Official advice for New Zealanders living and travelling overseas

  • Reviewed: 14 November 2022, 15:16 NZDT
  • Still current at: 4 December 2023

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If you are planning international travel at this time, please read our COVID-19 related travel advice here, alongside our destination specific travel advice below.

Exercise increased caution

Exercise increased caution in Tonga (level 2 of 4).

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Crime levels in Tonga are relatively low, however incidents of robberies, violent assaults and sexual assaults do occur, including against foreigners. House break-ins and property theft also occur. Security risks increase after dark, avoid travelling alone at night or to isolated areas.

Transport safety
Domestic aviation safety practices in Tonga may not meet international standards. Tonga’s only domestic airline is not currently a member of the International Air Transport Association, take this into account when booking your travel. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade does not offer advice on the safety of individual airlines. Domestic aviation services in Tonga can change at short notice and travellers should keep this in mind when making their travel arrangements. 

Maritime safety, particularly of older vessels, is a concern in Tonga. In late 2009, 74 people lost their lives when the passenger ferry MV Princess Ashika sank. Safety regulations are not always adhered to when travelling by sea ferry and it is advisable to take your own lifejacket. Ferries are often overcrowded.

Seismic Activity
Tonga is in an active seismic area located close to the Tonga Trench, and has experienced tsunamis and volcanic eruptions. Travellers should be aware of the possibility for travel disruptions in the event of seismic or volcanic activity.

On January 15, 2022, a partially underwater volcano in Tonga erupted causing a tsunami which impacted parts of Tongatapu and other islands.

General travel advice
New Zealanders are advised to respect religious, social and cultural traditions in Tonga to avoid offending local sensitivities. Modesty and discretion should be exercised in both dress and behaviour.

Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs are severe and can include lengthy imprisonment or fines.

New Zealanders who are not also dual Tongan citizens travelling or living in Tonga are encouraged to have comprehensive travel insurance policy in place that includes provision for medical evacuation by air.

New Zealanders in Tonga are encouraged to register their details with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Travel tips

The New Zealand High Commission Nuku'alofa, Tonga

Street Address Corner Taufa'ahau and Salote Roads, Nuku'alofa, Tonga Postal Address PO Box 830, Tonga Telephone +676 23122 Email Web Site Hours Mon - Fri, 9am-12.30pm & 1.30pm-4.30pm Note Facebook:

See our regional advice for the Pacific

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New Zealand High Commission Tonga

Street Address
Corner Taufa'ahau and Salote Roads, Nuku'alofa, Tonga

Telephone: +676 23122



Hours: Mon - Fri, 9am-12.30pm & 1.30pm-4.30pm

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