Country guides Australasia
Electrical current in Tonga is 220 to 240 volts, 50Hz. Australian-style plugs with three rectangular prongs are standard.
The official languages are Tongan and English.
The currency in Tonga is the pa'anga (TOP), which is divided into 100 seniti. ATMs are available in the capital city Nuku'alofa and in the main towns of 'Eua, Vava'u and the Ha'apai island groups; remote island groups have limited banking services. Credit card fraud and card skimming occurs, so visitors should avoid exposing their PIN when using ATMs.
Tipping isn't expected but it's always appreciated.
All eligible travellers should be up to date with their COVID-19 vaccines, and there has been an increase in dengue fever cases recorded in Vava'u, so visitors should take measures to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes. Medical facilities are limited in Tonga and comprehensive travel insurance is advised; travellers should take all required medication with them.
Most visits to Tonga are trouble free, as the crime rate is low. However, petty crime and theft do take place, so visitors should remain vigilant, especially at night.
Tonga is predominantly Christian and locals are generally very conservative; modest dress is expected outside of hotels. When greeting a stranger, a handshake is appropriate, but family members will press their noses together and exhale loudly. It is acceptable to eat with the hands, and it is customary to wash the hands before and after meals. Sundays are reserved mainly for religious worship and many restaurants and shops will be closed. Homosexuality is technically illegal and the law is occasionally enforced; same-sex partners should avoid public displays of affection.
Visitors to Tonga over the age of 18 may import 250 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 250g of loose tobacco; and 2.25 litres of spirits or 4.5 litres of wine or beer. All plant and animal products must be declared.
The international access code for Tonga is +676. Travellers can purchase prepaid SIM cards for unlocked phones; WiFi is available at hotels and restaurants.
Passport & Visa
Visitors must hold documents and tickets for their return or onward journey and sufficient funds to cover their stay. It is highly recommended that travellers' passports have at least six months' validity remaining after the intended date of departure from their travel destination. Immigration officials often apply different rules to those stated by travel agents and official sources.
US citizens require a passport that is valid on arrival. A visa is required. American citizens can obtain a tourist visa on arrival for a maximum stay of 31 days.
UK citizens require a passport that is valid on arrival. A visa is required. British citizens can obtain a visa for touristic purposes on arrival; the visa is valid for 31 days.
Canadian citizens require a passport that is valid on arrival. A visa is required. Canadians can obtain a tourist visa on arrival; the visa is valid for 31 days.
Australian citizens require a passport that is valid on arrival. A visa is required. Tourist visa are available to Australians upon arrival in Tonga, these visas are valid for 31 days.
SA citizens require require a passport that is valid on arrival. A visa is required.
Irish citizens require a passport that is valid on arrival. A visa is required. Irish nationals are able to get a 'visitors visa' on arrival in Tonga, these visas are valid for 31 days. Visitors must hold documents and tickets for their return/onward journey and sufficient funds to cover their stay.
NZ citizens require a passport that is valid on arrival. A visa is required. New Zealand citizens can obtain a 'visitors visa' on arrival, for touristic purposes. Visitors visas are are valid for 31 days. Visitors must hold documents and tickets for their return/onward journey and sufficient funds to cover their stay.
Tonga Tourism Authority, Nuku'alofa: +676 25334 or email@example.com (emergencies)
Embassies / consulates in other countries
Tongo Consulate General, San Francisco, United States: (650) 685 1001
Tongan High Commission, London, United Kingdom: 020 7724 5828
Tongan High Commission, Canberra, Australia: (+61) 26232 4806
Embassies / consulates in Tonga
U.S. Embassy in Tonga, Suva, Fiji: (679) 331-4466
Canadian Embassy in Tonga, Nuku'alofa, Tonga: 676 23-244
High Commission of Australia, Nuku'alofa, Tonga: 676 23 244