This section is dedicated to take away all your "I wish someone had told me that before I went!" experiences. This way, you are better prepared for what to expect, what not to expect and can spend less time settling in, and more time making new friends in your chosen hostel. We share our insider knowledge of tips, tricks and important things to look out for in Nuku'alofa. To help you make friends with Nuku'alofa before you visit, we've included a few helpful and fun things you should know about the area. Enjoy!
Nuku'alofa is the main city and the capital of the Kingdom of Tonga. It's located in Tongatapu Island, the southernmost and main island of the kingdom. This city isn't a touristic place -- for example, you'll find only three to four international cafes and few places with internet or Wi-Fi. Nuku'alofa is a perfect place for you to escape from the day-to-day reality and immerse yourself into a new culture and a different way of living.
The city has a few places for you to visit and the best way to do it is to find a local to help you -- you can bargain for a whole island tour, since it is very, very small and you can see the best highlights of Tongatapu Island in a day. Probably you should also spend some time visiting the place for trades in the city, the central market in Nuku'alofa -- Talamahu Market -- it's the busiest place in the city.
Nuku'alofa has a lot of buses going everywhere, but there are a few important rules. There are only private buses and the drivers define different schedules everyday; fares are fixed for every bus, so you cannot bargain; and the least, but the most impressive, is that the buses are filled to capacity -- this means that a bus with twenty-four seats can easily take more than sixty people. The Fua'amoto International Airport is a short, thirty-five-kilometer drive from the city, but there is an expensive taxi fare for all airport taxis. Try to get a pick up with your hostel in Nuku'alofa. There are also three boats that run weekly to other islands of Tonga, Eua, Ha'apai, and Vava'u. On Sunday mornings, the sacred day, everyone goes to church, so the airport closes and there are no taxis or buses and no shops or restaurants open.
Book your hostel in Nuku'alofa before arriving, as this isn't a touristic place. If you don't arrange a pick up with your hostel in Nuku'alofa you may have problems arriving by taxi; few roads have names and the only way to get there is if the driver knows the hostel.
Written by local enthusiast for Nuku'alofa hostelsCoffeeMarks