The Top Activities and Attractions in Alofi
So your exploration of the “Rock of the Pacific” has brought you to the capital? Alofi is the main hub of Niue and, with that, has some amazing experiences on offer! There are things that are expected from a capital, such as bustling restaurants and shops selling unique local handicrafts and produce, while there are things you would never expect from a capital, like snorkelling in pristine waters and finding yourself alone at beaches and caves! While there’s much more to do in Alofi than what we can fit on this list, this list of some of the best things to do in Alofi is a good place to start your Niue bucket list.
1. Snorkel in the Clearest Waters!
Niue is renowned for its incredible underwater world, much of which can be admired through a mask and snorkel straight off the shore. With no surface run-off from the island, the visibility is incredible, sometimes known to reach a whopping 80 m (262 ft)! Plus, even from Alofi, you can snorkel at some of the sea tracks, such as Utuko Reef, Vaila Cave and the Amanau Sea Track, as well as from Alofi Wharf. Snorkelling is safest at low tide. Check out Alofi’s best snorkelling spots listed in the 10 Best Places to Snorkel in Niue and the 9 Best Sea Tracks in Alofi.
Location: See the locations of each Alofi sea track here.
2. Soak Up the Coastal Scenery of Alofi’s Sea Tracks
Speaking of sea tracks, even if you’re not into snorkelling, the sea tracks provide amazing views of the Alofi coastline. Discover a coral sand beach at Utuko Reef, check out a historic cave at the Vaila Cave Sea Track, get a fun photo opportunity at the tiny inlet of the Togalahi Sea Track and more! The beauty of Niue’s sea tracks is that they are often secluded, giving you a piece of paradise all to yourself. We also list this as one of the 10 Romantic Things to Do in Niue.
Location: See the locations of each Alofi sea track here.
3. Check Out Fale Tau Taoga
Check out some amazing works of art, as well as historical relics at the Fale Tau Taoga, Niue’s national museum. The museum Alofi is worth a quick visit to get an insight into the art and history of Niue. Plus, it’s a true saviour on a rainy day! Plus, at only around NZ$10 entry, who can complain? Complimentary guided tours and self-guided tour booklets are available. The museum is open from Monday to Thursday, 9 am to 3 pm. Check out the 10 Free & Cheap Things to Do in Alofi for more like this.
Location: Halamahaga Road, signposted along the main road in Alofi, central west coast of Niue.
4. Shop for Unique Crafts and Try Local Food at the Niue Market
Niueans are skilled craftspeople creating awe-inspiring woven placemats, bowls, hats, baskets and much more. They also are also known for their kahoa hihi (necklaces) made from tiny yellow snail shells collected in the local forests. One of the best places in Alofi to see such pieces is at the Niue Market, which takes place several times a week. The Niue Market is also one of the best places on the island to try local foods like nane and pitako futi – see 10 Foods to Try in Niue to learn more. For a market schedule, head to the 5 Best Markets in Niue.
Location: Niue Markete building next door to the Visitor Information Centre, along the main road of Alofi, central west coast of Niue.
5. Watch the Women’s Weaving Group (and Learn to Weave)
Once a week, the local halls become a bustle of activity with the local women’s groups having their weekly weaving session where women teach each other how to weave, print cloth, make jewellery and much more. The ladies are eager to talk to visitors, and even teach them how to weave, making for a friendly local experience. The ladies will usually show you how to make something small, like a coaster. A donation of around NZ$20 for a pandanus leaf craft or NZ$10 for another leaf is usually appreciated.
Location: Aliutu Hall (white building next to the “Jessop” building) or Makini Hall (orange building opposite Utuko Reef), along the main road in Alofi, central west coast of Niue.
6. Hit the Bike Trails
Hire a mountain bike from the Visitor Information Centre and explore Alofi and beyond by bike! Ride from Alofi along the west coast of the island, returning on one of the inland bush roads! Bike trails are well signposted, while maps are also available at the Tourist Information Centre and more information can be found in The Guide to Mountain Biking & Cycling in Niue.
Location: Bush roads suitable for biking include Halamahaga Road, Namoui Bush Road, Makefu Bush Road and Keleola Bush Road.
7. 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.
8. Get Orientated with Explore Niue
Get acquainted with Alofi and the rest of Niue on an orientation tour offering pick-ups from town. Discover the highlights of the island, from the snorkelling hotspots to hidden gems that are easy to miss. The tour with Explore Niue guides you through the culture and history of the island as you explore the west coast. The experience also includes refreshments such as coconuts and local fruit, and a chance to swim in a snorkelling spot. Learn more about Explore Niue in the 6 Best Guided Tours in Niue.
Location: Accommodation pick-ups are offered in Alofi.
9. Tackle Game Fish on a Fishing Charter
Niue’s waters are home to some of the most sought game fish in the South Pacific, from wahoo to mahimahi and more. There are countless fishing charters available from Alofi, where knowledgeable guides will take you to the hotspots and provide you with all the gear to increase your chances of a mighty catch! Choose the right fit for you by comparing charters in the 10 Best Fishing Charters in Niue. Plus, see more experiences like this in the 10 Luxury Activities in Niue.
Location: Charters depart from Alofi Wharf, opposite the Alofi Commercial Centre car park, central west coast of Niue.
10. Swim with Whales and Dolphins
Niue’s waters not only entice snorkellers but also attract spinner dolphins and humpback whales! The latter frequent Niue’s waters between July and September to breed and calve, making for some spectacular sightings from shore. You can also enjoy eco-friendly encounters through Alofi’s whale swimming operators, such as Whale Swim Niue. Spinner dolphin swimming is available all year round, typically provided on snorkelling tours if the opportunity arises. Learn more in The Guide to Whale Watching & Swimming in Niue and The Guide to Dolphin Watching & Swimming in Niue.
Location: Tours depart from Alofi Wharf, opposite the Alofi Commercial Centre car park, central west coast of Niue.
11. Watch the Whales from Shore
That’s right, you don’t even need to get out on the water to see whales in Alofi. From the coastline, it’s common to spot whales emerging at the water’s surface during the whale season, including calves breaching! Good whale-watching sites in Alofi include Tomb Point, the Vaiolama Cafe and, well, just about anywhere on the Alofi coastline! See some of our favourite spots in the 10 Best Whale & Dolphin Lookouts in Niue.
Location: Tomb Point, just north of the Visitor Information Centre. Plus, see the link above for more recommended locations.
12. Discover Historical Sites, Like Tomb Point and Opaahi
Niue has a fascinating history, which you can learn about by reading interpretation panels found in historical sites around the town. Tomb Point is an interesting site where you can see the tombs of two Niuean kings, learn about Niue’s World Wars involvement and about this area being the first reference point for all land surveys. In addition, check out Opaahi which is the site of Captain Cook’s second attempt to land on Niue only to be chased off by the locals.
Location: Tomb Point, just north of the Visitor Information Centre, and Opaahi is at the south end of town opposite the Kaiika, along the main road, central west coast of Niue.
13. Admire the Art at the Tahiono Art Gallery
See inspirational paintings and ebony carvings from local artists at the Tahiono Art Gallery. You’ll recognise some of the paintings hung with pride in accommodations across Niue, which come from this local art gallery well worth a browse. The gallery is open from Monday to Friday, 10 am to 4 pm (but things change all the time in Niue, so check with the Visitor Information Centre for opening times, as explained in our guide to Opening Hours in Niue: Odd Hours, Tide Times & Things to Know).
Location: Alofi Commercial Centre, along the main road in Alofi, central west coast of Niue.
14. Shop for Unique Niuean Souvenirs
Not only is the Alofi Commercial Centre a good place to check out the art gallery but the shops here provide the perfect opportunity to pick up gifts for friends and family back home. Check out the gift stores in Alofi, such as Kauhi Krafts, Hinopoto Handicrafts and Taoke Prints. There’s also the Swanson Complex a short drive from town providing more shopping opportunities. Get inspired for gifts with our 10 Amazing Niue Souvenirs & Gifts. Plus, check out the 10 Best Shops to Buy Souvenirs in Niue for more advice on shopping.
Location: All over Alofi! See the link above for shop locations.
15. Indulge in a Facial
A beauty salon in the heart of Alofi, Vilina‘s facials are an irresistible addition to your island getaway. After a short consultation, your skilled therapist, Jo, combines talented hands with all-natural and local products to revive and rejuvenate. Choose organic coconut embryo to massage the skin, and bask in the scents of Niue honey, vanilla and/or passionfruit. Facials last approximately 45 minutes. The salon is open Monday to Friday, 10 am to 2:30 pm. Manicures and pedicures, waxing and hairdressing services are also available.
Location: Between the Visitor Information Centre and Niue Market, Alofi, central west coast of Niue.
16. Watch Cultural Performances at the Niue Primary School Assembly
If you’re lucky enough to be in Niue during Niue Primary School‘s fortnightly Friday assembly, head down to enjoy cultural performances, singing, dancing, certificate-giving and all kinds of cuteness. Everyone, including visitors to the island, is welcome to attend this event that starts around 9 am on a Friday – ask at the Visitor Information Centre to see if the assembly is taking place on the Friday you wish to attend. Find the school down Alofi-Hakupu Road just a few kilometres from Alofi.
Location: Niue Primary School, the turn-off is approximately 1.6 km (1 mi) along the Alofi-Liku Road from Alofi. Turn off at the sign for the Alofi Rugby Club and follow the road all the way to the parking area at the end.
17. Dine at Alofi’s Restaurants
Eating out is all part of the Alofi experience, where your taste buds will travel the world, including Europe, China, India, Japan, America and back to Niue! Kaiika Restaurant does fresh Japanese sushi and sourdough pizzas. Head to Manuiz for their Niuean umu buffet night or the Wok on the Rok for Chinese food meets the Pacific! Get more advice for eating out in The Best Places to Eat in Alofi: 15 Best Restaurants.
Location: All over Alofi! See the link above for location recommendations.
18. Enjoy Some Sundowners at the Bar
With most of the restaurants in town having licensed bars, you can enjoy a few sundowners along with the vivid west coast sunsets. For instance, head to the Crazy Uga Cafe on Wednesday nights for drinks and their evening special. On Thursday nights, the Vaiolama Cafe hosts a “happy hour” with DJ entertainment. The after-party moves to Avi’s Ark for craft beer, karaoke and dancing. For our top picks of bars around the island, see the 11 Best Bars in Niue. Plus, for more activities like this, see the 7 Child-Free Activities in Niue.
Location: All over Alofi! See the link above for bar locations.
19. Hit One of the Local Events
There’s always something happening in the capital of this small community, whether it’s one of the must-see Village Show Days, an annual festival or even the weekly bingo! You’ll find that the community is very welcoming in Alofi, whilst attending a local event is one of the best ways to immerse in the local culture and captivating community spirit of this small nation. Check out the usual schedule of events in the 10 Biggest Events in Niue. As for bingo, well you can catch it at Clayton’s or Pacific Way Bar (whichever one has cars in front) every Saturday from 2 pm.
Location: All over Alofi! See the 11 Best Bars in Niue for bar locations for bingo.
20. Attend a Sunday Church Service
Whether you’re religious or not, experiencing a Niuean church service is spiritual and uplifting. Niuean village churches radiate beautiful harmonies from the locals singing during the morning and afternoon church services. A popular church for visitors to experience in Alofi the amazing singing of the locals is Ekalesia Church at Tomb Point, but there are a lot more as listed in the 10 Best Churches in Niue to Experience as a Visitor.
Location: Ekalesia Church at Tomb Point, along the main road in Alofi, central west coast of Niue (or see the link above for more locations).
More Things to Do in Alofi
That’s it for our list of things to do in Alofi but that’s not all there is to do in Niue! Check out the guides below to inspire more of your getaway to paradise:
- 101 Things to Do in Niue: The Ultimate List
- 10 Most Unique Things to Do in Niue
- Where to Stay in Alofi
Finally, if there’s anything we’ve missed, you’re likely to find it in The Complete Guide to Alofi.