Avai'o'vuna Swamp, a small coastal wetland in Vava'u, Kingdom of Tonga, produced a 4500-year pollen and sediment record. Results are: (1) a mid-Holocene sea level highstand is confirmed for Tonga between about 4500 and 2600 14C yr B.P.; marine clay contains pollen from mangroves (Rhizophora mangle), coastal forest trees (Barringtonia asiatica and Cocos nucifera), and rainforest trees (Alphitonia, Rhus, Hedycarya and Calophyllum). (2) Microscopic charcoal first appeared at 2600 14C yr B.P., coincident with the arrival of Polynesians. (3) Cocos, Pandanus, Excoecaria, Macaranga, and Elaeocarpaceae pollen reflects the establishment of a mixed coastal-lowland rainforest in the last 2500 years. (4) The loss of Hedycarya, Elaeocarpus, Calophyllum, and Guettarda and the reduction of Terminalia and taxa in the Papilionaceae family by about 1000 years ago may be due to habitat destruction and the loss of dispersal capabilities of some species through the extinction of the two largest pigeons in Tonga.