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What should I know before visiting Nuku’alofa?
Tonga is the only island in the South Pacific that was never colonised
While its neighbouring island groups were colonised by the British, French, and other European powers, the Kingdom of Tonga has always maintained its full independence. This offers visitors with return flights to Nuku’alofa an authentic island experience.
Book a tour to swim with humpback whales
This unique and exciting experience is one of the most popular attractions in Tonga. If you’d like to go swimming with whales, plan your tickets to Nuku’alofa between June and October.
Purchase a local SIM card from Fua’amotu International Airport (TBU)
After arriving on cheap flights to Nuku’alofa, you may have trouble finding a decent WiFi connection outside of your hotel. In order to look up directions or book activities, purchase a Tongan SIM card to use between your return flights to Nuku’alofa. The major mobile companies in Tonga are U-Call and Digicel.
What are Nuku’alofa’s most famous landmarks and monuments?
Basilica of St Anthony of Padua
This Roman Catholic church is one of the most recognisable structures in the Tongan capital. On the outside, the Basilica of St Anthony of Padua has a contemporary look to it that stands out due to its tall cone roof. Inside, visitors with flights to Nuku’alofa will see colourful stained glass windows, high wooden beams, and religious art from both Tonga and Europe. The most impressive piece of art inside is a tall Joan of Arc sculpture.
If you visit the Basilica of St Anthony of Padua after cheap flights to Nuku’alofa, be sure to check out the nearby Royal Tombs as well. Referred to locally as Mala’ekula, the Royal Tombs have been the official burial place for Tongan royalty since 1893. The main features of the cemetery are the series of white marble tombs, each belonging to a former member of the royal family. While visitors with tickets to Nuku’alofa cannot get too close to the tombs, they can be seen from across a small park and offer insight into how important the royal family is to local culture.
Nuku’alofa’s Royal Palace is located in the northwestern edge of the city centre, right on the shores of the Pacific Ocean. This palace is the official residence to Tonga’s royal family. It was constructed in 1867 and stands out for its imposing size, Victorian architectural style, and bright red roof. When you have airfare to Nuku’alofa, you are not able to go inside the Royal Palace; but visitors can spot a great view of the palace through its western gates.
What is the cost of visiting Nuku’alofa?
When you plan flights to Nuku’alofa, the local currency you will use is the Tongan pa’anga (TOP). 1 TOP is equivalent to about 70 cents NZD.
A hotel can be booked directly through Webjet at the same time as you organise your airfare to Nuku’alofa. Accommodation prices vary, but the average nightly cost is about $150 NZD.
Once you arrive into Fua’amotu International Airport (TBU), a taxi is the easiest way to reach the city. The cost of a taxi from the airport into the city centre costs about 30 TOP (about $20 NZD).
You’ll have no trouble finding affordable food and drink after your cheap flights to Nuku’alofa land. When you visit a local restaurant, main meals cost around 15 TOP (about $10.35 NZD). If you order a pint of domestic beer, you can expect to pay about 7 TOP (about $4.80 NZD).
There are a variety of unforgettable experiences to have after flights to Nuku’alofa. One of the most popular is swimming with humpback whales. The cost of this experience varies based on the tour operator you go with, but typically cost between 200 and 300 TOP (between about $138 and $207 NZD).
When is the best time to visit Nuku’alofa?
Tonga has two primary seasons: wet season and dry season. Avoid planning your flights to Nuku’alofa during the wet season, which falls between November and April. Heavy rain is common during these months and humidity levels are high. Tonga can also experience severe storms and cyclones during the wet season. In order to fully experience all that Tonga has to offer, plan your return flights to Nuku’alofa during the dry season between May and October. Not only is the weather more pleasant during these months, but you’ll find more activities available as well. Dry season is the peak time for snorkelling and diving as water visibility is significantly better than during the wet season. If you are hoping to see or swim with whales while holidaying on flights to Nuku’alofa, the dry season months are the best time to do so.