A Taste of Tonga
If unspoiled white-sand beaches and tropical rainforests are your thing, it’s time to put Tonga on the top of your wanderlust list. Tongan pa’anga and an adventurous spirit are all you need to explore this unique destination.
More than just a pretty decent Rugby League team, this Polynesian kingdom has plenty to offer. Whether you’re sea-kayaking around deserted islands or trawling the markets for handmade treasures, you’ll want to be equipped with plenty of Tongan currency so you don’t miss out. Swap your Ausside dollars to fill your pockets with pa’anga coins and sample the best local fare you can find. From fresh taro to seafood, it’s no secret Tonga has some of the most delicious flavours in the world.
Exchange your Aussie dollars to TOP before taking off and you’ll be ready to experience everything the Friendly Islands have to offer.
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Pick up locally
With over 140 convenient store locations across Australia, you can securely pick up your Tongan Paʻanga with no hassles.
The rates chart demonstrates how the Tongan pa’anga has performed against the Australian dollar in the past. Want more bang for your buck? No problemo. Just sign up for a currency alert to get more pa'anga in your pocket.
Coins and notes
Tongan pa’anga (T$) is subdivided into 100 seniti (c). Coins in denominations of 5c, 10c, 20c, 50c, and T$1 are currently in circulation. If you come across the rare 1c or 2c coin, keep them for your travel scrapbook – they may be worth a lot of money some day! Banknotes come in T$1, T$2, T$5, T$10, T$20, T$50, and T$100 varieties.
Facts about the currency
- The pa’anga was introduced in 1967, replacing the pound at a rate of 1 pound = 2 pa’anga. Until early 1991, the pa’anga was pegged to the Australian dollar at par. Since then, a basket of currencies is taken (including the Australian, New Zealand, and United States dollars and the Japanese yen) and the pa’anga has continued to decline.
- Pa’anga can also be measured by super-unit ‘hau’ (1 hau = 100 pa’anga). This unit isn’t used in daily life and can only be found on commemorative coins of higher values.
- The word ‘pa’anga’ was originally only used as the native name for a bean-like vine that grew large pods with large seeds. These roundish seeds are strung together as anklets as part of the Kailao dance costume.
- When Tongans attacked a passing ship (Port-au-Prince) in 1806 and the vessel sank, they searched the ship for valuables. They found the ship’s cash and, thinking it was pa’anga seeds, burned it. It was years before they realised it had been money in the ship.