Flights to Tonga and Vava’u

Getting to Tonga and the Vava’u Islands

vav_islands2_185x102To join your WhaleSwim Adventure, you need to fly Internationally to either the main island of Tonga – Tongatapu in the The Kingdom of Tonga (airport code TBU) – the capital is Nukuʻalofa or via Nadi Fiji directly to Vava’u (2 days a week) – where we swim with the whales!

There are only 3 international airlines servicing the main island of Tonga – Air New Zealand, Virgin Australia and Fiji Airways THEN you have to book a 1 hour domestic flight to Vava’u (where we swim with the whales) and Fiji Airways NEW twice-weekly flights direct to Vava’u from Nadi Fiji.

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Book your domestic flights from Tongatapu to Vava’u with Real Tonga Airlines www.realtonga.to

 

Domestic Flight Schedule:    Tonga (TBU) to Vava’u (VAV)

MORNING
Mon, Tues, Wed, Thurs, Frid & Sat    RT8801   departs Tonga 7.00am   arrives Vava’u 8.00am

AFTERNOON
Mon, Tues, Thurs, Frid & Sat               RT8823   departs Tonga 3.00pm     arrives Vava’u 4.00pm

Vava’u to Tonga
MORNING
Mon, Tues, Wed, Thurs, Frid & Sat          RT8802   departs Vava’u 08.45am   arrives Tonga 09.45am

AFTERNOON
Mon, Tues, Thurs, Frid & Sat                    RT8824   departs Vava’u 4.45pm   arrives Tonga 5.45pm

Cost: (at 1 April 2013)
ADULT FULL FLEXI FARE:  (TOP$620)  approx. AUD$400.00 return to Vava’u

EXCESS BAGGAGE – on your international flights – you are allowed 23kgs checked in baggage and 7kgs hand-luggage – on the domestic flights in Tonga you are ONLY ALLOWED 20 KGS CHECK IN AND 7KGS HAND-LUGGAGETHEY WILL CHARGE YOU TOP$5 (AUD$ 3.25) PER KG 

Please note: There are no international or domestic flights in Tonga on  Sundays

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International Flights into Tonga

The international flight schedules into Tongatapu (Nuku’alofa) the main island of Tonga often have you staying “overnight” (for a few hours between 1.20am and 6am) in Tongatapu, I would suggest if it is just a transit, that you stay at the Scenic Hotel near the airport.
You can get a room, or you can pay a small charge to hang out in the lobby depending on the length of your stop-over.
Staying at the airport is not permitted. The beds and lounges at the Scenic are much nicer anyway!

Since 1 February 2016, you can book flights with Fiji Airways, directly from Nadi, Fiji ton  the new international airport in Vava’u, where we swim with the whales. See flight details below!

Direct Flights from Sydney Australia to Tongatapu – the main island of Tonga

Virgin Australia www.virginaustralia.com

Flight Schedule: 2016

From Sydney to Tonga (or from all major cities in Australia with Virgin to Sydney to connect with Virgin Australia
Mondays & Wednesdays
SYD – TBU (Nuku’alofa, Tonga)     VA169  departs Sydney     15.50 (5.50pm) arrives in Tonga at 01.20am (Tues/Thurs)

From Tonga to Sydney
Tuesdays & Thursdays
TBU – SYD  (Nuku’alofa Tonga)      VA168 departs Tonga       07.00am  arrives  Sydney 09.45am (Virgin changed the flight departure time from 12.15pm to 7am in Dec 2015, well after our tours were advertised and many spaces were already booked)
We recommend that you book your return flight to Australia with Virgin via Auckland departing at 9.00pm on Tuesdays and Thursday.  You could also consider returning on Air New Zealand or or via Fiji with www.fijiairways.com direct from Vava’u via Nadi to Australia on Saturdays and Wednesdays. See below. . . .

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NEW!!!!!
Flights from all major cities in Australia via Fiji direct to Vava’u (where we swim with the whales)

Fiji Airways   www.fijiairways.com

Fiji Airways fly from all major cities in Australia, however not always direct to Fiji. We suggest you ‘search’ on their website for flights from your departure city to ‘Vava’u’ Tonga – keeping in mind that there are only 2 direct flights a week from Nadi, Fiji to/from Vava’u, Wednesdays and Saturdays.
Therefore you need to co-ordinate a connection with the following flights from Nadi – Vavau.

Wednesday and Saturday 
Nadi Fiji – Vava’u
FJ275     departs Nadi Fiji at 08.00 (8.00 am) – arrives Vava’u at 11.10 (11.10 am)

Vava’u – Nadi Fiji
FJ276     departs Vava’u 16.00 (4.00 pm) – arrives Nadi 17.20 (5.20pm)
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Air New Zealand flies from all major cities in Australia via Auckland to Tonga  – check out if its easier and more suitable flight departures/arrivals at www.airnewzealand.com.au

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Direct Flights from Auckland, New Zealand to Tonga

Air New Zealand
Flight Schedule:

Auckland to Tonga 2016   
(please note: NZ changes to ‘summertime clock’ on 26 Sept – arrive/depart Tonga times moves back by 1 hour)
Mon & Wed                        NZ970     6.45 – 10.40
Tues, Thurs & Sat              NZ974     17.00 – 20.55
Friday                                  NZ270     09.25 – 13.20

Tonga to Auckland         (to 26 September 2015)
Mon & Wed                         NZ973     11.40am – 13.45pm
Tues, Thur & Sat               NZ977     21.55pm – 23.59am
Friday                                    NZ273    14.20 – 16.25 pm

Virgin Australia www.virginaustralia.com have 2 flights a week to Tonga return

Flight Schedule: 2016

Auckland to Tonga
Tuesdays & Thursdays
VA166 AKL-TBU  4.30pm – 8.20pm

Tonga to Auckland
Tuesdays & Thursdays
VA 167 TBU-AKL   9.10pm – 11.20pm

You may want to fly one way with Virgin Australia and the other with Air NZ – check the flights that work best for you.

Accommodation at Auckland Airport
Novotel Airport Hotel (right in International Airport) Click Here (you can walk there – about 60m from the Departure Terminal)

Ibis Budget Hotel (800m from international airport) excellent for an overnight close to the airport. Click Here they give you instructions on booking regarding airport transfer bus.
Please note: There are no international or domestic flights in Tonga on  Sundays

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Flights from USA to Tonga

Remember: you have to depart LAX 2 days before you want to arrive in Tonga as you will be crossing the International Dateline which means you will miss a day in your life, BUT you will gain a day on the way back!

There are 3 international airlines servicing Tonga from LAX International Airport

Fiji Airways via Nadi, Fiji – go to www.fijiairways.com

– enter LAX to Vava’u (VAV) 2 flights a week Wednesday & Saturday.

LAX to (VAV) Vava’u  (remember you miss a day flying over the dateline).
Monday or Thursday
FJ811     departs LAX 23.30 pm – arrives Nadi, Fiji 05.10 am (Wednesday)
FJ275     departs Nadi Fiji at 08.00 (8.00 am) – arrives Vava’u at 11.10 (11.10 am)

VAVA’U – LAX (remember you gain a day flying back over the dateline).
Wednesday or Saturday
FJ276     departs Vava’u 16.00 (4.00 pm) – arrives Nadi 17.20 (5.20pm)
FJ810     departs Nadi Fiji 22.00 (10.oo pm) – arrives LAX 13.20 (1.20pm) (same day)
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If you prefer to travel from Fiji via the main island of Tonga –
LAX to (TBU)  TONGATAPU 

Tuesday                FJ811     departs LAX 23.30pm – arrives Nadi, Fiji 05.10am (Thursday)
Thursday               FJ211     departs Nadi Fiji at 13.30 (1.30pm) – 15.50 (3.50pm)  (overnight Tonga)
or
Thursday             FJ811     departs LAX 23.30pm – arrives Nadi, Fiji 05.10am (Tuesday)
Saturday              FJ211     departs Nadi Fiji at 13.30 (1.30pm) – 15.50 (3.50pm) (overnight Tonga)
or
Sunday                 FJ811     departs LAX 23.30pm – arrives Nadi, Fiji 05.10am (Tuesday)
Tuesday               FJ211     departs Nadi Fiji at 16.15 (4.15pm) – 19.20 (7.20pm) (overnight Tonga)
or
Monday                 FJ811     departs LAX 23.30pm – arrives Nadi, Fiji 05.10am (Tuesday)
Wednesday            FJ211     departs Nadi Fiji at 07.10 (7.10am) – 10.15 (10.15am)

However, you could fly to Fiji every day from LAX to Fiji – stay over and fly on to Tonga either Tuesday, Wednesday or Saturday.

TONGATAPU (TBU) – LAX (remember you gain a day flying back over the dateline).
Tuesday               FJ210     departs Tonga 16.50pm – arrives Nadi 17.20pm
FJ810     departs Nadi Fiji 22.00 – arrives LAX 13.20 (Tuesday)
Saturday & Thursday
FJ210     departs Tonga 20.05 – arrives Nadi Fiji 20.35
FJ810     departs Nadi Fiji 22.00 – arrives LAX 13.20pm (Saturday)

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Air New Zealand Los Angeles via Auckland to Tongatapu (TBU)

– daily flights to Auckland – go to www.airnewzealand.com
– enter LAX to Tonga (TBU)
See the schedule from Auckland to Tonga above – you will need to connect to these flights – this means you will be departing LAX 2 days before you want to arrive in Auckland or Tonga. (i.e. Depart LAX Monday evening arrive Auckland Wed morning then onto Tonga the same day.)

Accommodation at Auckland Airport

Novotel Airport Hotel (right in International Airport) Click Here (you can walk there – about 60m from the Departure Terminal)

Ibis Budget Hotel (800m from international airport) excellent for an overnight close to the airport. Click Here they give you instructions on booking regarding airport transfer bus.

LAX via Sydney Australia to Tonga

As Virgin Australia or any of their ‘partner’ airlines do not fly LAX to Sydney – you need to book a return flight LAX to Sydney with any airline then with Virgin Australia www.virginaustralia.com from Sydney to Tonga return on one of their 2 flights each week.
(from Sydney to Tonga Monday & Wednesdays and return Tonga to Sydney Tuesday or Thursday – see flight times above From Australia.

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From UK & Europe to Tonga

There are many choices of airlines to either Los Angeles or Auckland.

You then have a choice of either:
From Los Angeles with Fiji Airways via Nadi Fiji then direct to Vava’u or from Auckland to Tongatapu (the main island of Tonga) with Air New Zealand then a domestic flight to Vava’u – where we swim with the whales.

The quickest flights are with Air New Zealand from Heathrow via Hong Kong and Auckland to Tongatapu – the main island of Tonga THEN a domestic flight to Vava’u.  Go to www.airnewzealand.co.uk – enter Heathrow to Tonga – all flights connect with the Auckland to Tonga schedule – see above in From Auckland New Zealand to Tonga.

The new 2016 Fiji Airways flights from Los Angeles to Nadi, Fiji then direct to Vava’u may be a faster way to Vava’u, if the connections line-up. Check it out at www.fijiairways.com 

Remember: you have to depart UK or Europe minimum of 2 days before you want to arrive in Tonga as you will be crossing the International Dateline which means you will miss a day in your life, BUT you will gain a day on the way back!

Accommodation at Auckland Airport
Novotel Airport Hotel (right in International Airport) http://www.novotel.com/gb/hotel-7485-novotel-auckland-airport/index.shtml (can walk there)

Ibis Budget Hotel (800m from international airport) excellent for an overnight close to the airport. http://ibisbudgethotel.ibis.com/gb/hotel-7865-ibis-budget-auckland-airport-previously-formule-1/index.shtml they give you instructions on booking regarding airport transfer bus.

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From Asia to Tonga

Your flights have to be via Fiji, Sydney Australia or Auckland New Zealand.

See connecting schedules above.

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