Geography of Tonga

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Located in Oceania, Tonga is an archipelago in the South Pacific Ocean, directly south of Western Samoa and about two-thirds of the way from Hawaii to New Zealand. Its 176 islands, 36 of them inhabited, are divided into three main groups – Vava'u, Ha'apai, and Tongatapu – and cover an 800-kilometre (500-mile)-long north-south line. The largest island, Tongatapu, on which the capital city of Nukuʻalofa is located, covers 257 square kilometres (99 sq mi). Geologically the Tongan islands are of two types: most have a limestone base formed from uplifted coral formations; others consist of limestone overlaying a volcanic base.



The climate is basically subtropical with a distinct warm period (December-April), during which the temperatures rise above 32 °C (89.6 °F), and a cooler period (May-November), with temperatures rarely rising above
27 °C (80.6 °F). The temperature increases from 23 to 27 °C (73.4 to 80.6 °F), and the annual rainfall is from 1,700 to 2,970 millimetres (66.9 to 116.9 inches) as one moves from Tongatapu in the south to the more northerly islands closer to the Equator. The average wettest period is around March with on average 263 mm (10.4 in).[1] The average daily humidity is 80%.



Geographic coordinates: 20°S 175°W / 20°S 175°W / -20; -175

Map references: Oceania

total:748 km2 (289 sq mi)
land:718 km2 (277 sq mi)
water: 30 km2 (12 sq mi)

Land boundaries: 0 km (0 mi)

Coastline: 419 km (260 mi)

Maritime claims:
continental shelf: 200 m (656 ft) depth or to the depth of exploitation
exclusive economic zone: 200 nmi (370.4 km; 230.2 mi)
territorial sea: 12 nmi (22.2 km; 13.8 mi)

Climate: tropical; modified by trade winds; warm season (December to May), cool season (May to December)

Terrain: most islands have limestone base formed from uplifted coral formation; others have limestone overlying volcanic base

Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m (0 ft)
highest point: unnamed location on Kao 1,033 m (3,389 ft)

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