transport in Tonga.

Road Transport in Tonga

Tongatapu is well-connected by roads, making airport transfers, taxis, guided driving tours and car rentals a viable option for getting around the island on a five-day itinerary. Those renting a car will need to get a Visitor’s Driving License from Nuku’alofa, which you can read up about in Things to Know About Car Rental in Tonga. In Ha’apai, getting around will rely on your accommodation provider, while bicycle rental is also an option to travel around the main (but small) islands.

Overwater Transport in Tonga

Getting between Tongatapu and Ha’apai requires travel by either plane or ferry. Flights between the islands operate daily taking approximately 50 minutes to make the journey. Ferries are a cheaper option, where crossings take approximately 3h30min-5h30min. There are no ferry or plane services on a Sunday.

Learn more about transport and getting around Tongatapu and Ha’apai in the following guides:

Day 1 – Fua’amotu Airport to Nuku’alofa

Tonga Family Itinerary: 5 Days

(c) tongapocketguide.com

Travel time: 30 minutes

Welcome to Tonga and the main island, Tongatapu! You’ll arrive at Fua’amotu International Airport where you’re accommodation transfer will be waiting or you’ll be able to get a cab to Nuku’alofa.

Nuku’alofa is the main hub of Tongatapu and the nation’s capital. It’s a good base for a stay in Tongatapu, as most tours depart from here. You’ll also find the widest range of kid-friendly accommodation in the town, as well as an array of eateries to try the local cuisine (and international favourites if your kids are fussy eaters).

If you have time, get started on some of the shorter activities today, as you’ll have time to explore more of Tongatapu later into the trip. Check out the Royal Palace or let the kids choose presents at the Talamahu Market. In the suburbs, you’ll find hidden gems like the Tupu’Anga Cafe with a kids’ playground, Popua Park or the Ancient Tonga cultural centre!

Things to Do in Nuku’alofa with Kids

  • Do some sightseeing of the Royal Palace, the Royal Tombs and more
  • Browse the amazing array of crafts at the Talamahu Market
  • Get the kids to learn how to make their own Tongan crafts and at Ancient Tonga
  • Let the kids loose in the playground and have a picnic at Popua Park
  • Try Tongan coffee and treats at Tupu’Anga Cafe, which also has a playground

For more information on each experience, see the 10 Things to Do in Nuku’alofa with Kids.

Family Accommodation in Nuku’alofa

Learn more about where to stay in Nuku’alofa the 10 Best Family Accommodation in Nuku’alofa.

Day 2 – Nuku’alofa to Ha’apai

Tonga Family Itinerary: 5 Days

(c) Tonga Ministry of Tourism

Travel time: 30-minute drive and 50-minute flight or just 3h30mins on the ferry.

It’s time to start exploring the real Tonga, such as the central island group of Ha’apai! This group of 62 islands – 45 of which are uninhabited, is where you’ll get your South Seas experience with white sandy shores, swaying coconut palms and tranquil turquoise waters. The sheltered waters are what makes the islands so family-friendly, where kids can get stuck into water activities and see an amazing array of marine life.

Once you arrive at the wharf/airport on the main island, Lifuka, your chosen resort will be waiting for you with transfers. Get settled in, relax on the beach, indulge in the what’s served up in the meal plan, and get ready for a few exciting days ahead.

Family Accommodation in Ha’apai

Find out more about each kid-friendly resort in our 7 Best Family Accommodation in Ha’apai.

Day 3 – Ha’apai

Tonga Family Itinerary: 5 Days

(c) Tonga Ministry of Tourism

You have the whole day to embrace this piece of paradise. Relax on the beach where you’ll be able to go out snorkelling around pristine coral reefs, kayak over calm waters, watch whale from a whale watching tour or from shore, go on a family fishing trip and much more! If you prefer to stick to dry land, horse riding or crafting with the local villagers through organised resort tours is a great way to immerse in the culture.

Things to Do in Ha’apai with Kids

  • Watch whales on a whale watching tour or from shore (July-October)
  • Snorkel over coral reefs with hundreds of tropical fish straight from the beaches
  • Get out on the water in a kayak or stand-up paddleboard
  • Hire a fishing charter for the whole family for the morning
  • Explore the island on horseback
  • Learn to make your own hat or basket in a weaving lesson
  • Find interesting rock pool residents in a reef walk
  • Build sandcastles on the beach
  • Tour Lifuka and Foa Island to check out their historical sites and lookouts

For more details on some of these activities, see the 10 Things To Do in Ha’apai with Kids.

Day 4 – Ha’apai to Tongatapu

Tonga Family Itinerary: 5 Days

(c) tongapocketguide.com

Travel time: 30-minute drive and 50-minute flight or just 3h30mins on the ferry.

This is when you realise that five days isn’t enough to make the most of Tonga! Make the most of the beaches and perhaps stop for a bite to eat at the Mariner’s Cafe before catching your flight or ferry back to Tongatapu.

Back in Tongatapu, you will probably have time to do a bit of sightseeing around at least one side of the island. On the eastern side, you have interesting sights like the Ha’amonga ‘a Maui Trilithon, Toloa Topou College and rainforest, and most importantly, the “Fishing Pigs”! On the western side, check out Tsunami Rock, the flying foxes (bats) in Kolovai, Mapu ‘a Vaea Blowholes and more. Check out the main sites in the 10 Things to Do in Tongatapu.

Things to Do in Tongatapu with Kids

  • Visit the stunning limestone ‘Anahulu Cave
  • See amazing flying foxes at Kolovai
  • Go on a snorkelling trip from Nuku’alofa
  • See epic blowholes at the Mapu ‘a Vaea Blowholes
  • Get some beach time at one of Tongatapu’s beaches
  • Kayak around Holonga Lagoon
  • See the funny fishing pigs
  • Indulge in a Tongan feast while watching a cultural show
  • See the whales on a whale watching tour

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

Family Accommodation on Tongatapu

Nuku’alofa Accommodation:

For more information on our top picks, see our 10 Best Family Accommodation on Tongatapu.

Day 5 – Fua’amotu International Airport

Tonga Family Itinerary: 5 Days

(c) tongapocketguide.com

Travel time: 30 minutes

It’s time to wrap up your family vacation in Tonga! Depending on which flight you have chosen to take out of Tonga, as there are evening flights available, you might have time to do some of the things you’ve missed around Tongatapu.

Before you head to Fua’amotu Airport, have some food at one of the recommendations we list in the Guide to the Best Eats & Restaurants in Tongatapu. The cafe at the airport is overpriced for what it is. Either take an airport transfer from your accommodation or book a taxi to the airport.

Nofo a (goodbye) from Tonga!

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Tonga Family Itinerary: 5 Days