Captain Cook named the Niue Island “Savage Island” because when the locals came to greet him their faces had a red color, and Cook assumed it to be blood. But In fact, they have had red bananas for lunch before they met him, hence the color on their face.
Note: Niue is different from all the other Pacific islands in the sense that there are no beaches. But plenty of nature! Welcome to the adventure!
Things To Do In Niue
There are many activities in Niue. All you need to do is venture out. Have a keen and energetic attitude towards everything. You can tour scenic sites, swim at Uluvehi, visit caves, bushwalk, fish, make umu, talk to local people, and relax and sunbath.
Be positive and able to try anything and everything that comes to offer in Niue, so you are able to uncover the interesting facts and interest that Niue can offer.
These are just some of the activities, as the rest you must uncover yourself as there is more to it, with self-discovery. Bringing your own reef shoes and snorkeling equipment is highly recommended since these can be hard to find on the island.
Play Local Sport
If you’re wanting to play a bit of touch, what better way to do it, than versus the locals. About every village has a green and most evenings the residents come out and play a friendly game of touch.
So if you feel like mingling and playing a bit of sport, just ask around and you’ll surely find a game.
Snorkeling is an alternative to diving. The Utuko Reef in Alofi and the reef pools at Hio Beach are excellent for beginners. Further north from Hio there’s a pair of giant natural pools at Matapa that are best at low tide.
Around the island there are places to snorkel outside the reef but should only be attempted by confident swimmers; in any case, seek local advice and check water conditions before venturing off on your own. To be completely safe, go with a partner or take a tour.
Niue Dive operates snorkeling trips to sites around the island, including Snake Gully. You can also snorkel and swim with spinner dolphins (April to December) and humpback whales (June to October).
Explore the Caves
Niue is dotted with many caves and limestone arches. There are a lot of ‘sea tracks’ that lead from the road to the coast. Wandering down one and seeing what you find at the end is a lot of fun.
The two attractions in the village of Hikutavake, the Matapa Chasm and Talava Arches, start at the same trailhead at the north end of the village. Both trails are signposted.
There is an accessible sea track at the far end of the village green overlooking Hikutavake Bay. The steps will take you down to the reef area and huge pools teeming with tropical fish, snorkeling is great for first-timers during low tide however a guide is always recommended.
A massive rock archway noted by Captain Cook in the late 1700s, and surrounded by a network of complex caves. Clearly marked pathway ends in some rock scrambling – take care on the sharp rocks and it can be slippery inside the cave also. Well worth the effort. Allow 30–45 min return and take plenty of water.
It’s a hot and steamy walk; visit the Matapa Chasm afterward for a swim. Dolphins and whales can be seen off the coast.
Located in the village of Hikutavake, it’s a fabulous swimming and snorkeling area, encased by steep 10 m cliffs that overhang a deep long cool pool full of fish.
It’s next to the sea but isolated from its currents by large boulders at the ocean side. The drumming noise from the ocean waves is quite a treat and can be deafening as you near its mouth. Taking a refreshing dip here is rewarding after visiting the Talava Arches.
Huvalu Forest Conservation Area
This huge pristine tropical rainforest occupies 20% of Niue’s land area! A major source of wildlife and traditional foods, and a major focus of conservation efforts, especially from the adjoining village of Hakupu.
Teeming with diverse flora and fauna, though nothing deadly, harmful or poisonous. While the terrain is largely flat it is very uneven and reflects its volcanic origin.
Please do not explore alone or you will get lost and there aren’t enough people on Niue to come and look for you!
Liku Sea Track and Cave
On Niue’s East Coast, this sea track is about 500 m from Liku Village. Access is via large open cave and the view at dawn – as can be seen from the photo – is stunning.
Gaze east and reflect that there are hardly two grains of sand between you and Chile! At low tide, the coastline around here is full of tiny little private ‘beaches’, little sandy coves varying from 5 to 15 meters long! Lie down and sunbathe, or explore the numerous reef pools.
Do be careful to leave well before the tide returns over the outer sea wall, and do take water, sturdy footwear, and some food.
Anapala Chasm, Hakupu
Adjacent to Hakupu Heritage Park, a deep sharp descent (there are steps and a chain rail) into the very cool depths reveals a freshwater spring.
Traditionally very important, for it gave access to the freshwater source beneath our island’s land-mass; remember, Niue has no rivers or lakes. edit
Located halfway between Hakupu and Liku (or about 4km north of Hakupu) is a 45 min track that leads through bush and jagged coral pinnacles into a secluded beach with coconut trees and a rock chasm.
To reach the chasm and the beach, you need to take a tall ladder down. edit
Avaiki Cave in Makefu, located 7 km north of Alofi is a limestone cave with excellent swimming options (at low tide) after a short walkthrough.
Beautiful swimming option at sunset – peaceful pool is within a large cave that is open to the reef on one side. Good reef walking at low tide here too. Swimming is prohibited on Sunday and during the koloama spawning season.
Sunday is a special day reserved for Niue’s strong church-going population. Fishing, kayaking, and diving are prohibited by law on Sunday.
Swimming is also prohibited on Sunday but, in practice, you can swim at many locations away from villages without any offense to the locals.
Swimming gear is OK in swimming areas but not in villages. Don’t swim nude or topless, and don’t swim where locals are fishing during the spawning season.
Wave to everyone when they pass by.
Niueans are among the friendliest people in the world. If they’re able to help you, they will. Refusing an offer of dinner or a cuppa can be considered offensive.
Niue is a very conservative island. Don’t get drunk, as locals (especially police officers) don’t look kindly on people getting drunk and then causing trouble. There have been reports of people being deported for these type of offenses.
Furthermore, homosexual couples should be mindful to the culture and older generations.
How To Get To Niue
The Hanan International Airport is the one and the only international airport in Niue. And it serves regular flights from Auckland.
During the festive season (Easter or Christmas) there are seldom any seats left. So, book your tickets ahead of time as there are a limited number of seats.
There are taxis at the airport which take you inside the city Alofi; Free transfers are also available.
Best Time To Visit Niue
November to April is the summer season when the average temperature is 30 degree Celsius. It is during this time that the island is in danger of cyclones.
Avoid the months from December to March, unless you want to get stranded on the isle.
But from May to October are cooler months, with pleasant weather conditions.
Niue is a very safe island. The only jail is located next to the only golf course and is considered an open prison. Crime is extremely minimal if not non-existent, and it’s not uncommon for tourists to meet the Premier. If you want to meet your first head politico, this is the place!
Wear a helmet whilst cycling because an accident would be catastrophic and the nearest major medical facilities are in New Zealand and Australia. Seatbelts in vehicles aren’t obligatory but it’s advisable to wear one anyway.
Emergency services and in-patient care for surgical conditions are provided at the sparklingly clean and newly re-built Niue Foou Hospital in Alofi, but travel insurance is strongly recommended.
For some of the caves, especially Vaikona, it is strongly advised to go with a guide unless you’re experienced because people have been lost and injured in some of the island’s caves.
The emergency phone number in Niue is 999.
- No Snakes – there are no land snakes (sea snakes do ply waters off the coast) or poisonous insects
- Mosquitos – there is no malaria but there are mosquitos which peak between December through to March. Take proper precautions to avoid being bitten by the Aedes mosquito
- Herbalists and traditional healers (taulaatua) are also patronized by locals
- Reef shoes are strongly recommended if snorkeling because coral cuts can easily become infected. If you cut yourself rinse the cut straight away with generous amounts of soap and water
- The tap water is drinkable
Electricity & Plug Type
As the Cook Islands, the Niue Island also uses the Type I socket, which does not fit with alternative plugs. Make sure you pack an adapter fitting the sockets, or else there are not enough stores in Niue to give you an adapter.
The standard voltage is 230 V, travelers from countries using low voltage need a converter.
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March 13, 2020 11:48 am
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