Long Walks in Niue
Niue is famous for its sea tracks, but the two to five-minute walks that most sea tracks are might not satisfy your inner-hiker. Because, yes, as much as people like to think Niue is a part of New Zealand, the tropical island is certainly not like New Zealand when it comes to hiking (and many other things)! Nevertheless, you can still find a few sea tracks that are longer than the average, as well as bike trails that you can use for hiking for a more complete outdoors experience. We go through some of our favourite hikes in Niue in the list below!
For more advice for hiking in Niue, head to The Guide to Walks in Niue.
1. Togo Chasm Sea Track
One of the longest sea tracks in Niue, it can almost be considered a hike taking about 20-45 minutes to walk one way depending on how keen you are. The Togo Chasm Sea Track starts in the Huvalu Forest Conservation Area, taking you through a stunning example of Niuean rainforest as you head toward the coast. You’ll emerge at exposed clifftops with a formed trail taking you between weathered pinnacles. The Togo Chasm itself is reached via a long rung ladder. You can go as far as climbing on top of the boulders at the back of the chasm where the waves on the other side block your path. Return the same way. See more sea tracks on the same side of the island in the 7 Best Sea Tracks on the East Coast of Niue.
Location: 4km (2.5 miles) north of Hakupu in the Huvalu Forest Conservation Area. The track is well signposted on the coastal side of the road
2. Talava Arches Sea Track
Another track that involves a fair bit of hiking is the Talava Arches Sea Track. Starting in Hikutavake village, the track winds over rocky terrain through the forest eventually reaching some limestone caves to scramble through for a short while, using the ropes to guide you. After a 30-minute one way walk, you’ll reach an opening in a cave overlooking a reef and a huge coastal arch. It’s possible to walk across the reef to the arch at low tide, as well as snorkel in the channel through the reef. For more tracks on this side of the coast, see the 10 Best Sea Tracks on the West Coast of Niue.
Location: Hikutavake, at the back of the grassy parking area
3. Motu Access Road and Sea Track
Although not exactly a famous sea track in Niue, the Motu Sea Track is perfect for those wanting more of a journey to get to their destination. We recommend parking up at the beginning of the access road to the Motu Sea Track, which is 1.4km (0.9 miles) taking about 20 minutes one way to walk along the pleasant bush road. You’ll reach the start of the Motu Sea Track where you walk takes you a further 15 minutes to hike over the rocky limestone terrain of the forest and onto the clifftops. The track ends overlooking a sweeping reef seen through a hole in the cliff face. You can climb down a ladder to the reef below, best explored at low tide. Check out more reef walks in the 6 Best Reef Walks in Niue.
Location: Signposted between Liku and Lakepa on the coastal side of the road. The Motu Sea Track is a little closer to Lakepa than to Liku
4. Alofi Bike Trail (Bike Trail 2 and 3)
For those seeking longer hikes on the island, it’s best to use the bike trails, which consist of a mix of coastal roads and bush roads, some of which are thankfully only suitable for walkers, hikers and the rare four-wheel driver.
One route we recommend is from Alofi starting from the Alofi-Liku Road (beside the Police Station). Walk east past the high school and onward to Keleola Bush Road. Here, you’ll get to experience one of Niue’s bush roads for a truly tropical experience. The road leads onto the Makefu Bush Road, eventually taking you to Makefu where you’ll be able to check out coastal attractions like the Avaiki Cave. You’ll be on the main coastal road of Niue now, where you just need to walk south to get back to where you started in Alofi. Attractions like Peniamina’s Grave, the Vaila Cave and Togalupo Sea Track provide ultra-short detours along the way. This entire loop takes three to four hours to complete.
You can reduce the walk by 30 minutes by taking Namoui Bush Road instead of continuing on Makefu Bush Road to connect to the main coastal road back to Alofi.
Location: Start next to the Police Station in Alofi
5. Falepipi Bike Trail (Bike Trail 4)
Another bike trail you could hike instead of biking is the bike trail at the north of the island along the Falepipi Bush Road. Starting from Tuapa, take the Falepipi Bush Road through Niue’s inland forest and plantations for about 10.5km (6.5 miles). You’ll come out on the main ring road of Niue, which you can use to loop back to where you started, which is approximately 20km (12.4 miles) in total taking about four hours to hike. Highlights on the coastal road on the way back to Tuapa include the Matapa Chasm, Limu Pools and Hio Beach where you can stop for a congratulatory beer at the Hio Cafe & Bar.
Location: Start from Falepipi Bush Road in Tuapa
6. Vinivini Bike Trail (Bike Trail 5)
A bush trail taking you through the Huvalu Forest Conservation Area, the Vinivini Bike Trail is one of the best trails also for hikers. Starting from Liku, take the Alofi-Liku Road for approximately 3.6km (2.2 miles) and turn left onto the Vinivini Bush Road. The Vinivini Bush Road is about 7.8km (4.8 miles) through the forest on an old 4WD trail. You’ll come out on the main ring road of Niue where you’ll need to walk north for about 2km (1.2 miles) to get back to Liku where you started. The total walk is approximately 13.5km (8.4 miles) taking around two to three hours to complete the loop.
A quick detour worth taking is from where Vinivini Bush Road meets the main ring road. Instead of heading north straight away, walk 250m (273 yards) south to the Hikulagi Sculpture Park, then continue north after you have checked out the park.
Location: Start from the Alofi-Liku Road in Liku
7. Fuata Bike Trail (Bike Trail 1)
The final bike trail that you can turn into your very own hiking trail is on the Fuata Road near Tamakautoga and Avatele. Starting in Tamakautoga, take Tapeu Porritt Road north for about 2.3km (1.4 miles). Turn right onto Fuata Road where you’ll hike down the bike trail road for about 6km (3.7 miles). Keep on Fuata Road all the way until you reach the main ring road, which you will follow through Avatele, past the Scenic Matavai Resort and back to Tamakautoga. The whole loop is about 11.5km (7.1 miles) taking about two hours to 2h30min to complete.
Location: Start from Tapeu Porritt Road in Tamakautoga
8. Anapala Chasm Sea Track
Moving back to some shorter walks, one that will still get the blood pumping is the Anapala Chasm Sea Track – a 15-minute walk one way including 146 steps. The well-maintained track accessed from Hakupu goes through coastal forest and down some steep steps to the depths of the narrow Anapala Chasm. It is possible to swim in the freshwater pool at the bottom. Return the same way.
Location: Hakupu, signposted between the northern end of the community centre and the church
9. Tautu Reef Access Road and Sea Track
Due to the steep unsealed road leading to the Tautu Reef in Liku, it tends to be more pleasant to hike to this attraction rather than drive. Find the access road at the northeast corner on the village green where you’ll head down to a car park where it’s just another 500m (550 yards) on the sea track. Your reward is walking through a large arch onto the reef below, best explored at low tide. The walk takes approximately 30 minutes one way. Tautu Reef is also considered one of the best places on the island to watch the sunrise.
Location: Liku, access road is from the northeast corner of the village green left of the white house
10. Ulupaka Cave Track
Finally, for your last hiking mission on the island, join Tali’s Cave Tour to get exclusive access to ancestral land to the infamous Ulupaka Cave. The adventurous journey takes you to a couple of amazing limestone caves awash in stalactites and pillars. Your guide will take you down a series of passageways including one called “The Keyhole”.
Location: Lakepa, located about 800m (875 yards) south of the village