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Holidays in Niue

Understanding Niue

Niue's remoteness, as well as cultural and linguistic differences between its Polynesian inhabitants and those of the rest of the Cook Islands, have led to it being separately administered The population of the island continues to drop from a peak of 5,200 in 1966 to about 2,100 in 2002 with substantial emigration to New Zealand, 2,400 km to the southwest 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 defense

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 Niue has cut government expenditures by reducing the public service by almost half The agricultural sector consists mainly of subsistence gardening, although some cash crops are grown for export The sale of postage stamps to foreign collectors is an important source of revenue Efforts to increase GDP include the promotion of tourism and a financial services industry

The word "Niue" is not used in the local language to refer to this island, meaning in fact "Look! There's a coconut" Captain Cook called it "Savage Island", thinking incorrectly that the natives who came to greet them were painted in blood

Niue's timezone is GMT-11 mainland New Zealand is GMT+13 in daylight saving time So Niue is one day later than 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 approaches Niue is flat with its cliff faces resembling a large ‘Swiss cheese’ composed of coral limestone rock peppered with caves, hidden caverns and chasms, buried grottoes and other subterranean natural fissures that are yet to be discovered and developed into tourist attractions

The island is approximately 73km in circumference with two distinct terraces The upper terrace, 60m high at its highest point, slopes steeply to a 05m coastal terrace ending with high cliffs, some over 20m above sea level A rugged fringing reef, which in places over 100m 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

Time difference from Mainland New Zealand

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 summerime So be careful about the date when you communicate between Niue and Mainland New Zealand, because Auckland is one day ahead of Niue

Talking in Niue

English often with a distinctive New Zealand accent is widely spoken The local Niuean language is increasingly falling out of favour but you'll win the hearts of many locals by learning a few Niuean words

What to see in Niue

Niue is dotted with many caves and limestone arches There are alot 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

Dolphins and whales can be seen off the coast

  • Huvalu Forest Conservation Area is a huge pristine tropical rainforest that occupies 20% of Niue's land area! A major source of wildlife and traditional foods, and a major focus of our conservation efforts, especially from the adjoining village of Hakupu Teeming with diverse flora and fauna, there is nothing deadly, harmful or poisonous in our forests! While the terrain is largely flat it is very uneven and reflects its volcanic origin Please do not explore alone or you will get lost and there aren't enough people on Niue to come and look for you!
  • Matapa Chasm North of Makefu Fabulous swimming and snorkeling area, encased by steep 10 m cliffs that overhanging a deep long cool pool full of fish It is next to the sea, but isolated from its currents by large boulders at the ocean side The drumming noise from the ocean waves is quite a treat and can be deafening as you near its mouth Taking a refreshing dip here is rewarding after visiting the Talava Arches
  • Liku Sea Track and Cave Liku On Niue's East Coast, this sea track is about 500 metres from Liku Village Access is via large open cave and the view at dawn - as can be seen from the photo - is stunning Gaze east and reflect that there's hardly two grains of sand between you and Chile!

At low tide, the coastline around here is full of tiny little private 'beaches', little sandy coves varying from 5 to 15 metres long! Lie down and sunbathe, or explore the numerous reef pools Do be careful to leave well before the tide returns over the outer sea wall, and do take water, sturdy footwear, and some food

  • Talava Arches A massive rock archway noted by Captain Cook in the late 1700’s, and surrounded by a network of complex caves Difficult to get to without a guide, but well worth the effort Allow 30-45 minutes return and take plenty of water It's a hot and steamy walk; visit the Matapa Chasm afterward for a swim
  • Anapala Chasm Hakupu Adjacent to Hakupu Heritage Park, a deep sharp descent there are steps and a chain rail into the very cool depths reveals a fresh water spring Traditionally, very important for it gave access to the fresh water source beneath our island's land-mass; remember, '''''Niue has no rivers or lakes'''''
  • Avaiki Cave Makefu Limestone cave with excellent swimming options after a short walk through Swimming is prohibited on Sunday and during the koloama spawning season

What to do in Niue

There are many activities to do in Niue All you need to do is adventure out Have a keen and energetic attitude towards everything Be positive and able to try anything and everythin 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 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 your wanting to play a bit of touch, what better way to do it, by versing 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 abit of sports, just ask around and Im sure you will find a game

  • Niue Dive PO Box 140, Alofi, Niue 683 4311 http://wwwdivenu Go on dives in many of the underwater "cathedrals" Niue has some of the world's best diving They run two-dive trips for $170 and a four-day open water course is roughly $650 Credit cards are accepted when the system isn't down but to be safe, bring enough cash for a dive An opportunity not to be missed! Note that there is no decompression chamber on Niue, so you'll need to schedule dives so that you're not diving the day before your flight

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 4hr 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

Buying stuff in Niue

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

Cash is essential just about everywhere! There are no ATMs No businesses accept EFTPOS and a very small handful of upmarket hotels and Niue Dive accept credit cards You can get a cash advance on a Visa card only at Bank South Pacific for a $10 fee + 35% commission

Even though some places accept credit cards 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'll think you'll need!

There is a Western Union transfer service at Bank South Pacific


Niue uses the New Zealand dollar


Due to the fact that just about everything has to be imported, Niue is a bit more expensive than New Zealand Fresh fruits and vegetables are cheaper, though Tobacco products are much cheaper due to the lack of taxes Alcohol is rather expensive, although not as much so if you buy it at the duty-free shop 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

Food and eating in Niue

Don't expect McDonald's, Burger King, Subway, and KFCunless you want to fly to New Zealand or Australia to get your fix Bring a sense of culinary adventure Local specialties include uga coconut crab, anything with coconut, and the like If you love tropical fruit you'll have fun in Niue; passionfruit, cassava, taro, vanilla, kumara, and various other fruits are abundant

Has many delicious places and could say better then commercial food aye

  • Crazy Uga Cafe Alofi 683 1277 Choose from either the "Big Uga" or "Little Uga" breakfast Also serves pita wraps, sandwiches, coffee, and fruit smoothies Great views of the reef and sea Open on Tuesday nights for dinner
  • Gill's Indian Restaurant & Takeaway Alofi South 683 4180 M-F 11AM-9PM Sa-Su 5PM-9PM The only "international" option on Niue Serves beef, lamb, or chicken curry with rice and roti Vegetarian and fish options available Open on Sundays a rarity on Niue
  • Jenna's De La Cuisine Alofi across from Niue Backpackers 683 4316 Tues-Sat 6:30PM-9PM The host, Vivi, is the nicest! Tuesday night buffet booking essential
  • Talo's Restaurant & Buffet Alofi 683 4067 or 4077

we have a variety, from fish and chips to umu food and takeaway To suit anyones food wants and needs

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

  • Swans Supermarket Alofi 9AM-4PM M-F The island's only supermarket Sells a moderate range of fruits and vegetables, canned goods, hygiene items, etc
  • Double M Butchery Alofi 683 4139 9AM-5PM M-F 4-7PM Sat Sells fresh meats and cheeses Excellent selection of spices, vanilla beans, and other food items
  • Makete Market Alofi 6-11AM Tues & Fri Best place to get fresh fruits and vegetables Coconut porridge for $2 is served in a shell and makes a fantastic breakfast Locally caught uga are also sold here
  • Bakery next to RockET Sells a good range of breads at low prices Also has a small selection of pies and basic groceries

Drinking in Niue

Coconut water is very refreshing and a natural rehydrant on a hot and humid day

Frosty Boy serves great vanilla bean shakes and ice cream Run by the fabulous Brian and Ira Merrifield

  • Washaway Cafe Avatele open on Sunday evenings with a serve-yourself bar and the best focaccia bread on Niue
  • Falala Fa Bar Main St Alofi 683 4697 Open 7 days Fully licensed bar
  • Clayton's Bar Alofi South

Visitors can purchase up to three bottles of duty-free wine and spirits within four days after arrival from the Customs and Bond Store behind the shopping centre It is only open until noon on weekdays Bring your boarding pass

For the really adventurous, try Noni juice at the Vaiau Farm Anything that tastes that bad has to be really good for you!

Accommodation in Niue

It's advisable to make a booking in advance but not necessary

Most places to stay are in or near Alofi, and there are one or two options going toward Avatele Accommodation is nonexistent 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 not recommended due to mosquitoes and, like in many Pacific islands, locals can take it like you're rejecting their hospitality


  • Niue BackPackers iramerrifield@gmailcom Alofi Niue 683 4074 Four bedrooms , one with ensuite , BBQ on Deck , Shared kitchen & dining lounge close to shops and the reef

Room rate NZ $25PP night


  • Kololi's Guesthouse Alofi 683 4258 Centrally located Communal kitchen and DVD room
  • Peleni's Guesthouse Alofi


  • Lanutahi Holiday Apartments Tamakautoga 683 4317 Self Contained holiday apartment, each with fully equipped kitchen 2 minutes walk from Matavai Resort for fully licensed Bar and Restaurant 5 Minutes walk to Tamakautoga swimming pools and Avatele Beach
  • Matavai Resort matavai@niuenu 683 4360 $160-190 per night Niue's only resort Restaurant with fully-licensed bar, and two swimming pools Great views of the reef Turtles and dolphins have been seen from here Free use of golf clubs and bicycles for guests
  • Namukulu Cottages & Spa namukulu_cottages@niuenu 683 4533 http://wwwnamukulu-cottagesnu Three spacious self contained cottages, each with fully equipped kitchen All cottages have sea views Complementary BBQ facilities Chlorine free Swimming Pool Whale watching lookout point Very close to Matapa Chasm, Talava Arches, Limu Pools, Hio Beach, Palaha Cave and Avaiki Cave Day Spa Facility offering Massage, Facials and Body Treatments Mountain Bikes, laundry facility, free internet access to all Cottages
  • Stone Villa's stonevillas@niuenu 683 4023 http://wwwstonevillaswebscom NZ$150 per night Niue's only accommodation made from pure natural Limestone The villa features a double bedroom with private patio, fully equipped kitchen with stove, fridge, microwave Lounge area with TV, DvD, CD & Radio Player Dining area has its own private patio Separate bathroom with shower, separate toilet, laundry facilities with washing machine & dryer Wireless internet, private phone with international access Villa comes with a private car Private transfer from the airport on arrival

Working in Niue

Opportunities to work on Niue are extremely limited Teaching positions may be available at some of the primary schools Though do not let that stop you from coming to Niue If you have the mind and money to develope Niue with your product, by all means come to Niue and start a business Look at all the opporunities in helping and developing Niue to all

People that work in the private sector earn their own money on their own time, it could be from making jewelery, food, building houses, hair dresser or just selling many items in a shop There is great potential in Niue Work is all around, just need to open and take what is available

Cities in Niue

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