Tonga Port Description

Created on Tuesday, 23 October 2012 Published Date

Nuku'alofa              TONGA

Lat: 21 ̊8̕ S                          Status: Open                                    Max Harbour Draught: 12m

Long: 175 ̊ 11̕ W                 Time Zone: GMT +13                          UN/LOCODE: TOTBU



MOSESE LAVEMAI, General Manager/ Port Master.



Location: Nuku'alofa is situated on the N coast of Tongatapu Island.

General overview: Nuku'alofa is the principal port of the Tonga and a port of entry. Coral reefs extend up to 9.0nm off the N coast and other isolated banks and shoals lie with 5.0nm farther N. Several islands and islets lie on the reefs in the close approaches to the harbour. The port handles Ro-Ro, container, breakbulk and cruise vessels.

Traffic figures: Approx 195 commercial vessels (excluding yachts and warships) use the port annually.

Load line zone: South Pacific Seasonal Tropical Area, Tropical Apr. 01 to Nov. 30, Summer Dec. 01 to Mar 31.

Max size: LOA 240m, draught 12.0m.

Largest vessels handled: At anchor: Cruise liner "Queen Elizabeth 1", LOA 294m, draught 12.1m.

Alongside: Cruise liner "Aurora", cargo vessel "Pacific Islander II".



ETA's: Notify ETA 72, 48, 24, 12 and 6 hours prior to arrival. Vessels calling for the first time must appoint an agent, at least one week before vessel's arrival in Tonga, to inform authorities of relevant information prior to granting permission to enter Tongan waters.

Documentation required:

Document - Copies

  1. Crew List- 5 copies
  2. Crew List (joining/leaving vessel) - 5 copies
  3. Passenger List- 5 copies
  4. Crew Customs Declaration- 2 copies
  5. Ships Bonded Stores List- 3 copies
  6. Arms & Ammunitions List- 3 copies
  7. Maritime Declaration of Health- 2 copies
  8. Tonnage Declaration Certificate- 3 copies
  9. Last Port Clearance- 1 copies
  10. Parcels List- 3 copies
  11. Dangerous Goods List- 3 copies
  12. SPS Forms- 1 copies

Cargo documentation/ISPA: Cargo documentation and ISPA forms to be sent to the vessel's agent at least 1 day prior to arrival. This includes Hold Plan, Dangerous Goods List and amounts.

A Maritime Declaration of Health signed by the Master to be presented on arrival.

Communications: HF Radio: 6215kHz.

VHF: Port: Calling and safety Ch 16 and working Ch 14.

Customs and immigration: Vessels are not permitted to travel to the outer islands of the group without specific authority from the Customs and Immigration departments.

Flags: All vessels to fly Tongan flag when entering ports in Tonga.

Notices of readiness: As agreed by owner/charterer and agents.



Port limits: Nuku'alofa Harbour comprises of all areas defined below excluding islands from their HW marks:

A straight line joining the positions from 21 ̊ 06.8′S 175 ̊ 14.3′W to 21 ̊ 07.5′S   175 ̊ 09.1′W then S′ly to a point on 21 ̊08.5′S   175 ̊09.1′W and then a line W′ly following the contour of the high water mark until the point of commencement at 21 ̊06.8′S   175 ̊14.3′W.

Sea buoys, fairways and channels: Entrance channels:

                            Latitude                 Longitude

Ava Lahi                 21 ̊ 00′S                   175 ̊ 10′W

Egeria Channel        21 ̊ 02′S                   175 ̊ 15′W

Piha Passage          21 ̊ 07′S                    175 ̊ 103′W

The main channel, 12.2m Normally only used by local craft.

Restricted to vessels of less than 100m in length and 5.5m in draught.

Directions for approach to Ava Lahi: From the vicinity of position 20 ̊58′S 174 ̊56′W, the approach leads W for 11nm and SW for 3nm, the track leads SW towards Hakau Mama'o Light (21 ̊00′S 175 ̊013′W) and outer pilot boarding position to join the leading line into Ava Lahi, the main entrance, or via Piha Passage, for vessels less than LOA 137m, draught 5.5m. Ava Lahi is entered on the alignment (145 ̊) of Malinoa Leading Lights, with a controlling depth of 12.2m in the channel, to the anchorage or to Queen Salote Wharf.

Pilot: Compulsory for the following:

  1. 1.Foreign vessels of over LOA 45m or over 500GT.
  2. 2.Foreign vessels of over LOA 35m or over 200GT carrying oil or oil products or hazardous liquid substances in bulk.
  3. 3.All vessels having defects in their hull, machinery or equipment which materially affects their navigation.

Two pilots and a berthing master are available.

Vessels should advise ETA at the pilot boarding ground 72 hours in advance, confirming no less than 4 hours prior to arrival.

Boarding points: Ava Lahi, in good weather, 2.5nm NE of Hakau Mama'o Light(20 ̊ 58.75'S / 175 ̊ 10.32'W). In bad weather, in the vicinity of No 3 Lightbuoy (Inner Pilot Station: 21 ̊ 03'S / 175 ̊ 13.00'W). Piha Passage, 2.75nm E of The Narrows (21 ̊ 06.35 'S / 175 ̊ 05.90'W) or further out if required. Vessels should not proceed W of the boarding point until pilot is embarked.

Anchorages: Vessels anchor in good holding ground in 29.0m, in position (21 ̊06′S 175 ̊13′W) or not less than 1.5nm W of Halanga Lalo reef.

Vessels must load and discharge with their own gear.

Prohibited anchorage: Anchoring and fishing are prohibited in the area enclosed by a straight line joining the following positions:

  1. 21 ̊ 07.32′S 175 ̊ 12.55′W
  2. 21 ̊ 06.00′S 175 ̊ 12.64′W
  3. 21 ̊ 04.25′S 175 ̊ 14.12′W
  4. 21 ̊ 01.30′S 175 ̊ 11.50′W
  5. 21 ̊ 01.50′S 175 ̊ 10.90′W
  6. 21 ̊ 03.64′S 175 ̊ 12.64′W
  7. 21 ̊ 04.95′S 175 ̊ 12.64′W
  8. 21 ̊ 07.60′S 175 ̊ 10.20′W
  9. 21 ̊ 08.20′S 175 ̊ 10.20′W
  10. 21 ̊ 08.15′S 175 ̊ 10.80′W
  11. 21 ̊ 08.20′S 175 ̊ 11.04′W

Excluding Mounu Reef bounded by the following points:

  1. 21 ̊ 07.71′S 175 ̊ 11.02′W
  2. 21 ̊ 07.87′S 175 ̊ 11.35′W
  3. 21 ̊ 07.55′S 175 ̊ 11.53′W
  4. 21 ̊ 07.42′S 175 ̊ 11.47′W
  5. 21 ̊ 07.36′S 175 ̊ 11.30′W
  6. 21 ̊ 07.47′S 175 ̊ 11.07′W
  7. 21 ̊ 07.71′S 175 ̊ 11.02′W

Excluding Ualanga'uta Reef bounded by the following points:

  1. 21 ̊ 07.00′S 175 ̊ 11.82′W
  2. 21 ̊ 07.00′S 175 ̊ 12.06′W
  3. 21 ̊ 06.82′S 175 ̊ 12.06′W
  4. 21 ̊ 06.82′S 175 ̊ 11.82′W
  5. 21 ̊ 07.00′S 175 ̊ 11.82′W

Tidal range and flow: Range 1.5m.

Dock density: 1025.

Weather: Prevailing winds: Variable, mainly from NE/SE. Hurricane season December - March. NO protection alongside berths from N winds; small vessels may be forced to anchor off.

Charts: NZ/T 827, 8275. Admiralty Pilot NP61, NP286(4).

Traffic schemes: No Traffic Separation Scheme but IALA Bouyage "A" System in use.

Tugs: 1x2,400hp tug available.

Coastguard: 3 naval patrol boats available.

Mooring information: Vessels usually berth starboard side alongside, approaching from W and passing N of Ualanga 'Uta and Mounu reefs.

Berth No.1: Heading 090°/270°. Berth No.2: Heading 045°/225°.




Name                     Length                   Depth                     LOA                       Draught Use

                              (m)                         (m)                         (m)                        (m)

Queen Salote Wharf (QSW) Total length 500m:

No.1(N)                  93m                          11.6                        240m                     10         Container, general.

No.2(NW)              110m                          12.0                       300m                     10.0      Container, tanker,                                                                                                                                      Ro-Ro (quarter                                                                                                                                      ramp only);general.

No.3(W)                100m                          8.0                         100m                     6.5        Local inter island                                                                                                                                      trade Ro-Ro.

No.4(W)                60m                            8.0                         55m                       6.0       Local inter island                                                                                                                                      trade.

Vuna Wharf Total length 120m:

No.1                     120m                          12m                       300m                      12.0     Cruise & Naval Boats

Maximum draft : 10.0m to allow 1.0m UKC. Crusie Ship Desmond Princess can dock alongside.

ISPS Compliance : Certificate No. 001/12 issued on the 11th day to handover of September 2012.


Note: Yellow Pier ia out of service.

Faua Basin is used by fishing vessels and pleasure craft with max draught 3.0m.

Storage: 1 transit shed for Berths No 1 and 2.

Barges: Available, by arrangement with agent.

Ballast/slop reception: No shore facilities available.

Security: Port security is available on berth Nos 1 and 2, with 48 hours notice.



Repairs: Minor repair facilities are available.

Drydocks: Government Ministry of Marine and Ports:

Slipway: Length 30m, width 10m, depth 2.5m, lift 200t.

Boat lift: Length 12m, width 5.0m, depth 1.5m, lift 10t.

Bunkers/water/stores: Fresh water: Available.

Bunkering: Limited supplies available by road tanker to all berths.

Medical facilities: Vaiola Hospital and other medical facilities are located approx 4km from port.

Transport: Nearest airport: Fua'amotu, 22km.

Airport facilities: Direct International connections to Fiji, Hawaii, New Zealand and Samoa's.

Crew change: Possible.

Consuls: Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Sweden, France, Japan, China.

 Public Holidays 2013 - View HERE

 Port holidays can be worked provided prior arrangements are made with the Ports Authority Tonga.

Working hours: Normally Mon-Fri 08:30-12:30hrs and 13:30-16:30hrs, overtime, 16:30-08:30hrs.

Tongan ports are 24 hours and 6 days working ports. Sundays are not normally worked except in special circumstances as approved by the Tongan Government.

Surveyors: Available.

Garbage: Garbage collection is arranged, through the Ministry of Health and Quarantine, by truck to all berths.

Officials and visitors: Possible.

Fumigation: Available, by arrangement with agent.

Pollution: Any incidents of pollution should be reported to the Ministry of Marine and Ports Authority Tonga.





 Mr. MOSESE LAVEMAI, General Manager.

Mob: +676- 7716667 | Tel: +676- 23214(Direct Line)

P.O Box 144, Nuku'alofa, Tongatapu, Kingdon of Tonga.

Tel: +676- 23168 | Fax: +676- 24267

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Website URL:



Mob: +676- 7735007  | Tel: +676- 28626(Direct Line)

Tel: +676- 23168 | Fax: +676- 24267

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Website URL:




We have 19 guests and no members online

2011 Tonga Port Description - Ports Authority Tonga. | Web Development, Design and Administrator by Ports Authority Tonga
Powered by Joomla 1.7 Templates