Tonga (Tong. Tonga), the official name is the Kingdom of Tonga
(Tong. Puleʻanga Fakatuʻi ʻo Tonga) - a state in Polynesia. It
borders in the north with the waters of Samoa, in the east with the
territorial waters of Niue, in the west with the waters of Fiji. The
coastal strip is 419 km long. Tonga is located on 177 islands of the
archipelago of the same name. Total area - 748 km². The population
of the country is 103,252 people. (2011, estimate). The capital is
The islands of Tonga were discovered by Dutch
sailors Willem Schauten and Jacob Lehmer in 1616. In 1900, the
archipelago became a British patrolled state. At the same time,
Tonga retained all rights to self-government. The islands gained
independence in 1970. Tonga is a member of the United Nations, the
South Pacific Commission and the Pacific Islands Forum.
Polynesian state of Tonga is a cluster of volcanic and coral islands
located in the South Pacific. The country's capital, the city of
Nukualofa, is located approximately 1,770 km northeast of Auckland,
the largest city of New Zealand, and 690 km southeast of Suva, the
capital of Fiji. The nearest archipelagos are the islands of Fiji,
belonging to the same state and located northwest of the islands of
Tonga, and the Samoa archipelago, which lies to the northeast and
belongs to Samoa and American (Eastern) Samoa.
The total area
of Tonga is about 748 km². Of these, land - 718 km², the water
surface - 30 km². The country is located on 172 islands, of which
only 36 are inhabited (the area of inhabited islands is about 650
km²). The largest island groups that make up the kingdom are the
islands of Wawau, Tongatapu and Haapai. The minor group, the Niuas
Islands, consists of three small islands, Niuafou, Tafahi and
Niuatoputapu, which are the northernmost islands of the country. The
group is far from the rest of the archipelagos: Niuatoputapu Island
is located about 300 km north of the nearest island group of Vava'u.
The Tonga Archipelago stretches from north-north-east to
south-south-east for approximately 631 km, and from east-south-east
to west-north-west for approximately 209 km. The most important
islands are Tongatapu (the capital is located on it), Wawau,
Niuatoputapu, Niuafou, Tafahi, Haapai and Eua. The highest point of
the country, which reaches 1033 m, is located on the island of Khao.
The northernmost island of the Kingdom of Tonga is Niuafou
Island, the easternmost is Tafahi. The most southern and at the same
time the most western island is Ata Island.
On January 24,
1972, Tonga filed a complaint against Minerva's reefs south of the
kingdom, and annexed them on June 15. As a result, the territorial
waters of the country were significantly expanded. This move was
subsequently recognized by the South Pacific Forum. However, reef
ownership is still disputed by Fiji.