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You’ll never feel like just another tourist on Niue, the island nation a three hour flight from Auckland. That’s because, with just under 130 guest rooms, there are often more whales visiting in season than human visitors!
Niue is one of the world’s largest raised coral atolls and is home to around 1600 hospitable residents. There’s no such word as rush-hour on Niue, it’s one of the world’s safest destinations and you don’t need foreign exchange – Niue uses the Kiwi dollar. What many people don’t know is that Niue is far from tiny – it’s over four times the size of Rarotonga. A quarter of the island is clothed in pristine rainforest and almost the entire island is surrounded by 20 to 30 metre cliffs, and dramatic beautiful chasms and coves provide perfect swimming spots. Niue is also honeycombed with some of the South Pacific’s most spectacular and extensive caves. The island is encircled by a 64 kilometre coastal road so bikes are a great way to get around, although you can also hire a car. Diving and snorkelling around Niue’s coast is renowned for its water clarity and the richness of its marine life. Swimming with humpback whales (in season) is unforgettable and thanks to Niue’s deep surrounding waters, you can sip a cocktail and marvel at these awesome giants breaching just 50 metres from shore.
The first thing you need to know about humpback whales is not that they’re huge, but that they love to sing. Being up to 15 metres in length and weighing between 25 and 40 tons, they can certainly belt out a melody. Actually, it’s more like an anthem. On any whale diving excursion this is one way you’ll know if there’s a giant in the vicinity, because when a whale bursts into song, such is the magnitude of their voice, your lungs will rattle in your chest. In Niue, the whale season runs from July to October, with August and September offering the best opportunity to interact with one of the world’s largest mammals. With water visibility as clear as it is, swimming amongst these majestic behemoths offers a clarity you won’t find elsewhere. There are rules to ensure swimmers stay at least 200 metres away, but humpbacks are curious by nature, so if you get lucky and they approach of their own accord, revel in the experience and enjoy their titanic presence.
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Exploring Niue has never been easier, with the choice of cycling or hiring a car, you can discover every inch of this beautiful island at your own pace. Once you have your vehicle or trusty bicycle, we highly recommend you go and check out these incredible, Instagram worthy, natural attractions: Limu Pools – a short walk to a popular snorkelling ocean pool (you’ll fill up your phone with pictures of this place), Avatele Beach – one of the few white sandy beaches on Niue – & Matapa Chasm – This is a fresh water bathing place of Niue’s past Kings and offers great sheltered snorkelling at any tide. If you’re into going on adventures, give these moderate to hard walking tracks a go: Talava Arches – roughly 2 hours, wear sturdy shoes and make sure you have room on your camera to take plenty of photos of the Arches, Togo Chasm – roughly 2 hours, wear sturdy shoes and be prepared to climb down a ladder to reach the sandy chasm – & Anapala Chasm – a fresh water chasm which includes 155 stairs to get there, walking down is easy, walking back up is the fun part.
Fishing in Niue is the stuff legends are made of, as Niue’s deep waters are accessible almost immediately from launching, so you’ll spend most of your time fishing rather than travelling. The most common targets are Yellowfin Tuna, Mahimahi and Wahoo, amongst many others. Fish Niue runs a professional and safe operation that guarantees you a great experience out at sea. At times it doesn’t have to be all about the fishing. Niue’s rugged but stunning coastline is dotted with crevices and each area its own story. Explore key snorkelling sites and encounter some of Niue’s abundant marine life. You may have the opportunity to swim with the resident spinner dolphins or if you are visiting during the months of July to September Humpback Whales can at times be seen while out on fishing trips.
Love the Ocean? Love to snorkel. Niue is the perfect place to experience both! Niue is a large upraised coral atoll which means there are no rivers or lakes, and this ensures crystal clear waters year-round. Join Buccaneer Adventures for a coastal tour where you will learn about Niue and its history. Along the way you may even get to meet the resident Spinner dolphins and you can get in for a unique in-water interaction with these majestic creatures. After you are done making friends with the dolphins, you will be taken to the best outer reef site in Niue for a snorkel. Be prepared to see reef sharks, barracuda, Napoleon Wrasse and Katuali, also know as a sea snake. This tour is great for the whole family and is only 2.5 hours long.
Niue is renowned for its crystal clear water and richness of its marine life, so snorkelling around its coast is a must-do! Enjoy an abundance of reef fish and beautiful hard corals. If you are lucky you may even come across the resident spinner dolphins – famous for their acrobatic displays. They are playful by nature and you may just get to enjoy an in-water interaction with them. (Image: ©Niue Tourism)
The uga or coconut crab is said to be the largest hermit crab in the world. While it spends all its adult life on land, it must return to the sea to release its eggs. The tour provides an opportunity to see and capture the uga in its natural habitat. The tour is in two parts – the first is to lay the bait during daylight hours. The second part takes place at night when the crab comes out to feed on the bait.
Misa’s Nature Tour is an interactive experience where he guides you along a path that will showcase many unique features of Niuean history, customs and practices, many of which are still relevant today. His stories will entertain you and his knowledge about nature will leave you with an appreciation of how fragile it is on Niue island.
A not to be missed tour for an introduction to Niue for the first-time traveller or, even if you’re a repeat visitor, you’ll learn from a knowledgeable guide, a little of the history, the culture and see some of Niue’s iconic locations all in the comfort of an air conditioned mini bus.
There are dozens of well-maintained tracks around the Island. From virgin rainforest and dramatic caves to rugged coastlines, spectacular views and swimming coves, the tracks range from five minutes to five hours. (Image: ©Niue Tourism)
Fishing in Niue is legendary. Very deep water is accessed almost immediately from launching so you’ll spend most of your time fishing, not travelling.
Visibility (a diver’s favourite word) can be up to 80 metres. This clarity is ranked amongst the very best in the world and, with the warm water, makes for an exceptional dive experience!
Current time in Niue
New Zealand is 23 hours ahead of Niue
New Zealand Dollar (NZD)
Current is 230V, 50HZ. Plug the same as New Zealand
English and Niuean
Most businesses have EFTPOS and accept NZ debit cards, Mastercard and Visa. Niue does not have ATMs but Kiwibank is available in Alofi.
Hospitals are located in Alofi.
If you’re travelling on a NZ Passport, a Visa is not required but you are required to have proof of return or onward ticket. If you intend on staying longer than 30 days a visa will be required
3 hours and 25 minutes from Auckland to Niue, 4 hours and 17 minutes from Wellington to Niue and 4 hours and 45 minutes from Christchurch to Niue.
There is no public transport on Niue – you will need to hire a car or a bicycle. There is 64km of (mostly) sealed road and it takes roughly 2 hours to drive around the Island by car. In Niue you drive on the left hand side of the road and their road rules are the same as NZ. There are several well established rental car companies with safe, well maintained vehicles for hire. You will need a local driver’s license from the Police Department located in Alofi town and they are roughly NZ$25 per license.
Air New Zealand
Are you planning your next trip to Niue? Want to learn more about this destination? Or looking for ideas and inspiration for your next holiday? Here is where you can find our featured articles on Niue.
This is just a taste of the information and advice we have available through our House of Travel consultants.
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