Amazing Niue Caves to Explore
Niue is unlike anywhere else in the South Pacific. It’s the world’s largest raised coral atoll almost completely made from limestone that the sea and rainwater shapes to create some amazing land formations. Some of these formations are breathtaking caves with dangling stalactites and grandeur pillars reaching from top to bottom. While many of Niue’s caves can be explored on land, some are hidden below the ocean’s surface. We go through some of the most stunning caves in Niue on this list.
For more amazing rock formations on “The Rock”, see the 10 Most Stunning Natural Attractions in Niue.
1. Avaiki Cave
This cave combines as an excellent snorkelling location in Niue thanks to its turquoise cave pool teeming with fish and coral. Only accessible at low tide, the Avaiki Cave is accessible down a short sea track in Makefu taking you through a large tunnel to get to the main event. The Avaiki Cave is said to be the landing place of the first Polynesians to the island, which you can find out more in the 10 Fascinating Historical Sites in Niue.
2. Palaha Cave
Connected to the Avaiki Cave by a short reef walk or by driving a few hundred meters up the road, the Palaha Cave is worth visiting at any tide. It’s a short but slippery-when-wet sea track that takes you to a huge limestone cave overlooking the reef. Find the Palaha Cave Sea Track between Makefu and Tuapa.
3. Vaila Cave
A small cave in Alofi North, the Vaila Cave was once where locals would go for a freshwater source for cleaning and weaving. Today at low tide, it makes a good place for snorkelling in the pools, as well as a good photo stop for yet another amazing cave in Niue!
4. Amanau Cave
Ok, so this is more of an overhang than a cave but we still think it fits in this list of stunning caves in Niue. The Amanau Sea Track in Alofi South takes you down a ladder to a reef below where you’ll be able to climb onto a huge boulder and into a sheltered pool underneath the overhang. Snorkelling is good in the pool at low to mid-tide. Learn more about the importance of tide times in Niue here.
5. Ulupaka Cave
A more adventurous cave to explore in Niue, the Ulupaka Cave is only accessible with a local guide. The cave used to be where early settlers lived, but today it can be explored and admired for its amazing stalactites and pillar formations. The guided trip takes you over private land, so be sure to book a tour at the Visitor Information Centre to visit this cave south of Lakepa.
6. Uluvehi Sea Track Caves
On the northern coast of the island in the village of Mutalau, the Uluvehi Sea Track gives you access to two small caves. Walk down the concrete road sea track to a small cave containing vaka (canoes), as well as another cave a little further along the sea track with some cool stalactite formations.
7. Talava Arches Sea Track Caves
While the huge coastal arch is the main event of the Talava Arches Sea Track, the visit includes a short scramble through limestone caves to get there. The sea track is approximately a 30-minute walk one-way where you’ll reach some caves toward the end of the track to scramble through using the guide ropes. At low tide, you can cross the reef to the coastal arch and find another cave in the cliffs along the way. The Talava Arches Sea Track starts from the village of Hikutavake.
8. Limu Twin Caves
Niue is not just about the caves above ground, but there’s also much to explore below the surface. The Limu Twin Caves is one of the must-do dive sites in Niue where there are two large caves dropping from 6m to 28m and have a tunnel connecting them. Find out more about scuba diving in The Guide to Scuba Diving in Niue.
9. Bubble Cave
Another cave worth diving into is the deep and dark Bubble Cave. The only light into the cave comes from the entrance, where the dark descent and swim-through brings you to an open chamber awash with stalactites and where seasnakes lay their eggs.
10. The Dome Cave
While there are many more dive sites in Niue that involve caves, the last one worth mentioning is The Dome. This is a 30m dive in and under the island where you’ll emerge in an open chamber home to uga (coconut crabs). Diving is the only way in or out of this cave so it’s a real adventure. Check out more places to dive in the 10 Best Dive Sites in Niue.