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Tongatapu, the Sacred South, is the main island of Tonga and home to around 70,000 locals, and is the starting point for travellers to explore the South Pacific’s only monarchy. The Tongan capital of Nuku’alofa sits across the main island from airport in a harbour-side location, and provides a vibrant introduction to the Kingdom. A bustling hub for commerce and government, the capital has a distinctive heartbeat. From vendors selling fresh tropical produce and authentic arts and crafts at the Talamahu market, to the buzz of busy restaurants and local eateries on a Saturday afternoon, and the soaring harmonies from the churches calling to visitors on Sunday’s.

The island of Tongatapu also proudly boasts an Ancient Tongan history. On the eastern side are historical sites that provide a true insight into Polynesian culture, including the fascinating 11th century Ha’amonga ‘a Maui trilithon (Stonehenge of the South Pacific) and the ancient terraced tombs of the Tongan kings. More recent are the landing sites of Abel Tasman and Captain James Cook, and on Nuku’alofa’s waterfront you’ll find the elegant Royal Palace. Offshore islands and empty surf beaches meet dramatic caves and blowholes to effortlessly present Tongatapu’s more rugged natural beauty.

Tongatapu is a vibrant blend of the old and new, rustic and romantic, of honoured traditions and modern advancements, and the island surely leaves an everlasting glow in the hearts of all who take the time to explore her shores.

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