Niue has to be one of my favourite places in the world. I have been lucky enough to travel to this special island 5 times for work. Unfortunately as my time here was for work Alisdair has not yet been able to join me (I think I owe him a trip).
Niue has virtually no sandy beaches so do not expect a beach style resort holiday here. There is also limited tourist accommodation and other amenities however, do not let this put you off. There are many beautiful walks exploring the wild coast lines or untouched tropical forests, amazing caves scatted throughout the island, snorkelling with up to 100m of visibility, restful and safe rock pools, lovely warm weather and friendly locals.
Things to do
- Visit the Dive Shop next to the Matavai and book a swim with the Dolphins trip (or Whales if you are there at the right time);
- Visit the various rock pools for a swim/Snorkel, my favourites are Limu Pools and Avaiki;
- Swim/snorkel at Matapa Chasm;
- Snorkel out to Snake Galley (swim left of the gap in the reef at Avatele – be careful of tides), guided trips also a possibility through the dive shop;
- Hike to Togo or Talava Arches (tidal), good walking shoes are a must;
- Relax at Hio (one of the only sandy beaches); and
- Watch the sunrise at Liku or take in the vista of this secret spot (tidal).
Off the beaten track
- Visit the Alofi Rugby club or the Golf Club on a Saturday night for a dance and to meet some of the locals (only open until midnight);
- Take a cave tour (Vacona Cave was thrilling but a challenge)
- Drink some organic Noni Juice (famous for its health benefits;
- Challenge yourself to swim to the end of Anapala Chasm;
- Follow the signs – there are many Sea Tracks to explore on the island, who knows where you will end up (car recommended);
- Sit on the famous chair at the end of restoration reef – note that this is within private accommodation so respect those staying there;
- Star gaze at Ana’ana point, there is virtually no light pollution here.
Places to eat
- World class sushi can be found at Kai Ika (my favourite);
- Yummy lunches can be found at the Crazy Uga, as well as the Wednesday burger night;
- Washaway also has a burger night every Sunday, popular with locals and expats;
- Matavai restaurant is can expensive but their Ota is not to be missed;
- Try an Island night buffet at R’Linas (bookings required in advance), if you are lucky you can try Uga;
- Fala’la’fa, yum food but expect to wait; and
- Vaiolama where you can get a toaste and a have round of mini golf with a few Cocktails.
Things to know before you go
- You can swim with humpback whales between the months of July and October;
- There is only 1 to 2 Air New Zealand flights per week (depending on season) ex Auckland, New Zealand;
- Weather is best between the months of June and October;
- Having personal transport on the island is a must as there is virtually no public transport;
- Book accommodation in advance, especially during the busy season;
- Duty free alcohol is generally cheaper on island than from International Auckland airport;
- Currency is NZ dollars and most places accept credit card but bring some cash along; and
- Bring some reef shoes the coral is sharp!
Accommodation – There is only one backpackers on the island with the price ranging $50NZD for a double and $25NZD for a dorm room per night. The main resort room prices vary between $175NZD up to $600NZD per night.
Food – You can generally expect to pay between $15-$50NZD for meals depending where you go and alcohol prices at most establishments are comparable with New Zealand prices, up to $8NZD for a beer or wine. There is a local supermarket (Swansons) where you can buy your own supplies but expect to pay slightly more for common goods due to the remote location.
Transport – Return flights range between $800-$100NZD Car hire starts at $50NZD per day, with motorbikes and bicycles starting at $30NZD per day.
Activities – Most on island activities are free of charge, if you do choose to do a guided activity expect to pay at most around $100 per person, snorkel gear can be hired for $20NZD per day.
Money saving tips
- Look for deals, Air New Zealand often offer flight deals to Niue, Matavai resort is also known to have sales quite often;
- Bring your own supplies, stock up on duty free and bring over a few of your favourite snacks;
- Stick to eating places such as Crazy Uga and Washaway rather than the pricey Matavai;
- Stick to the free activities, these will keep you busy; and
- Bring your own snorkeling gear.
For more information see www.niueisland.com or leave a question below.