Reviewed on 24 Dec. 2019
Reviewed on 21 Nov. 2018
Reviewed on 14 Sep. 2019
This tiny Pacific island nation has a welcoming culture, stunning landscapes and an abundance of flora and fauna, including humpback whales, dolphins and sea turtles. Niue is a Pacific island paradise with a difference. One of the world’s smallest countries, this distinctive little nation charms with its hospitable locals and pristine natural attractions. Come prepared for relaxation, adventure and an unforgettable experience of nature.
Niue’s 1,500 residents live in 14 villages, spread across 269 square kilometres (104 square miles) of land mass. A millennium ago, Polynesians from Tonga and Samoa settled here. Captain James Cook attempted to land in 1774 but received a hostile reception. In 1900 the British colonised the island after all. In 1974, Niue became a self-governing nation in free association with New Zealand.
The spurned Captain Cook may have called Niue the “savage island”, but travellers today enjoy the warmth and cultural richness of a nation where it is still common to wave to passersby. Admire weaving demonstrations at the regular markets, hear the beautiful singing at a Sunday mass or join locals at bars and cafés with scenic views.
Niue is entirely made up of porous limestone and is nicknamed “The Rock”. It’s one of the world’s largest raised coral atolls. Because of its unique geology, the island has no lakes or streams. Instead, it has enchanting tropical forests, enticing rock pools and mysterious caves and chasms. Access is easy, so you can explore on your own or join a tour.
The island's coastline has excellent visibility for snorkelling and diving. Swim with spinner dolphins or, from July to October, with migrating humpback whales. If you prefer to stay dry, watch these impressive creatures from the shore.
Niue is a tourist-friendly destination, with a range of accommodation. Islanders speak both Niuean and English. The weather is best between April and November, when the climate is mild but the waters still warm. Try to visit during one of Niue’s many annual village festivals. Fly in from New Zealand and rent a car to discover Niue’s beauty at your own pace.