Where Can You Get Your Essentials in Tonga?
Where Can You Get Your Essentials in Tonga?

Where Can You Get Your Essentials in Tonga?

(c) tongapocketguide.com

Where to Buy Essential Goods in Tonga

A few of us will pack a few essentials for our trip to Tonga, as we recommend in The Complete Packing List for Tonga, but, you still might need to buy food, top up the fuel in your rental car, pick up some light medication, get a local SIM card, etc. However, we think it’s to know that not everywhere will have essentials, as most of Tonga’s islands are not developed – in fact, only 36 of the 170 islands in Tonga are inhabited! For staying on most of Tonga’s islands, it’s best to come prepared, but you’ll still find a few essentials in the main towns of the four island groups mentioned in the guide below.

Quick Tips for Buying Essentials in Tonga

  • The Tongan currency is Tongan Pa’anga (TOP)
  • Always have enough cash available to pay, as not all businesses in Tonga accept card
  • It’s not customary to haggle the price in Tonga
  • Stock up on supplies in Nuku’alofa and Neiafu, as essentials are limited outside of these towns
  • Bring your own reusable bags to eliminate the need for plastic bags.
Where Can You Get Your Essentials in Tonga?(c) tongapocketguide.com

Where to Shop for Essentials in Tongatapu

Tongatapu is the place where the majority of people in Tonga live. With that in mind, it’s the best island to access essentials. In Tongatapu, Nuku’alofa is the nation’s capital and is where you’ll find most of the shops and services you may need. For more information, see Information, Shop & Services in Tongatapu.

Food and Groceries

Tongatapu has a wide range of supermarkets and fale koloa (convenience stores). Supermarkets can be found in Nuku’alofa, while Tonga’s largest supermarket, Costlow, is located in Tofoa on Taufa’ahau Road. In villages, there is the odd small supermarket, but most food can be purchased from fale koloa. Fresh produce is available from the Talamahu Market in Nuku’alofa (Salote Road), as well as from roadside stalls around Nuku’alofa and some of the island’s larger villages.

Medication, Toiletries and Pharmaceuticals

Light medications (like painkillers), baby products and toiletries are often sold in supermarkets and fale koloa. For other medications, there are these pharmacies in Nuku’alofa:

  • Fasi Pharmacy, Fasi, Nuku’alofa
  • Neeru’s Pharmacy, Wellington Road, Nuku’alofa
  • Village Mission Pharmacy, Taufa’ahau Road, Nuku’alofa

For health care services, there are these clinics and a hospital in Nuku’alofa:

  • Dr. Ana Akauola Clinic, Longolongo
  • Friendly Islands Dental Clinic, Salote Road, Nuku’alofa
  • Universal Clinic Fasi, Fasi, Nuku’alofa
  • Vaiola Hospital, Taufa’ahau Road, Nuku’alofa

Fuel Stations

All of Tongatapu’s fuel stations can be found in or on the outskirts of Nuku’alofa, such as:

  • Pacific Gas Station, Suniua ‘Akaveka
  • Shell Petrol Station, Hihifo Road
  • Maui Gas Station, Hihifo Road
  • Total Petrol Station, Wellington Road
  • Total Petrol Station, Fatafehi Road
  • Total Eve Service Station, Tamakautonga Road
  • Konifelenisi Gas Station, Taufa’ahau Road

Phone, Internet and Post Office

For staying in touch, Digicel Tonga and Tonga Communications Corporation (TCC) are Tonga’s phone network providers. They have a presence at the Fua’amotu International Airport, as well as in Nuku’alofa – see The Best SIM Card in Tonga For Travellers for information. For mail, Tonga Post is the national post office, found in Nuku’alofa CBD on Vuna Road.

Banks

Nuku’alofa has ATMs and banks, including:

  • Tonga Development Bank, Fatafehi Road
  • Tonga Development Bank, Tatakamototonga, Hahake
  • Tonga Development Bank, Nukunuku, Hihifo
  • ANZ, Vuna Road
  • BSP, Vuna Road

There are also currency exchange bureaus in the city centre.

For more information, see Information, Shop & Services in Tongatapu.

Where Can You Get Your Essentials in Tonga?(c) tongapocketguide.com

Where to Shop for Essentials in ‘Eua

The island of ‘Eua is much more limited when it comes to shopping for essentials. For this reason, we recommend bringing anything you think you’ll need to the island with you. For more information, see Information, Shops & Services in ‘Eua.

Food and Groceries

The main supermarket in ‘Eua is in the village of Pangai in the centre of the island. There is a liquor store here too. Informal fresh produce stalls and fale koloa (convenience stores) are in some of the villages in ‘Eua, which sell the basic essentials.

Medication, Toiletries and Pharmaceuticals

Light medications (like painkillers), baby products and toiletries can be found in the supermarket in Pangai and some fale koloa. However, we recommend bringing any medication and toiletries with you to ‘Eua.

Fuel Station

There is a BP Fuel Station in Ohonua.

Banks

The only bank in ‘Eua can be found in Ohonua, which is the Tonga Development Bank. There is also a BSP ATM in town.

For more information, see Information, Shops & Services in ‘Eua.

Where Can You Get Your Essentials in Tonga?(c) tongapocketguide.com

Where to Shop for Essentials in Ha’apai

Ha’apai is another island group where services and shops are limited. It’s best to bring any essentials you may need with you. Basic foods can be bought if staying in Pangai on Lifuka Island. Stay anywhere else and we recommend taking the meal options supplied from your accommodation. For more information, see Information, Shops & Services in Ha’apai.

Food and Groceries

Most tourist accommodations are on the islands of Lifuka, Foa and Uolevu. Those staying in Lifuka and Foa islands can get groceries and food from fale koloa (convenience stores) in villages and from a small supermarket in Pangai. There is also a market on the waterfront for fresh produce and a bakery on the eastern side of Pangai. Those on Uolevu will not have access to groceries, so must bring their own and/or make use of their chosen accommodation’s meal plans.

Medication, Toiletries and Pharmaceuticals

It’s recommended that you bring any medication or health products that you might need to Ha’apai with you. Ha’apai has a hospital with a pharmacy, the Niu’ui Hospital, located at the southern end of Pangai. However, it has fewer resources than what you’ll find in Tongatapu.

Phone, Internet and Post Office

There is a post office for Tonga Post on the corner of Waterfront and Palace Roads in Pangai. The local phone networks Digicel and TCC also have a presence in Pangai.

Banks

The only bank in Ha’apai can be found in Pangai, which is the Tonga Development Bank. BSP also has an ATM in town.

For more information, see Information, Shops & Services in Ha’apai.

Where Can You Get Your Essentials in Tonga?(c) tongapocketguide.com

Where to Shop for Essentials in Vava’u

The main centre of Vava’u is Neiafu, where you’ll be able to get most essentials. We recommend stocking up with what you’ll need in Neiafu before making your way to any accommodation outside of the town, as you’ll struggle to get essentials anywhere else. For more information, see Information, Shops & Services in Vava’u.

Food and Groceries

There are multiple options for supermarkets in Neiafu, while fresh produce is best purchased from ‘Utakalongalu Market on the waterfront. There are no options for buying groceries in Vava’u’s outer islands, so you will need to organise food with your chosen accommodation.

Medication, Toiletries and Pharmaceuticals

Light medications (like painkillers), baby products and toiletries are often sold in supermarkets in Neiafu. For other medications, there is the Universal Clinic & Pharmacy on Fatafehi Road and the Prince Wellington Ngu Hospital on Mateialona Road.

Fuel Stations

All of Vava’u’s fuel stations can be found in or on the outskirts of Neiafu, which include:

  • Pacific Gas Station, corner of Tu’i and Wellington Roads
  • Total Fatafehi Service Station, Fatafehi Road

Phone, Internet and Post Office

For staying in touch, Digicel Tonga and Tonga Communications Corporation (TCC) are the phone network providers who both have a presence in Neiafu – see The Best SIM Card in Tonga For Travellers for information. For mail, Tonga Post is the national post office, found in Neiafu at the Pouno Plaza.

Banks

Neiafu has ATMs and banks in the town centre, including:

  • BSP Bank, corner of Pouono and Fatafehi Roads
  • ANZ Bank, corner of Kovana and Fatafehi Roads

There are also currency exchange bureaus in the town centre.

For more information, see Information, Shops & Services in Vava’u.

Author

Laura S.

This article was reviewed and published by Laura, editor in chief and co-founder of Tonga Pocket Guide. Since arriving solo in the South Pacific over 10 years ago with nothing but a backpack and a background in journalism, her mission has been to show the world how easy (and awesome) it is to explore a paradise such as Tonga. She knows the islands inside-out and loves sharing tips on how best to experience Tonga’s must-dos and hidden gems. Laura is also editor of several other South Pacific travel guides.

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