Tongans travel from island to island in a transport ship. Because they have over 150 islands, and many do not have a natural deep harbor, this is the only way to save time and move goods efficiently.
This is Vuna Wharf, located in Nuku'alofa, capital of Tongatapu. The ship is ready to depart to the Ha'apai group of islands. Each of the three island groups, has a wharf in its capital city.
The ship only departs once a week, very early in the morning. If you live far away from the area, you have to wake up very early to get there on time. You also have to book reservations ahead. If you miss the ship you have to wait another week for the next one.
This is how the ship is unloaded where there is no wharf. There are so many islands that it would be too time consuming for the ship to visit each one. So it stops in the middle of a group of them, and small boats go out to meet it. This ship replaced some regular boats that could only unload at a wharf. This was very inconvenient, because small boats had to travel all the way from the outer islands to the wharf in the capital city. Finally, a time saving, more productive way to move people and goods!
Now the individual boats are going back to their islands after meeting the ship. They picked up supplies and returning passengers, and dropped off departing passengers.

"Hiva fkTonga"

All pictures and items contained on this page were created and/or gathered by me, with noted exceptions of ABC's and NBC's pictures. 1999, 2000 by webmaster of Tonga 2K.