Rather than going to all the trouble and expense of renting a car, see Tongatapu by bicycle. From Nuku'alofa you can easily reach all the main sights in two days, visiting the east and west sides of the island on alternate days. The main roads are excellent without too much traffic, and steep hills don't exist. The open landscape invites you to look around at leisure and there are lots of small villages. Abundant road signs make it very easy to find your own way, but don't trust the posted distances. Cycling can be tiring and dusty, but the friendly islanders are quick to smile and wave at a pedaling visitor. And if you happen to see a black van with a police escort coming your way, pull over and let them pass: You're about to see the king!
Quality 15-speed mountain bikes are for rent at Niko Bicycle Rental (theoretically Mon.-Sat. 0900-1700) on the waterfront opposite the Dateline Hotel. Many guesthouses also rent bicycles. A bicycle tour is a good way to liven up a dull Tongan Sunday, provided you've reserved your bike by Saturday morning.
Continue to Transportation: Local Tours »