03 January, 2020
The Fua'amotu Airport sits just to the south of Nuku Alofa on the island of Tongatapu. It's the main gateway to the isles of Tonga as a whole. That means white-sand beaches strewn with coconut husks are only a stone's throw from the terminals. It means you can wonder at soaring megalithic tombs and Polynesian burial places just hours after touching down. And there are wave-splattered coastal walking paths complete with blowholes and grottoes. Cheap flights to Nuku Alofa from New Zealand can also be the first step in reaching beyond Tongatapu to other island chains, like the yachting mecca of Vava'u, or the snorkelling reefs of Ha'apai.
Just off the coast of Nuku Alofa is the glorious isle of Pangaimotu. Catch a ferry across to find fish-teeming coral reefs and shipwrecks wedged into the sand.
Ha'atafu Beach is your chance to rest on golden powder by glass-clear waters. There are also some gnarly surf breaks for those bringing the board in tow.
A trip to the Teufaiva Sport Stadium could mean seeing the national Tongan rugby team in action.
Air New Zealand fly direct between New Zealand and Nuku Alofa.
Air New Zealand is the best airline to fly from New Zealand to Nuku Alofa and it has non-stop flights.