The Hidden Gems of Niue
Although you’ll never feel like you need to “escape the crowd” in Niue, as the tiny island in the South Pacific is an off-the-beaten-track destination in itself, there are certainly places less explored. From underrated sea tracks to secluded beaches, sometimes finding places you have never heard of provides the most memorable experiences. We are almost ashamed to tell you about some of these hidden gems in Niue, as discovering them for yourself is all part of the fun. Nevertheless, here are what we consider some of the best “secret” spots around the country.
Before we jump into our list of places that are off the beaten track in Niue, remember to bookmark the 101 Things to Do in Niue: The Ultimate List for more amazing experiences.
1. Motu Sea Track
You’ve probably heard of Niue’s famous sea tracks, such as the Limu Pools, Togo Chasm, Talava Arches, etc. However, there are more than 30 sea tracks around the island to discover, taking you to some of Niue’s most stunning off-the-beaten-track destinations.
One of the most underrated sea tracks in the Motu Sea Track on the east coast. After delving down a narrow bush road, you’ll come to the start of the trail taking you through dense coastal forest until you emerge on the clifftops. Walk a little further and you’ll come to a cliff with a huge hole weathered through the middle looking out across a sweeping reef. There is even a sketchy-looking rung ladder down the cliff to the reef below. It’s one of our favourite sea tracks on the east coast.
Location: Signposted between Liku and Lakepa on the coastal side of the road, east coast of Niue. The Motu Sea Track is a little closer to Lakepa than to Liku.
2. Vinivini Bike Trail
All five of Niue’s official bike tracks will take you to places few visitors get to see. However, the Vinivini Bike Trail, also known as Bike Track 5, is arguably the most “off the beaten” track taking you through the protected forest of the Huvalu Forest Conservation Area. The loop track is about 13.5 km (8.4 mi), taking about three hours to hike and about one hour to cycle. Learn more in The 5 Best Bike Trails in Niue and 10 Best Hikes in Niue.
Location: Start from the Alofi-Liku Road in Liku, east coast of Niue.
3. Pofitu Beach
Niue is not known for its beaches, mainly because it’s not a beach destination like the other South Pacific Islands. However, it does hide a few sandy coves and coral beaches nestled between its coastal cliffs, some of which are pretty popular, like Hio Beach and Tamakautoga Beach. Others are far less-visited, however, such as Pofitu Beach. The small beach leading onto a reef is the perfect photo spot, especially as it is likely that you’ll have the whole place to yourself. Check out more beaches in the 5 Best Beaches in Niue.
Location: Pofitu Sea Track, signposted on the main road between Tamakautoga and Avatele, southwest coast of Niue.
4. Tamakautoga’s “Secret” Beach
Speaking of beaches, although Tamakautoga’s Beach down the short and wide steps of the Togulu Sea Track is easy to find, did you know there is another beach here? That’s right, find a small trail through the forest on the righthand side of the parking area that takes you down a steep (and slippery) set of steps onto an arguably more beautiful beach than its neighbour. It’s a beach that only the locals (and Niue Pocket Guide readers) know about…
Location: Togulu Sea Track signposted off the main coastal road in Tamakautoga (alongside the village green), southwest coast of Niue.
If you’re looking for an off-the-beaten-track place to stay in Niue, then consider staying in the village of Lakepa. Lakepa is located on the east side of the island, a side where very few visitors stay. However, Lakepa has two accommodation options, Taoke Units and Lialagi Units, which will give you an authentic Niuean village experience staying in a village with very little impact by tourists. Even here, you’re only a 25-minute drive across the inland road to Alofi. Learn more about Niue’s lesser-known villages in the 5 Smallest Villages in Niue.
Location: Lakepa, east coast of Niue.
6. Niue’s Dive Sites
Niue is a scuba diver’s paradise thanks to its crystal clear waters due to the lack of surface run-off, as well as for its commanding underwater seascape and marine life. What’s more, Niue’s dive sites are never crowded – it’s just you and your group with a whole underwater world to yourselves. Niue only has two dive operators, which tend to visit different dive sites so you’re never likely to cross paths with another group. Learn more in the 10 Best Dive Sites in Niue.
Location: See scuba operators in The Best Scuba Diving Tours in Niue.
7. Huvalu Forest
Some of the other “secret spots” are where the tours take you. Niue’s tours are all small-group tours, usually just you and your group. That’s likely to also be the case with the Ebony Rainforest Tour based in Hakupu, where your guide will take you into the Huvalu Forest Conservation Area to show you traditional food and medicine gathering techniques, as well as show you rare ebony and banya trees in all of their majestic glory. The tour will take you to where few visitors have gone before! Learn more in The Best Guided Tours in Niue.
Location: Hakupu, southeast coast of Niue. Bookings are required and pick-ups are available from Alofi and the Scenic Matavai Resort.
8. Mutalau’s Uga Rainforest and Plantation
Another tour that will take you off the beaten path is A5 Tours. You’ll tour a Niuean plantation via 4WD as you learn about sustenance living. Taste a variety of seasonal produce as you journey through the plantation, then the tour concludes with a walking portion through the rainforest into uga (coconut crab) habitat, providing an opportunity to hold one if you’re keen. It will likely be just you and your group seeing a slice of authentic life in Niue. Learn more in the 5 Best Nature Tours in Niue.
Location: Follow the “A5 Tour” signs north of the village green, Mutalau, northeast coast of Niue. Bookings are required (see How to Book Tours in Niue).
9. The Maala Garden
Not many visitors have heard about this maala (garden) hidden in the interior of Niue. The Maala Garden Tour nestled in forest along the Alofi-Liku Road is a labour of love featuring an array of tropical flowers to food crops. The garden is accessed via a guided tour with your passionate hosts, Doris and John, where you’ll experience their infectious love for growing things. The tour concludes with tasting a variety of tropical fruits and nuts. Discover more “foodie” tours like this in the 10 Best Foodie Experiences in Niue.
Location: Look out for the black and white sign approximately 10 km (6.2 mi) down Alofi-Liku Road from Alofi (if you reach the 60 sign beside the house, you’ve gone too far), Liku, east side of Niue.
10. Avatele Forest
Last but certainly not least, the Mokalei family of Taue Uga Tours will certainly take you off the beaten track as you set up coconut baits to catch uga in their ancestral forest. Scramble over rocky terrain, squeezing through chasms and tying coconuts beside caves to entice Niue’s prized uga. There are day and night tours available. See the 10 Must-Do Tours in Niue for more information.
Location: Meet at the cenotaph in Avatele village, southwest coast of Niue.
More Hidden Gems in Niue
That’s it for our list of secret places and hidden gems in Niue. For more hidden gems across the world’s ultimate hidden gem, take a look at these guides:
- 10 Reasons to Travel in the Low Season in Niue
- The Adventure Guide to Niue
- Escape the Crowd, Guide to the Lesser Travelled Island of Niue
Finally, for more places to discover, don’t miss the 25 Best Sea Tracks in Niue.