Meaning "Sacred South", it is the main island of Tonga. Nuku'alofa (the capital) is located here and Tongatapu is the main hub of the Kingdom of Tonga. Currently around 70,000 people live on Tongatapu.
Land use is primarily agricultural, with lots of copra and taro, as well as sugar cane, coffee, cassava, bananas, vanilla, pineapples, kava, papayas, watermelons, manioc, yams. Much of the agriculture is for subsistence, but some are exported, including squash to Japan, and kava to the United States and Europe.
The island is very flat, and roughly resembles a shoe. Land area is approximately 100 square miles (259 km²). The coast varies, with many beaches, and some very high cliffs on the far southern shore, including beautiful limestone arches near Hufangalupe Beach. Other natural formations include caves and spectacular blowholes stretching for 5km near Houma. On a windy day with a strong swell the Mapu'a 'a Vaca ("Chief's Whistles") can shoot about 100 feet into the air.
Tongatapu has been the capital of Tonga for over 600 years, and has been inhabitated for over a thousand years and thus has many historical sites, particularly in the Lapaha region (near the 'ankle'). Captain Cook landed near Tatakamotonga in 1777.
Tongatapu is also the largest island in the Tongatapu Group