Low Tide in Niue
The tide matters in Niue. This rocky uplifted coral atoll has some amazing reefs, beaches and swimming holes to discover, but you’ll find that many of them are best accessed at a particular tide – most of which at low tide. This ensures you can access some of the best swimming spots on the island, as well as visit amazing places to swim and snorkel when it is safe to do so. However, always take the time to assess the sea conditions before you jump in. With all of that out of the way, check out this list of places to go in Niue at low tide.
Learn about why the tide matters in What You Need to Know About the Tide Times in Niue.
1. Avatele Beach
Head to this excellent snorkelling beach at low or mid outgoing tide to enjoy snorkelling among coral and tropical fish. However, some coral grows close to the surface at low tide so be careful. The beach is a coral beach with a boat ramp. Don’t swim close to the ramp which has a strong rip there. The Washaway Cafe here is open on a Sunday, which you can learn more about in The 10 Best Restaurants in Niue.
Location: Avatele Sea Track, Avatele
2. Tamakautoga Beach (Togolu Sea Track)
This quaint coral beach is well worth a visit at any time for the photos, but reef walking and snorkelling is best here at low tide. Find little pools for snorkelling in and checking out the marine life. There are coves on both the left and right of the car park. See more beautiful beaches in the 5 Best Beaches in Niue.
Location: Togolu Sea Track, Tamakautoga
3. Amanau Sea Track
Walk down a sea track surrounded by coconut palms leading down a ladder to the reef. There is an overhang with a cave pool ideal for snorkelling from low tide to mid-tide. Find this sea track in Alofi along with the 6 Best Sea Tracks in Alofi.
Location: Amanau Sea Track, Alofi South (opposite the fish factory)
4. Talava Arches
While the iconic Talava Arches are stunning to see at any tide, low tide is best if you want to walk across the reef and under the arch. Follow a 30-minute sea track through the bush starting in Hikutavake. You’ll go through some limestone caves and emerge at an opening with a view of the Talava Arches. There is a narrow cut in the reef below the cave opening which is fantastic for snorkelling.
Location: Talava Arches Sea Track, Hikutavake
5. Avaiki Cave
The cave where only the noble once bathed, Avaiki Cave is now accessible to everyone but only at low tide. The Avaiki Cave Sea Track in Makefu is a short track through limestone caves to a coastal cave with a spectacular pool for snorkelling.
Location: Avaiki Cave Sea Track, Makefu
6. Hio Beach
One of Niue’s most stunning beaches, Hio Beach is ideal for snorkelling in its reef pools at low tide. Allow about 30 minutes to one hour on either side of low tide to allow for water deep enough to enjoy these pools to the right off the beach.
Location: Hio Sea Track, Tuapa. Next to the Hio Cafe & Bar
7. Hikutavake Pools
Head down the Hikutavake Sea Track steps to a reef with some amazing snorkelling pools. However, it’s safest when the waves are not breaking over the reef. At the top of the sea track is a whale lookout. However, the coin-operated binoculars don’t work.
Location: Hikutavake Sea Track, Hikutavake
8. Utuko Reef
This sandy cove with a reef is located right in the heart of Alofi opposite the Police Station. Walk down a well-maintained sea track the small beach which is good for reef walking at low to mid incoming tide. It’s possible to snorkel in the pools to the left of the cove.
Location: Utuko Reef Sea Track, Alofi (opposite the Police Station)
9. Tautu Sea Track
The only spot on this list located on the east side of the island, the Tautu Sea Track leads down through some caves to an amazing reef walk at low tide. If you can wake up early enough, this is an amazing place to watch the sunrise from. Be careful on the steep unsealed road to get there – don’t attempt in wet conditions.
Location: Tautu Sea Track, Liku. (Access is from the village green, left of the white house)
10. Alofi Wharf
While Alofi Wharf is fun to visit at all tides to watch the fish from the wharf, strong ocean swimmers with fins can enjoy an amazing snorkelling reef on the wharf’s south side. Swimming is best at the low-to-mid incoming tide. No swimming is allowed here on Sundays and public access is prohibited when the cargo ship is at port.
Location: Sir Robert’s Wharf, Alofi (just north of the Commercial Centre)