First of all, avoid arriving in Tonga on the weekend, there is no travel on Sunday.
Air travel to and in Tonga
Planes – there is a domestic carrier to get you between the island groups. Excess baggage is really cheap so don’t worry about that. International with Air New Zealand, Virgin Blue, Pacific Blue and Air Pacific via Auckland, Fiji or LA. Your arrive on the main island of Tongatapu and need to take a domestic flight or the ferry to reach the other island groups. The flight is recommended as the ferry takes the best part of a day, the schedule is pretty random and departure/arrival can be the middle of the night.
Taxis – Taxis are usually waiting outside the airport when you arrive on the main island of Tongatapu (Nukualofa). Taxis in Ha’apai and Vava’u should be arranged in advance. A round trip to town on the main island will cost you T$80 so if your main focus is to visit the outer island groups it is best to avoid this by planning to fly out of the main island on the same day you arrive on your international. Be careful, sometimes the domestic departs before the international arrives and then you are stuck. A short cab ride between the international and domestic terminal is required. Be there 45mins prior to departure.
Boats – The MV Otuanga’ofa travels between the islands each week. Tongatapu to Ha’apai to Vava’u and then back. Schedule can be random so the ferry is only recommended if you have time on your side. From Jul to Oct you can see Humpback whales on the journey. Cost is around T$80.
Travel guide submitted by Fins’n Flukes.
Tonga Travel Guide