Tonga Info

Cross-cultural wedding

Tonga Today – Culture & Customs

The Kingdom of Tonga is located in the very heart of the South Pacific, lying east of Fiji and south of Samoa. It is one of the most scenic and unspoiled of the Pacific island nations.

Tonga consists of 4 main island groups, with the Vava’u Group lying to the north. The island group is ideal for swimming with whales with its sheltered waters between it’s 50 islands.

The people are carefree, fun loving and renowned for their sincere goodwill. They love their Royal family; they are fanatical about rugby and are devout Christians.
Although ease of travel and the ubiquitous eye of the camera make our world small, accessible and familiar, Tonga still remains far away from it all, still different, still alone, and to the joy of those who find their way to the Kingdom – essentially un-spoilt.

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Net-fishing boat

History

Tonga is the only South Pacific country never colonised by a European power.
Tonga is a Kingdom and the current Ruler is King George Tupou V who King Taufa’ahau Tupou IV and during his reign has emphasized economic development. King Taufa’ahau Tupou banned whaling in Tongan waters in 1978, since then the tourism department has been slowly building a unique industry to swim with the humpback whales that come to their idyllic islands to mate and give birth from July – November each year. 
Because of this independence, the way of life has remained largely unchanged and culturally intact. 

The mutiny against Captain Bligh, on the ship ‘Bounty’ took place just off the islands of Ha’apai

 

Vava'u Islands - the whale nursery

Geography

Tonga is the first country in the world to see the sun!! It is situated west of the International Dateline just south of the Equator in the South Pacific.

The Kingdom of Tonga lies due north east of New Zealand, just north of the Tropic of Capricorn. Tonga is spread across 362,000sq km and consists of 171 remarkably diverse islands, which all told, occupy only 688sq km of dry land. Despite the country’s far flung nature, the Tongan people, who inhabit only a few of their islands – less than 40 – are a homogenous group and speak a uniform language, with only minor local variations. Nearly all Tongan’s speak some English as a second language and visitors will not need a working knowledge of Tongan in order to communicate with the islanders. The country consists of four main island groups: Tongatapu, Ha’apai, Vava’u and the Niuas.

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