Nuku 'Alofa, Tongatapu, Tonga

To get a real feel for the Tongan history and culture which so captivated Captain Cook, visit the Tonga National Centre on the outskirts of town. Here they stage traditional dance shows, local handicraft workshops and mythical ceremonies. Elsewhere in the town, monuments and royal tombs remind visitors of Tonga's status as the only Pacific nation never colonised and one having the oldest remaining Polynesian monarchy. There are some fascinating archaeological sites around the island but even more of those fabulous South Pacific beaches.