Niue is full of natural wonders, including the following:
These destinations are all covered in more detail in the "See" section below, and several of them are also pictured in this article.
Niue's remoteness, as well as cultural and linguistic differences between its Polynesian inhabitants and those of the Cook Islands, have led to it being separately administered. It is self-governing in free association with New Zealand since 1974, with Niue fully responsible for domestic affairs, and New Zealand asked to retain responsibility for foreign affairs and defence.
The economy suffers from the typical Pacific island problems of geographic isolation, few resources, and a small population. Government expenditures regularly exceed revenues, and the shortfall is made up by critically needed grants from New Zealand that are used to pay wages to public employees. The agricultural sector consists mainly of subsistence gardening, although some cash crops are grown for export. The sale of postage stamps and coins to foreign collectors is an important source of revenue. Tourism has been identified as the main economic driver for Niue moving forward.
Niue's time zone is GMT-11 while mainland New Zealand's is GMT+12 (GMT+13 in daylight saving time) so Niue is one day behind the mainland.
Tropical; modified by southeast trade winds. The average daytime temperature is 27°C from May to October and 30°C from November to April. December to March is the cyclone season
From the sea, the approaches to Niue are flat with its cliff faces resembling a large ‘Swiss cheese’ composed of coral limestone rock peppered with caves. There are hidden caverns and chasms, buried grottoes and other subterranean natural fissures are yet to be discovered and developed into tourist attractions.
The island is approximately 73 km in circumference with two distinct terraces. The upper terrace, 60m high at its highest point, slopes steeply to a 0.5 m coastal terrace ending with high cliffs, some over 20m above sea level. A rugged fringing reef, which in places over 100 m wide, surrounds the island.
Steep limestone cliffs along coast, central plateau. Unlike most Pacific islands, there are no long, white sandy beaches, only tiny, secluded, white sand beaches that might be yours for the whole day.
The first european to spot Niue was Captain James Cook in 1774. He made three attempts to land but was refused permission to do so by the inhabitants.
Mutalau, in the northern end of Niue was where on 26 October 1846 some of the people decided to accept Pastor Peniamina to introduce and teach the gospel to its people before it spread to the four corners of Niue. The Uluvehi landing is the landing place of Christianity.
You need to cross the Dateline (west to east) on travelling from mainland New Zealand to Niue, so Niue is as much as 23 hours behind the mainland (winter) and 24 hours (the whole day) behind in the summer time. So be careful about the date when you communicate between Niue and mainland New Zealand, because Auckland is one day ahead of Niue.
Air New Zealand has scheduled flights from Auckland twice a week on Wednesdays and Saturdays (arriving in Niue on Tuesday and Friday) and is the only airline that flies to Niue. Huge crowds gather at the airport to meet every flight. Everyone (including New Zealanders) must have a return ticket. There is a $34 (cash only) departure tax upon leaving (not included in price of plane ticket). You might want to avoid flying in around religious holidays such as Easter or Christmas, or the October Constitution celebrations, as seats are often at a premium, since many Niueans return home at these times.
Niue International Airport (IATA: IUE), also known as Hanan International Airport, is about 2 km south-east of Alofi. There is no public transport or taxis to meet the flight though almost all accommodation options include free transfers. If you don't have accommodation booked, just about anyone will give you a lift.
There are no ferries from foreign ports. Outside of the cyclone season you can sail your own yacht to Niue. Niue Yacht Club has information on-line. Harbour fees are $15 per day. If you fly in during sailing season it's possible to hitch on a yacht out of Niue
Alofi and all the other villages are small enough to walk around. There's no harm in walking around the villages and in town as it is perfectly safe and a good way to catch and interact with the Niuean culture itself.
Hire a motor vehicle or bicycle on arrival if you don't want to walk. There is no public transport system.
Getting around the island by car takes approximately 75 minutes. A Niue driver's license is required and can be obtained from the Police department for $22.50 when you present your home license (it's a cool souvenir). Since the police station is not open on weekends, you may need to wait until Monday to get your license if you land on a Friday. Driving without a Niue license in the meantime is allowed.
Hitchhiking is very easy on Niue; almost anyone will pick you up. Traffic on the eastern half of the island is very light and you could be in for a long wait, so take extra water. Riding in the back of utes is OK, but be careful because palm leaves can get your eye poked out if you're not careful.
Hire a bicycle for NZ$15 at Alofi Rentals and $10 at Niue Rentals. Cycling around the island takes around three hours.
English (often with a distinctive New Zealand accent) is spoken by almost all residents. The local Niuean language is mainly spoken in the home but you'll win the hearts of many locals by learning a few Niuean words. Visit the Niuean phrasebook for the basics.
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 trail head 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.
Uluvehi Sea Park, Fupiu Fort, Fisiga Caves, Vaiopeope Caves, Oneone Reef, Tuo Mirrors, Patuoku, Tuo, Vaitafe
There are many activities in Niue. All you need to do is venture out. Have a keen and energetic attitude towards everything. 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.
Kayaking, fishing, diving (Niue Dive offers PADI certified dives), golf, cycling, etc. Niue is different to all the other Pacific islands in the sense that there are no beaches. Go spelunking in one of the many caves around the island.
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 sports, just ask around and you'll surely find a game.
Snorkelling 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 snorkelling 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).
Fishing trips are run by Nu Tours (4hr trips $280) for one or two people. Fish with Fishaway Charters (4 hr trips $250) and you can personally barbecue your catch at the Washaway Cafe. Contact Willy Saniteli for info. Of course it's also possible to fish on your own, but remember that fishing is prohibited on Sundays.
Weaving is a popular traditional pastime on Niue. Most of the older ladies on the island go to a weaving group once a week. If you want to try it, try:
The Uluvehi landing is the landing place of Christianity on Niue and a very nice spot for relaxation. There is a recreation and eco-tourist building there with a bar and toilet/bathroom facilities. There is also a kitchen there with plans to open for service at certain days and hours to serve visitors to the area. The Mutalau Village Fiafia Night tour is held on Saturday afternoons, depending on bookings. There are also plans to build traditional style accommodation in the area, as the basic services (rest rooms, bar and cooking) are now available in the main recreation/eco-tourist building. You can drive down to Uluvehi from the village green.
Tour scenic sites, swim at Uluvehi, visit caves, bush walks, fishing, making umu, talk to people, sunbathing.
Fishing and other activities are prohibited on Sunday.
The currency used in Niue is the New Zealand dollar, denoted by the symbol "$" or "NZ$" (ISO code: NZD). It is divided into 100 cents. In this guide, the "$" symbol denotes New Zealand dollars unless otherwise indicated.
Few souvenirs are available. Postcards are available at the post office and there are two souvenir shops in Alofi. There is also an art gallery at the Niue Commercial Centre. Niuean weaving is among the finest in the Pacific and make great souvenirs.
There are no ATMs, but now that an agency of New Zealand's Kiwibank has opened, many businesses now accept EFTPOS (with no foreign surcharge for New Zealand issued cards) and an increasing number now accept Visa and MasterCards (credit cards purchases attract a 3% surcharge).
Even though some places now accept "plastic" the system is often down. If you run out of money you will be stuck. Take the hint, do not show up in Niue without more money than you think you'll need!
Due to the fact that just about everything has to be imported, Niue is a bit more expensive than New Zealand. Tobacco products are much cheaper due to the lack of taxes. Alcohol is more expensive, although not as much so if you buy it at the duty-free shop in the main commercial centre of Alofi.
Once you have bought your food and paid for your rental car and its fuel, there is not much else to spend your money on, though a couple of tours could be worthwhile and most are good value. Exploring the caves, chasms and sea tracks on your own is free. If you bring you own snorkelling gear with you, snorkelling in is free too.
Don't expect McDonald's, Burger King, Subway, and KFC...unless you want to fly to New Zealand or Australia to get your fix. Bring a sense of culinary adventure. Local specialities include uga (coconut crab), anything with coconut, and the like. If you love tropical fruit you'll have fun in Niue; passion fruit, cassava, taro, vanilla, kumara, and various other fruits are available but it can be a bit hard finding where to buy them - try the Tuesday or Friday morning market in Alofi, or various roadside stalls. The supermarket has a limited selection.
One suggestion for eating out on Niue is to plan - book ahead, that way the restaurant will know you are coming and will be sure to stay open for you.
All the main eating places are in Alofi and there is a variety of food from fish and chips, to Indian food, paninis, pizza, etc.
In the town centre is Tavana's Cafe, which offers fish and chips and others.
Most visitors to Niue self-cater for most if not all the time. Most shops are closed Sunday and open limited hours on Saturday; therefore it is advisable to stock up on food on Friday.
You can also import almost any food from New Zealand. The main exceptions are honey and salami.
Coconut water is very refreshing and naturally rehydrates you on a hot and humid day.
For the really adventurous, try Noni juice at the Vaiau Farm. Anything that tastes that bad has to be really good for you!
You must book your accommodation before arrival or you may be sent back to New Zealand.
Most places to stay are in or near Alofi, and there are one or two options going toward Avatele. Accommodation is non-existent on the eastern side of the island unless you have friends or are fortunate enough for a local to invite you in. Camping is permitted as long as you're not on private land but is strongly discouraged due to mosquitoes and, like in many Pacific islands, locals can take it like you're rejecting their hospitality.
There is one small campus, a branch of the Fiji based University of the South Pacific and only one high school and one primary school. However, you can learn a lot about the history and culture of Niue just by speaking with older people who are in the know.
Opportunities to work on Niue are extremely limited.
Teaching positions may be available at some of the primary schools, and if you are interested in investing, Niue encourages investment in new and existing businesses.
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.
There are no land snakes (sea snakes do ply waters off the coast) or poisonous insects. There is no malaria but there are mosquitos which peak between December through to March. In 2012 there were reported cases of Dengue fever, with one death, though these were the first cases in a number of years. Take proper precautions to avoid being bitten by the Aedes mosquito.
Herbalists and traditional healers (taulaatua) are also patronised by locals.
Reef shoes are strongly recommended if snorkelling because coral cuts can easily become infected. If you cut yourself rinse the cut straight away with generous amounts of soap and water.
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 offence 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 offences. Furthermore, homosexual couples should be mindful to the culture and older generations.
Visitors pay a one off fee of NZ$25 to RockET who register their computer MAC address onto a single wireless base station of their choice. Connection speed seems poor and is a frustrating experience if previously used to broadband. If you don't have your own laptop there is an internet cafe next to the bakery at NZ$12 an hour. Some accommodation options offer internet access. The airport offers free wifi.
Skype audio or video calls don't work effectively due to the slow connection but Skype IM is OK. Your best bet is to contact any and all friends/family from New Zealand (or your home country) before leaving for Niue because it's NZ$0.99 a minute to call New Zealand. If you need to call from Niue the Telecom Office is open 24 hours.
There is now a limited mobile phone service on the island, which only works in some parts of the island. You can buy a SIM card from the Telecom Office for $34 (plus $5 credit), however there is limited sizes of SIM cards so make sure it fits into your mobile phone first. There are no roaming agreements with NZ mobile operators.
As the adventure continues to Niue the smallest island nation in the Pacific. This meeting of an acclaimed Artist (Mark) and his wife Ahi who's life and adventures give an insight into the hunter gather life and stories of struggle and triumph.Two cover Artwork piece's by Mark Cross
There is always room for you in Niue!
Here’s the Dragon Dragon Travel Journal deal.
You wander the world having adventures, and such. Dragon Dragon provides you with 200 pages to document your travels, discoveries and insights. That’s it. Simple. Beautiful. True.
To help keep things organized, we’ve given each journal a unique continent, country or city name.
Wherever you go in this life, a Dragon Dragon Travel Journal can help make the going better and the remembering easier!
"I don't always design travel journals, but when I do they are the kind of travel journals that people throw parades for." - Cormac Younghusband, The World's Most Legendary Nomad
THE NIUE TRAVEL JOURNAL has been carefully crafted by the legendary nomad Cormac Younghusband to help make your trip unforgettable, fun and organized—with plenty of room to help spur spontaneity and document new discoveries.
This journal can help you plan, live out and record every stage of your journey to Niue—from pre-trip, to getting there, to being there, to getting home, and afterwards.
"Niue food is among the world's finest. They do this thing with the thing!" - Cormac Younghusband, The World's Most Legendary Nomad
The first part of the journal is for PRE-TRIP PLANNING and contains sections for important information, a page to write about what inspired you to make the trip, a page to write about the who, where, what, when, how of the journey, a page to make note of your travel companions, a number of pages to organize your travel research.* Plus, you will find sections for drafting an itinerary and keeping a journey to-do checklist.
The second part of the journal deals with GETTING THERE, containing sections to describe getting there and arriving.
The third part of the journal is all about BEING THERE. There are sections for: tracking the stuff you buy and for your daily adventures there are 50 two-page daily records to keep notes on: day #, date, weather, places visited, what happened today + thoughts on what happened, the highlight of the day and extensive notes (with a handy reminder list of things to write about). Because there are about 1,269 people in Niue, there's also a section to record the names and contact info of the people you meet along the way.
The fourth part of the journal is for GETTING HOME, that fateful day you depart and the days that follow. There are sections for describing your departure, for making your own top 10 highlights lists, a country radar to help you create a signature review of the country, and an afterwards where you can sum up the meaning of your trip.
When a trip is over, Cormac Younghusband recommends you start planning your NEXT TRIP. To help, there is a section where you can make a travel wish list.
Also included is a COUNTRY BRIEF to give you important info on the destination and a MAP to give you an idea of the lay of the land. Plus, at the back of the book there are sections for: generic packing ideas, measures and conversions, and pages for notes, sketches, maps and such
"Find a place in the world you haven't been, and go there. Keep on trucking, my friends" - Cormac Younghusband, The World's Most Legendary Nomad
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - * Research Such As: places to go / explore, places to stay, places to shop / must have souvenirs, cultural / sporting events to attend, historical / religious sites of interest, pubs-bars-places-to-party, beaches / forests / natural wonders to see, parks & gardens to wander through, things to eat and drink / dining experiences, festivals & events to attend, stuff for kids - seniors - and such, experiences to experience, important local customs, etiquette, laws, and such.
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"Why visit Niue? Because, it's there." - Cormac Younghusband, The World's Most Legendary Nomad
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WHEREVER YOU'RE GOING, YOUNGHUSBAND WORLD TRAVEL JOURNALS HAS THE PERFECT JOURNAL FOR YOU.
This journal is the perfect traveling companion for anyone visiting Niue. Plan and record all details of your trip, includes lined and blank pages for writing your daily diary and holiday planning, with handy information tailored for travelers. Lists to help you pack, plan and set budgets are included in this journal. The perfect gift for anyone visiting Niue.
Niue: A Spy Guide (World Investment and Business Guide Library)
Island hop with Graeme Kennedy in this eagerly awaited – and newly illustrated – combined, expanded, and enhanced Volumes One and Two of his best-selling "New Tales of the South Pacific." This e-pub edition has many active clickable links and images for your further exploration of a region many believe to be Paradise. This complete collection of beautifully written short stories is based on an intriguing cast of characters and their triumphant and tragic experiences. It has been expanded to feature a special new Tale, "The Adventurer", in which Kennedy pays tribute to an old and dear friend, John William Fox Walton. In yet another, he takes a short look at a few bits of uniqueness on the coral island of Niue.There is another, gritty side to the Pacific Kennedy has come to know well – a side away from the five-star resorts, where the realities of life make dreams fragile. The reader gets another view of Pacific island life in Samoa and American Samoa, Tonga, Fiji, Wallis & Futuna, and even unique and fascinating Niue.Volume 1 begins with a brief history of the Oceania region; then Kennedy moves on to highlight some of the varied cultures that have made the South Pacific their home; he uses some very personal vignettes to showcase a few familiar character types. The highlight of Volume 2 is the life story of the Queen of the South Seas, the legendary Aggie Grey, who was once thought to have been Michener’s model for his outrageous character, Bloody Mary. "More New Tales of the South Pacific" includes stories of black humour, despair in the happiest of Pacific Islands, and the bittersweet end of life for two persons who, like Robert Louis Stevenson, go to Samoa to die. Reminiscent of the great Louis Becke, "More New Tales of the South Pacific" is Kennedy at his best.
The decision to travel is your responsibility. You are also responsible for your personal safety abroad. The purpose of this Travel Advice is to provide up-to-date information to enable you to make well-informed decisions.
Petty crime is prevalent. Ensure that your personal belongings, passports and other travel documents are secured at all times.
Traffic drives on the left. The main highway is paved. There is no public transportation. Cars, motorcycles and scooters can be rented.
Consult our Transportation Safety page in order to verify if national airlines meet safety standards.
Tourist facilities and services are limited.
Be sure that your routine vaccines are up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.
You may be at risk for these vaccine-preventable diseases while travelling in this country. Talk to your travel health provider about which ones are right for you.
Hepatitis A is a disease of the liver spread by contaminated food or water. All those travelling to regions with a risk of hepatitis A infection should get vaccinated.
Hepatitis B is a disease of the liver spread through blood or other bodily fluids. Travellers who may be exposed (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment or occupational exposure) should get vaccinated.
Seasonal influenza occurs worldwide. The flu season usually runs from November to April in the northern hemisphere, between April and October in the southern hemisphere and year round in the tropics. Influenza (flu) is caused by a virus spread from person to person when they cough or sneeze or through personal contact with unwashed hands. Get the flu shot.
Measles occurs worldwide but is a common disease in developing countries, particularly in parts of Africa and Asia. Measles is a highly contagious disease. Be sure your vaccination against measles is up-to-date regardless of the travel destination.
Yellow fever is a disease caused by the bite of an infected mosquito.
Travellers get vaccinated either because it is required to enter a country or because it is recommended for their protection.
|* It is important to note that country entry requirements may not reflect your risk of yellow fever at your destination. It is recommended that you contact the nearest diplomatic or consular office of the destination(s) you will be visiting to verify any additional entry requirements.|
|Country Entry Requirement*|
Travellers to any destination in the world can develop travellers' diarrhea from consuming contaminated water or food.
In some areas in the Oceanic Pacific Islands, food and water can also carry diseases like hepatitis A. Practise safe food and water precautions while travelling in the Oceanic Pacific Islands. Remember: Boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!
Travellers are advised to take precautions against bites.
There is no risk of malaria in this country.
Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, monkeys, snakes, rodents, birds, and bats. Certain infections found in the Oceanic Pacific Islands, like rabies, can be shared between humans and animals.
The decision to travel is the sole responsibility of the traveller. The traveller is also responsible for his or her own personal safety.
You are subject to local laws. Consult our Arrest and Detention page for more information.
Homosexual activity is illegal.
An International Driving Permit is recommended.
The currency is the New Zealand dollar (NZD). The economy is largely cash-based. Credit cards are accepted at the only island resort. The Bank South Pacific is located in the main shopping centre in Alofi and can change traveller’s cheques, exchange foreign currency and provide cash advances on credit cards (Visa is most widely accepted). There is also a Western Union for money transfers. Automated banking machines (ABMs) are available.
The rainy (or monsoon) and typhoon seasons in the South Pacific extend from November to April. Severe rainstorms can cause flooding and landslides, resulting in significant loss of life and extensive damage to infrastructure, and hampering the provision of essential services. Disruptions to air services and to water and power supplies may also occur. Keep informed of regional weather forecasts, avoid disaster areas and follow the advice of local authorities.
During a typhoon or monsoon, hotel guests may be required to leave accommodations near the shore and move to safety centres inland.
Consult our Typhoons and monsoons page for more information.