The Kingdom of Tonga is one of the most relaxed and relaxing countries on earth. Like most nations in the South Pacific, Tonga lives life in the slow lane, adhering to the unhurried clock of “Island Time”.
Made up of 170 fertile islands, the sovereign has ample settings in which to while away the days’ long hours.
Unspoilt and uncrowded, Tonga’s beaches are fringed by azure waters and some of the world’s most exquisite coral reefs. Strap on a snorkel and discover amazing sea life like turtles, manta rays and whale sharks. Or pull on a wetsuit and dive ancient underwater tunnels and massive cliff drop-offs, formed millenniums ago by volcanic activity.
A Tongan underwater adventure often comes with the spectacular added bonus of whale songs. From June to November southern humpbacks return from the depths of Antarctica to West Polynesia’s shallow and warm waters to give birth to their young. Experience the gentle marine giants breaching and splashing about from a whale watching boat trip.
Situated just east of the International Date Line, in the middle of the South Pacific Ocean, Tonga welcomes morning before anywhere else on earth, with the first rays of sun of the new day.
Self-claimed to be The Land Where Time Begins, Tonga is also known as The Land Where Time Stands Still, proudly retaining centuries’-old culture and traditions.
Many Tongans still live in village communities and slow cook meals in earth ovens called umus. Kava is consumed to mark special occasions, and day-to-day life is filled with colourful and lively displays of song and dance.
Dubbed the “Friendly Islands” by Capitan James Cook, Tongans are known to be among the friendliest and most accommodating people on earth. Tour a village and participate in a kava ceremony and dance performance. Or visit a marketplace and watch as local craftspeople create traditional arts and handicrafts using techniques passed down over generations.