The Best Things to Do in Niue for Foodies
Niue might be recognised for its stunning rocky landscapes and crystal clear waters for snorkelling, but what surprises many visitors is the food. Yes, the “Rock of the Pacific” just happens to be home to the world’s cleanest bees for honey-making, a producer of leading organic vanilla, while the locals also have traditional delicacies like the fascinating coconut crab, the uga. Explore Niue through your tastebuds with these foodie experiences in Niue.
While you’re here, be sure to also check out The Food Guide to Niue: Places to Eat, Food Tours & More. Foodies might also want to check out the self-catering accommodation and resorts with restaurants in the 10 Best Accommodations in Niue for Foodies.
1. Taste Fresh Tropical Produce on the A5 Plantation Tour
Learn the ins and outs of sustenance living on a tour with A5 Plantation Tours. Their 4WD tours take you through a local plantation to see what food grows on the island. The very laidback yet interactive tour has you learning how to husk a coconut, hold an uga (coconut crab) and taste a range of seasonal fruit straight from the plant! Tours depart from Mutalau and can be booked through the Visitor Information Centre, Explore Niue and other methods mentioned in How to Book Tours & Experiences in Niue. Check out more tours like this in the 8 Best Nature Tours in Niue.
Location: You’ll need to make your way to Tony’s home in Mutalau on the northeastern side of Niue where tours depart. Follow signs for “A5 Tours” north of Mutalau village green.
2. See How Vanilla is Made On an Organic Vanilla Plantation
There’s something special about the vanilla that grows in Niue, which is home to several organic vanilla farms. Learn about the growing process, from hand-pollinating each flower across thousands of vines to extracting the vanilla for a range of products, on a vanilla plantation tour with Niue Vanilla International. The two-hour tour is an informative and interactive experience showing you how to plant and pollinate vanilla vines, as well as browse a range of vanilla products at the Niue Vanilla Store. Learn more about this tour and more in The 6 Best Guided Tours in Niue.
Location: The tour departs from the Niue Vanilla Store in Alofi town centre, opposite Utuko Reef, and includes transfers to the plantation.
3. Tour, Taste and Be Treated on the Maala Garden Tour
Witness the wonders of nature and tropical gardening on this special interest tour at the Maala Garden. Your guides, Doris and John, will show their passion project and the result of years of laborious love in their garden plantation full of food crops, trees, herbs, flowers and much much more. The casual (and very affordable, might we add?) tour concludes with a spread of the garden’s produce including fresh fruit, nuts and drinking coconuts. Again, more details on this tour can be found in the 6 Best Guided Tours in Niue.
Location: Along the Alofi-Liku Road around 10 km (6.2 mi) from Alofi – look out for the black and white sign (if you reach the 60 sign beside the house, you’ve gone too far).
4. Sample Niuean Cuisine at an Umu Night
Keep Wednesday and/or Friday free because these nights are Niuean buffet nights! The Scenic Matavai Resort, Manuiz and Lilo’s Restaurant put on Niuean umu buffet nights so you can sample a range of traditional Niuean dishes. The evenings also often include Polynesian dancing and live music. Get more details on these entertainment evenings in The Ultimate Guide to the Niue Nightlife.
Location: All over Niue! See the link above for location recommendations.
5. Learn How to Prepare an Umu
Speaking of umu, those staying at the Scenic Matavai Resort can observe and learn how to prepare an umu and the umu pit a few hours before the food is revealed during the umu night! The Scenic Matavai team start putting the umu down at around 10/11 am (just follow the smoke near the car park), where guests are free to come along and ask questions.
Location: Scenic Matavai Resort, signposted along the main road just south of Tamakautoga, southwest coast of Niue.
6. Hunt for Uga (and Try Some)
Uga or coconut crabs have been a highly prized food source on the island for centuries. Learn about what the locals do to bait coconut crabs and catch them on a uga hunting tour. Taue Uga Tours in Avatele offer day tours to show you how to set up coconut baits around the forest, as well as night tours to see how the baits work, how to pick which crab to take, and much more. You are also given the opportunity to take an uga back to your accommodation to cook. Learn more about Niue’s uga in 8 Ways See Uga in Niue, as well as more details about the tour in the 6 Best Guided Tours in Niue.
Location: Tours depart from the Avatele Cenotaph along the main road in Avatele, southwest coast of Niue.
7. Go On a Fishing Charter
Another staple ingredient in Niue is fish. While Niue’s local fishermen go out on vaka (outrigger canoes), visitors have the chance to catch large predatory fish on one of the more modern fishing charters. Whether you’re an expert or new to fishing, you’ll stand a good chance at reeling in the likes of wahoo, mahimahi, yellowfin tuna or something else. While the charter policy in Niue is that the catch stays with the boat, most will cut a piece for you to cook back at your accommodation. See The Guide to Fishing in Niue for more advice.
Location: Tours depart from Alofi Wharf, Alofi town centre, central west coast of Niue.
8. Browse the Niue Market
Browsing the Niue Market is more than a food-related activity but a cultural interaction with locals. See stalls of fresh tropical produce and local delicacies like uga (coconut crab) for sale at the Niue Market taking place several mornings and afternoons a week. There are also often vendors selling Niuean meals, snacks and baked goods, making it a good opportunity to try some of the 10 Foods to Try in Niue. Learn more about market schedules in the 5 Best Markets in Niue.
Location: Along the main road next to the Visitor Information Centre, Alofi town centre, central west coast of Niue.
9. Pick Up Some Clean Niuean Honey
Niue’s honey has had international acclaim recently, with Niue being home to the “world’s cleanest bees”. While much of the world’s bees are in decline, Niue presents a safe haven for bees and, in turn, produces unbelievably pure honey. Pick up a pot of honey from Double M in Alofi where you’ll be able to take it back to New Zealand if you get a quarantine certificate at Hanan Airport.
Location: Double M, Alofi Commercial Centre, central west coast of Niue.
10. Learn About Niue’s Natural Foods
Ever wondered what it takes to survive on a tropical island, living off nothing but the forest and the sea? Niue’s nature tours can teach you how to do just that with stories from their Niuean ancestors or even first-hand experience. The Ebony Rainforest Tour is an excellent tour for learning about the food and medicine of the forest, as well as marvelling at magnificent buttress and banyan trees! Learn more about the tour in the 6 Best Culture Tours in Niue.
Location: Tours depart from Hakupu – look out for the blue “ebony carving” sign at the southern entrance to the village. Otherwise, transfers are available from Alofi and the Scenic Matavai Resort.
11. Experience a Village Show Day
Another opportunity to try real Niuean cuisine comes at the Village Show Days. Every year, each of the 14 villages in Niue hosts a show day to showcase some of the best food, produce, fish, uga and handicrafts the settlement has to offer. There are also contemporary and traditional games and competitions to enjoy throughout the event. Learn more about these events in our guide to What are the Village Show Days in Niue?
Location: All over Niue!
12. Dine at Niue’s Fabulous Restaurants
Lastly and only because it was obvious, you can have a foodie experience in Niue by dining at Niue’s amazing restaurants. Niue has a small selection of eateries serving a surprising range of international cuisines made with some of the freshest local ingredients, especially when it comes to seafood. There’s so much to say about Niue’s restaurants that we have a whole other guide for that in the 20 Best Restaurants in Niue.
Location: All over Niue! See the link above for location recommendations.
More Foodie Experiences in Niue
That’s it for the best foodie experiences in Niue. By now, you’re probably wondering how you’re going to bring all of these foodie experiences together?! Well, we’ve done the hard work for you with our complete foodie itineraries:
- Niue Food Itinerary: 14 Days
- Niue Food Itinerary: 7 Days
- Niue Food Itinerary: 5 Days
- Niue Food Itinerary: 3/4 Days
Finally, if there’s anything we’ve missed, you’ll likely find it in The Food Guide to Niue: Places to Eat, Food Tours & More.