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Trip report for Niue

Level Contributor
6 posts
5 reviews
3 helpful votes
Trip report for Niue

Faakalofa lahi atu!

We have just arrived home from an initially bewildering but overall fabulous week on Niue.

Niue has recently reopened to flights from NZ. We booked flights there because it was a lot cheaper to go there in October school holidays than our usual destination of Cook Islands. Niue is quite different! It is called the Rock for a reason, it is very rocky, most beaches etc are accessed down fairly steep and sometimes slippery paths, so take sturdy shoes.

We weren't bothered by mosquitoes, only roosters. Pack ear plugs! There are a lot of dogs and at times I found them quite intimidating when they ran towards me, but they only barked.

The island is very very safe, no-one locks anything.

There are less than 2000 residents and currently only one planeload of visitors per week. We arrived on a Monday to find most restaurants etc closed, so ended up eating at the Matavai Resort. If you aren't staying there then it would pay to get there early to book a table! The main supermarket, Swanson's, is not where the map we were given says it is! We finally found it up on the hill near the airport.

Not many businesses have opening hours displayed and you can't rely on these anyway. For example, the sign outside the market says it's open on Tuesdays and Fridays but it is now Wednesdays and Fridays. Mostly food is sold there, the market was very quiet on both days, not much for sale.

Friday is a day off for most workers, the exception being teachers, and anyone working in a shop.

There are few bikes and we never saw a scooter , most people use cars, even the locals, and unless you have the time and the energy to cycle in the heat, a rental car is really a must. But be careful, make sure you check the car, ours had no speedo and all the warning lights were permanently on. It also stalled a few times, even though it was an automatic!

The best food and coffee we had was at Fana Cafe next to Swanson's, open Monday to Friday, I think it was 8am to 3pm. Crazy UGA also good for coffee. But if you drink alternative milk like oat milk, I suggest you take some as they had run out and there was none in latest shipment, now have to wait until next ship comes in. ( Once a month?)

Near Fana Cafe is Relativf Bar, run by a lovely man called John, he makes the best cocktails! There is sports tv in his bar and he is happy to change channel to suit your tastes.

The best advice I can give is, when you first arrive, talk to the locals, ask lots of questions, they are very friendly and helpful. They will also make good recommendations on where to go and when.

No need to stay in a resort, there is a lot of alternative accommodation which is often much cheaper. We stayed at Aleki Motels in Avatele. Check out their website. Avatele beach is a short stroll away. Good snorkelling and swimming, wear reef shoes!

Everything is a bit of a drive, if you want to be able to walk to shops etc, stay in Alofi, (which is the only township,) somewhere like Taloa Heights. The other villages don't have shops. The Eastern side is windy and seas are rough. It's about 15km from west to east, and no shops anywhere! Take water.

I could not find pawpaws for sale anywhere, a local man told me they were growing all over the island, and to just help myself! Sure enough, there are trees growing alongside the roads, often nowhere near houses or plantations.

Hio cafe, in the north west corner of island, is worth a visit, just check their Facebook page for open times, and make a booking.

Limu pools are amazing, great for snorkelling and swimming. Niue Blue is a company that runs diving and snorkelling adventures, I recommend them.

Just remember that with such a small population, the locals often work several jobs, so places may not be open when they should be, due to staff being sick or away. Sunday is church day, don't expect a lot of places to be open, and don't go swimming near any churches. (Visit a church, the singing is amazing! )

Some of the attractions are best visited at low tide, it pays to do some research before you go.

Wave as you pass other cars, everyone does this.

Finally, be aware that to enter Niue you need a travellers pass. ( See Niue Govt website) The PCR test costs $99, and must be done within 48 hours of travel. To come back to NZ you need to go online and complete a Travel Declaration. It is necessary to have some Internet access so if you aren't staying somewhere with free WiFi, go to the Telecom shop at airport or in Alofi, and purchase data ( Telecom Sim Card).

Happy travels!

2 replies to this topic
Level Contributor
1,506 posts
25 reviews
24 helpful votes
1. Re: Trip report for Niue

Fabulous report…. on my radar …. along with most of the rest of the world……

Auckland, New...
Level Contributor
434 posts
251 reviews
157 helpful votes
2. Re: Trip report for Niue

Thanks for the report, lots of good tips.

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