Niue is an island country in the South Pacific Ocean, approximately halfway between Tonga and the Cook Islands. It is located 2,400 kilometres (1,500 mi) northeast of New Zealand within the triangle formed by Tonga to the west, Samoa to the north, and the Cook Islands to the east. It has a land are of 260 square kilometres (100 sq mi) and a population of about 1,400, which is predominantly Polynesian. Niue is commonly referred to as “The Rock,” referenced to the traditional name “Rock of Polynesia.” Its capital and largest village is Alofi. Niue is a self-governing state in free association with New Zealand, which conducts most of Niue’s diplomatic relations. Its people are citizens of New Zealand and Queen Elizabeth II serves as head of state in her capacity as Queen of New Zealand. The country’s climate is tropical, modified by southeast trade winds, with December to March being the cyclone season.
What to see & do
Niue has numerous caves and limestone arches dotting the island. Additionally, there are plenty of ‘sea tracks’ that lead from the road to the coast, which, if you’re lucky, you can spot a whale or dolphin off the coast. Go check out the vast and tropical Huvalu Forest Conservation Area; the amazing swimming and snorkelling wonders of Matapa Chasm, which is enclosed by steep cliffs; Like Sea Track and Cave’s spectacular views, little, sandy coves, and many reef pools; Talava Arches’s massive rock archways; Anapala Chasm; and Avaiki Cave, a limestone cave that offers impressive swimming options. Some of the activities that you can enjoy on the island – there are plenty – include kayaking, fishing, diving (Niue Dive offers PADI-certified dives), golf, cycling, and more. You can also go spelunking in one of the many caves around the island.
How to get around
It is important to know that there’s no public transport system in Niue. Getting around the entire island takes about 40 minutes by car, which you can rent (or a bicycle, whichever you prefer) at one of the numerous rental shops in Niue, such as Alofi Rentals. You must obtain a Niue driver’s license first from the Police Department. You can also hitchhike, a common and easy thing to do in the island, or go ride on the back of utes, but be careful of palm leaves poking out that might hurt your eyes. The capital, along with other towns and villages, is compact in size and can be easily navigated on foot.
How to get there
The only way to get into Niue is via air transit, a plane from Auckland aboard Air New Zealand, which is the only carrier that flies into the island. There’s a scheduled flight once a week during off-peak seasons and twice a week in high season leaving New Zealand on a Saturday or Wednesday. There’s also Hanan International Airport, which is approximately 2km southeast of Alofi. There are taxis at this airport, or you can leave via free transfers that most accommodations provide. Although it is possible to get in by ferry, there are no foreign ports available in Niue, but one can sail his or her own yacht into the island outside cyclone season.