Niue, one of the world’s smallest independent nation, is a Pacific island known as the ‘Rock of Polynesia.’
It offers plenty of wonders for the bold traveler. The island sits in the heart of the triangle formed by Tonga, Samoa, and the Cook Islands. This is a rugged terrain – abandon the deck chair and unwrap your hiking boots to begin the adventure.
With its forests and reef, Niue doesn’t conform to a Pacific island getaway’s stereotypical notion. But for those willing to try something new, Niue offers one of a kind underwater adventures, remarkably friendly people, and wonderful, warm weather. Plus, Niue is not primitive. In 2003 Niue became the world’s first’ wi-fi nation’, with free wireless internet access to everyone who resides there.
Things to know before you visit Niue Island
- This pacific wonder is a place where it is entirely common to see strangers wave at each other. Don’t get weirded out.
- Take some cash. There aren’t any ATMs on Niue, and many shops still operate on cash, so it’s useful to take some money with you.
- There’s no public transport on Niue so book a rental car. Attractions are somewhat spread out and too far apart for everyone except the most enthusiastic cyclists.
- Take some food with you, especially if you have special dietary requirements or preferences. Almost everyone else will be taking food in too. It’s a tiny island with limited agriculture, so items such as meat and dairy products can be expensive and sometimes unavailable.
Here are things to do in Niue.
Water: Niue is an aquatic wonder – without the flow from lakes or rivers, visibility underground is majestic, making it evenly inviting for beginner snorkelers and experienced divers alike. Dive into the water, and from the start, it will feel like you’ve hopped into an aquarium, with a blend of vibrant fishes everywhere you look. Access to swimming areas is via sea tracks down the hill faces – some places are more challenging to get to than others – almost all of them require scaling up and down steps and some need freestyle climbing over rocks. Adventure yo!
While one of Niue’s main attractions is its coastline, unless you’re a shark you can’t spend all your time in the ocean! There’s also a range of land-based activities for when the sea is too harsh.
Village Show Days: Each village has its own “show day” – a good day held in each town to show off produce, craft, food, and entertainment. It’s a fabulous place to buy authentic pieces woven by local expert weavers, and eat regional delicacies.
Talava Arches: A 30-minute walk over bumpy, rocky ground leads you to a cave. Settling with the aid of a guide rope, you come across the striking pair of arches. There is a pool only available at low tide, and this cave is sure to take you back to over 5000 years ago.
Togo Chasm: On Niue’s eastern coast, the chasm is a remarkable inland deposit of coconut palms and sand hiding in a deep rocky cleft. Encircled by a beautiful landscape of rugged rocks, it’s one of the more demanding walks on the island, and as the visitor information center mentions, “not for the faint-hearted” due to bumpy steps and a lot of hiking to be done.
Where to eat in Niue?
A few eateries around Niue offer conventional food nights. I preferred Hio Cafe in my visit because of its vantage point – up on the hill facing the beach that serves most of the food needed for a feast. Dishes include crayfish, grilled wahoo, stuffed shellfish, taro takihi, homemade ice cream and lettuce grown on Niue’s hydroponic farm.