Where to See Whales and Dolphins From Shore in Niue
Where are the best places in Niue to spot whales from shore? Between July and September each year, whales are frequently seen off the coast of the island when they come to Niue’s waters to breed and calve. While there are whale and dolphin-watching boat tours for a close encounter, you might be surprised to know that you can enjoy amazing whale watching from the shore where whales and dolphins can be seen close to shore.
Niue’s coastline with 30 m (100 ft) cliffs naturally provides incredible lookouts for watching marine life, not just for whales but for pods of spinner dolphins. What’s more, you can enjoy views even without binoculars, as Niue’s surrounding reefs drop off into the deep only as far as 100 m (110 yards) from shore! That way, dolphins and whales come close to Niue’s coastline for amazing wildlife viewing.
There are dedicated whale-watching points signposted along Niue’s west coast, as well as accommodations with ideal views for watching whales and dolphins. We’ll go through some of the best lookouts for watching whales and dolphins in Niue in this list.
1. Tomb Point
Located in the heart of Alofi, this spot is not only great for whale watching but also has interesting historical significance. The site is the burial site for two Niuean kings, as well as has a World War One memorial. Toward the back of the cemetery is a picnic area on the clifftops with fantastic views across the Niue coastline and surrounding waters where you have a good chance of spotting humpback whales during the whale season, or whales all year round. See other historical points of interest like this in the 10 Fascinating Historical Sites in Niue.
Location: Alofi, on the coast side of the road opposite the Commercial Centre.
2. Ana’ana Point
Located on the southwest coast between Alofi and Tamakautoga, Ana’ana Point is a large roadside parking and picnic area with spectacular views. Here, you can see a significant portion of Niue’s shores where you can look out for whales during the season or dolphins. Nearby, check out the historic Anaana Burial Cave just south of Ana’ana Point on the side of the road (within walking distance).
Location: Along the coast road between Alofi and Tamakautoga, approximately 3 km (1.9 mi) south of the quarry, southwest coast of Niue.
3. Hikutavake Sea Track
On the coast of the village of Hikutavake, located on the northwest coast next to the Matapa Chasm and Talava Arches sea tracks, the Hikutavake Sea Track also has a good whale-watching lookout at the top of its sea track. The Hikutavake Sea Track is a short track to some rock pools and snorkelling pools (best enjoyed at low tide) but before you head down the track, look out for whales and dolphins from the top.
Location: The western side of the grassy parking area in Hikutavake, signposted along the main road, northwest coast of Niue.
4. Makefu Sea Track
Signposted from the village of Makefu on the west coast of Niue, the Makefu Sea Track is one of the whale-watching lookouts where you can get comfortable at the picnic table ideally located for watching whales and spinner dolphins.
Location: Signposted from the main road just south of Makefu, west coast of Niue.
5. Scenic Matavai Resort
Niue’s only resort just happens to have a prime position for watching whales and dolphins from its Dolphin Restaurant deck, as well as from its pool decks. The neat thing about staying here is that the staff will ring a bell if a whale has been sighted. What’s more, they have binoculars on hand to enhance your sighting! Learn more about the Scenic Matavai Resort in the 10 Best Hotels & Resorts in Niue.
Location: Signposted along the main road just south of Tamakautoga, southwest coast of Niue.
6. Lau’s Getaway
Niue’s most luxurious accommodation, Lau’s Getaway, also blesses guests with sweeping views of Niue’s shores from the balconies of their two villas. The villas located in Pofitu, between Tamakautoga and Avatele, offer outstanding views from the villas’ private balconies, one of which has a standalone bathtub on the balcony also! Learn more about staying here in the 10 Best Luxury Accommodations in Niue.
Location: Pofitu, between Tamakautoga and Avatele, southwest coast of Niue.
7. Vaiolama Cafe
For dolphin and whale watching with a meal or a coffee, head to the Vaiolama Cafe which offers commanding views from the clifftops of Alofi. There is seating set up in view of the shore, so keep an eye out when you come for lunch here. See the 10 Best Cafes in Niue for more information about this place.
Location: Signposted opposite Alofi Rentals, Alofi town centre, central west coast of Niue.
8. Cable Lookout
An easy place to pull over on the road between Alofi North and Makefu, the Cable Lookout is not only where the Manatua One Polynesia Fibre Cable connects to Niue, but where you can spot whales and dolphins if they happen to be in the area.
Location: Along the main road between Alofi North and Makefu, just before reaching Nana’s Chalet when travelling north, west coast of Niue.
These colourful self-contained cottages on the clifftops of Avatele have their very own private whale-watching deck. Wander from your cottage through the coral gardens to a deck elevated on the coastline where outdoor furniture is set up for you to relax while watching the whales and dolphins. Learn more about Breeze in the 10 Best Wedding & Honeymoon Accommodations in Niue.
Location: Next door to Lau’s Getaway, Pofitu, between Tamakautoga and Avatele, southwest coast of Niue.
10. Anaiki Motel
This motel located on the clifftops above the famous Avaiki Cave in Makefu is just one more accommodation in Niue with an ideal whale-watching spot. Their private lookout is an expansive deck where you can watch whales and dolphins while barbecuing, watching the sunset or observing the marine life in the reef below. Find out more about this accommodation in the 10 Best Family Accommodations in Niue.
Location: Signposted on the main road between Makefu and Tuapa, west coast of Niue.
More About Watching Whales and Dolphins in Niue
That’s it for our list of places to watch whales and dolphins in Niue, including the best whale lookouts. For more ways to encounter Niue’s magnificent marine mammals, check out the following guides:
- The Guide to Swimming with Whales in Niue
- The Guide to Swimming with Dolphins in Niue
- The Guide to the Whale Season in Niue
Finally, remember to bookmark the 101 Things to Do in Niue: The Ultimate List for more amazing experiences.