Trace the footsteps of the English explorer Captain James Cook, while delving into the intriguing history and traditions of Tonga.
Your tour commences at the pier and first drives past the Royal Palace, an ornate wooden building constructed in the 1860s for the royal family. From here, you will continue on to the celebrated site where Captain James Cook landed in 1777. A plaque commemorates the event, and a banyan tree grows nearby, a descendant of the great banyan that the English explorer is said to have rested under. For a greater understanding of Tongan history and traditions, you will have the chance to observe how an "umu" or underground oven is made, how bark is pounded into tapa cloth and woven into textiles, and watch a traditional Tongan dance at the Cultural Center.
Next, you will see the terraced tombs of Tonga, which were built out of coral stone for the sacred kings around 1200 A.D. According to legend, the kings were half man and half god, so they were buried in raised tombs, between heaven and earth. Nearby, you will see another fascinating structure, the Ha'amonga Trilithon, an ancient archway made with three massive limestone slabs. Its exact origin or purpose is unknown.
Get a glimpse of daily Tongan life as you head back to the pier, passing by local residences, schools, churches and other highlights of this capital city, including the King's Villa.
Please note: This tour includes a minimal amount of walking and is available to wheelchair guests who have a collapsible wheelchair, are able to make their own way on and off the coach and have a companion to assist them. Those with mobility concerns are cautioned to evaluate their personal level of stamina and ability. Appropriate attire is required (no bikinis or bare chests); sun cap; sunglasses; sun screen and flat, comfortable walking shoes are suggested. Guests must be over the age of 18 to consume alcohol. The buses do not have a/c or microphones. The order of the sites viewed or visited may vary.