Tongatapu (Nuku’alofa), Tonga

We bypassed Rarotonga, Cook Islands due to a strong storm and went to Tonga early.
“After every storm, there is a rainbow. If you have eyes, you will find it. If you have wisdom, you will create it. If you have love for yourself and others, you won’t need it.”

The highest elevation of Tongatapu, the largest of the 169 Tonga Islands, is 213 feet.  Its flat tropical landscape is composed of coral limestone with fertile volcanic soil.  Nuku’alofa is the cultural and political capital of Tonga and hosts the wooden Royal Palace built in 1867, the Royal Tombs and the spot where Captain Cook first landed in 1777. 

George Tupou I was the first King of Tonga and was converted by Methodist missionaries in 1831.  A 50 year civil war in Tonga was ended by the King in 1845 as he united Tonga into a Kingdom under a Monarchy which is today, the last Polynesian Monarchy. 


The welcoming beat of the Tongan drum greeted us as we arrived at the Ancient Tonga Cultural Center where we thoroughly enjoyed learning about their customs still followed and celebrated.


Tapa Cloth worth thousands of dollars each (that size). Labor intensive, artistic and ceremonial. While riding around the island, I saw numerous people on the street wearing the woven mats and/or tapa cloth.
We were served cooked purple sweet potato, tasty cassava root and chicken wrapped in taro leaves roasted. Very good 😉