Niue

A spinner dolphin plays to the air – an aquatic ballerina – as a nearby turtle tilts and dives, the clear warm water parting like satin. In a small village on the rugged coast above a teenage boy sits, waiting to say farewell to his childhood. The ceremony is about to begin and the long tail of hair that has been with him through his carefree journey will be removed. Snip.

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Welcome to Niue…

This is a destination more for the ‘traveller’ than the ‘tourist’. It is simply the most unspoiled part of the Pacific and because most people haven’t even heard of the place it should stay that way. Niue is one of the world’s smallest self-governing states and the name (pronounced ‘New-ay’) means ‘behold the coconut’. Visitors will also behold orchids, hibiscus, frangipani, bougainvillea, ferns and ancient ebony trees – and flitting around the flora will be terns, pigeons, parakeets, starlings and other species of birds.

The surrounding waters are home to countless species of colourful tropical fish and marine life – and there are no animals or insects on Niue that can harm you.

The diving is sensational because the island is an upraised coral atoll so it acts as a filter rather than allowing pollutants to seep through the soil to the sea – water visibility can be 70 metres! Because it is a coral atoll there are no sweeping white sand beaches but that’s part of the attraction – all around the island you will find intimate coves, caves, crevices and chasms – some of them quite surreal with stalactites and stalagmites. Naturally the snorkelling is also great and the deep-sea fishing outstanding.

Highlights on Niue include the Arches of Talava (seaside stone arches and caves), Huvalu Conservation Area (rainforest hiking, birdlife, fruit bats) and Togo Chasm (oasis, coral pinnacles, pools and crashing waves).

The local people are charming, well-educated and all speak English as well as Niuean. And you won’t be wanting for creature comforts. For example, in 1996, the New Zealand government spent $10 million to extend the airport runway and build the Matavai Resort. It’s a stylish property perched on a precipice 10km south of the airport and main town of Alofi (Niue Dive is based here). There are air-conditioned rooms with ocean view balconies, movie channel TV plus a restaurant, two cliffside swimming pools and a huge terrace where guests can spot dolphins, turtles and humpback whales at certain times of the year. Bicycles, tennis racquets and golf clubs can be borrowed free of charge and there are cultural entertainment nights during the week. Children under 12 are not encouraged so it is perfect for honeymooners. There are also self-contained bungalows (Namukulu, Coral Gardens) and guesthouses around the island.

Interested? Here are few more pluses:

  • It is excellent value for money
  • It is only three and a half hours from Auckland with weekly flights
  • The currency is the New Zealand dollar
  • Tipping is not encouraged
  • There is a fascinating history and local culture
  • One of the lowest crime rates in the world
  • The average maximum temperature year round ranges from 27 to 30 degrees
  • The tap water comes from a natural spring and is safe to drink
  • You don’t need a visa for stays up to 30 days
  • 120 visitors to the island at any given time maximum

As the country’s tourism slogan says, Niue is ‘undiscovered, unspoiled, unbelievable’.

More Information

For more info on Niue’s history, culture, what to do and specials on offer, just drop us an email.