Why Visit Niue?
Niue is barely on the radar of most people – a tiny dot in the South Pacific Ocean. Apparently, you can go there, but why would you? Why should you visit Niue?
Niue, pronounced “Nyoo-ay”, is a large uplifted coral atoll that is about a three-hour flight from New Zealand. It’s a small nation of 1,600 residents living on a rocky limestone mass lined with caves, coves and chasms. It attracts an array of tropical wildlife to its crystal clear waters and tropical rainforest. It’s different and it might just be the kind of “different” you’re looking for…
1. The Island is Unique
Only Niue can take the title of being “the largest raised coral atoll in the world” and with that, Niue offers a different landscape from your usual adventure in the South Pacific. Discover amazing limestone caves and chasms in every nook and cranny of the coastline, sink your toes into coral beaches made up of shells rather than sand, and have access to glorious coral reefs right from your doorstep. See the 10 Most Stunning Natural Attractions in Niue for some of the amazing sights that Niue has to offer.
2. The Water is Crystal Clear
It’s hard to believe that the ocean water can get so clear, but somehow Niue manages it thanks to its porous limestone makeup that filters any surface water before it enters the ocean. This means that the snorkelling and scuba diving here is vividly clear. On a normal day, you’ll have visibility of around 50m (165ft). On an amazing day, it’s been know to reach up to 80m (260ft)!
3. It Feels Like You Have the Whole Island to Yourself
With a land area of 260km2 (100 sq mi), a population of only 1,600 and less than 200 tourists on the island at one time, there’s plenty of space for everyone in Niue. You can easily find yourself at some of Niue’s most popular attractions with the place all to yourself. What’s more, all of the accommodation here is boutique, so it’s easy to find your own quiet corner.
4. It’s One of the Only Places in the World Where You Can Legally Swim with Whales
Between July and September each year, humpback whales take an amazing migration from Antarctic waters to the warm waters of Niue in order to mate and calve. With Niue’s licenced whale watching and swimming operators, you can get up close to these gentle giants and see them in their element – a crystal clear element might we just add! Learn more about the experience in The Guide to the Whale Season in Niue.
5. The Action in the Water is Just Off the Coast!
Niue’s reef shelf surrounding the island is narrow and drops off into the ocean not too far from shore, which means that you’ll jump right into the action when doing whale swimming, fishing and scuba diving. In other words, you don’t have to travel far to experience Niue’s water activities, making sure you have optimum time on the water doing what you have paid to do. It also means that the views of whales and dolphins from shore are very close! Check out some of the amazing water experiences in the 10 Best Water Activities in Niue.
6. Immersing in the Culture is Effortless and Authentic
You won’t find any “culture villages” here. Your experience with the locals is a genuine one, where you’ll get a great insight into the Niuean slice of life at the morning markets, on tours with locals showing their ancestral rainforests, village show days, at weekly weaving groups and much more! What’s more, Niueans are extremely welcoming and will make you feel right at home. See The Guide to the Niuean Culture for Travellers for more information.
7. The Weather is Glorious
Niue is a tropical paradise, with average temperatures of 21-29°C (70-84°F) all year round and sea temperatures around 23°C (73°F). With that, the weather is glorious all year round, which you can get more details on in What is the Weather Like in Niue?
8. It Can Be Very Affordable if You Want it to Be
Niue certainly doesn’t feel like a rip-off. Most accommodations have self-catering facilities, giving you a choice to save money on food by preparing your own meals. Car rental is affordable. You’ll also find that local tours are extremely affordable, many land tours around only around NZ$50-$70! While there are understandable costs with scuba diving, it’s far cheaper than other South Pacific Islands, with two-tank dives for around NZ$190-$230, for instance. See other prices in What is the Cost of Travelling in Niue? What’s more, all of the sea tracks to Niue’s most famous attractions are free!
9. It’s Easy to Visit
For New Zealanders, visiting Niue couldn’t be easier with direct flights from Auckland twice and week. The currency is New Zealand Dollars where you can even use your New Zealand debit card here. Plus, English is one of the official languages. Coming from elsewhere, then there are hundreds of connecting flights to and from Auckland!
10. It’s a Year Round Destination
Finally, you can visit Niue whenever is right for you. There is no “best” time to be in Niue, as there are year-round events, sunny tropical weather and activities to enjoy. However, a tiny number of Niue’s activities are seasonal, so if you want to make sure you’re in Niue when you want to do whale swimming or fish for particular species, for example, then make sure you read The Best Time to Visit Niue and Travelling Niue: Month-by-Month Guide.