Across the lagoon from Nuku'alofa, just southwest of Mu'a is a monument marking the spot where in 1777 Captain Cook landed from his ship the Endeavor and rested under a banyan tree (which has since disappeared). He then continued into Lapaha, the capital of Tonga at the time, to visit Pau, the Tu'i Tonga. Retrace Cook's footsteps into this richest archaeological area in western Polynesia.
The langi of Lapaha are the most imposing ancient tombs in the South Pacific and rank with the moai of Easter Island and Huahine's Maeva ruins as major archaeological sites. The beating of tapa mallets from houses all around the langi adds an otherworldliness to this magical place.
Bus service from Nuku'alofa to Mu'a (20 km) is frequent throughout the day, making it easy to visit.
Continue to Northeastern Tongatapu: Lapaha Map »