10 Tips for Buying Souvenirs in Niue
10 Tips for Buying Souvenirs in Niue

10 Tips for Buying Souvenirs in Niue

(c) niuepocketguide.com

What You Need to Know About Souvenir Shopping in Niue

Niue might not be the ideal shopaholic’s getaway, but if you appreciate boutique stores selling unique handicrafts and all things local, then you’ll love it here. Niue is a producer of some wonderful local items, from necklaces made from tiny yellow snail shells to spectacular carvings made from the island’s homegrown ebony wood. We have a full list of special Niuean gifts, but when it comes to purchasing, there are a few things you need to know including the surprising fact that you can actually take most handicrafts through biosecurity at home! Here are a few tips for buying souvenirs in Niue.

1. Have Cash Available

Only some gift stores in Niue accept New Zealand bank cards, MasterCard or Visa. In most cases when it comes to buying handicrafts and souvenirs, sellers only cash is accepted. The local currency is New Zealand Dollars, and with not ATM on the island, make sure to bring enough with you! Learn more in the 11 Money Tips for Niue.

10 Tips for Buying Souvenirs in Niue(c) niuepocketguide.com

2. Shops are Open Monday to Friday but Might Keep “Odd Hours”

In Niue, it’s safe to assume that most gift and souvenir shops are open Monday to Friday from 9am to 4pm. However, some gift stores keep “odd hours” where you might find them closed at random times. A smaller number of gift stores in Niue are also only open Monday to Thursday. Learn more about odd hours in Odd Hours & Island Time in Niue.

10 Tips for Buying Souvenirs in Niue(c) niuepocketguide.com

3. Get a Quarantine Certificate to Take Food Home with You

Niue produces some of the world’s cleanest honey and purest organic vanilla, so foodie items from Niue make an amazing gift for friends and family. What’s more, many food products are allowed to enter New Zealand as long as you have a phytosanitary or a zoosanitary certificate. These can be obtained from the Quarantine Office at Hanan Airport on plane days. Certificates cost approximately NZ$15.

10 Tips for Buying Souvenirs in Niue(c) niuepocketguide.com

4. Don’t Pack Honey or Coconuts in Your Carry-On

Due to airline security restrictions, you can’t pack liquids or pastes into your carry-on. This includes typically Niuean food items like honey and coconuts so make sure that these items are packed in your check-in luggage. Learn more about the departure process from Niue here.

10 Tips for Buying Souvenirs in Niue(c) niuepocketguide.com

5. Haggling is Not Customary

Although haggling is a popular custom in markets around the world, it is not customary to do in Niue. Most of the time, the going price cannot be negotiated, especially when it comes to handicrafts where sellers have experienced the work gone into each item.

10 Tips for Buying Souvenirs in Niue(c) niuepocketguide.com

6. Know Where to Shop

Niue is not a place for shopping malls. However, if you want to know the best places to shop, you can find a good selection of shops at the Alofi Commerical Centre in the centre of town and at the Swanson Complex located between Alofi and the airport. Learn more about these shopping centres in The Guide to Shopping in Niue.

10 Tips for Buying Souvenirs in Niue(c) niuepocketguide.com

7. Be Aware of the Market Times

The Niue Market is a must for picking up authentic handicrafts and local produce. However, you need to be aware of the times the market is running so you don’t miss it! It’s running on Mondays and Fridays from 5am to 8am, as well as Wednesdays from 6am to midday. An organic market also takes place on the first Friday of the month from 5pm in the Niue Market building.

10 Tips for Buying Souvenirs in Niue(c) niuepocketguide.com

8. There is a Mini Market at the Airport

If you need to make any last-minute souvenir purchases before you leave Niue, don’t worry, there is a small market at the Hanan Airport on plane days. While much smaller than the Niue Market, there are still a few stalls to buy souvenirs, such as jewellery, paleu, garlands, Niuean snacks and more.

10 Tips for Buying Souvenirs in Niue(c) niuepocketguide.com

9. Be Aware of Biosecurity in New Zealand

Considering Niue’s only flight is to and from Auckland, New Zealand, chances are you will be passing through biosecurity in New Zealand if you are not taking a connecting international flight. Note that New Zealand has strict biosecurity regulations where some foods and shells cannot be brought into the country. Ask for advice from the Quarantine Office at Hanan Airport who can either inform you on what you cannot take back to New Zealand or provide you with the correct certificate for food items (see point #3). Plus, make sure that you rinse and dry snorkelling gear before you pack it.

10 Tips for Buying Souvenirs in Niue(c) niuepocketguide.com

10. You Can’t Take Uga Back Home

While uga (coconut crabs) are an integral part of the Niuean culture and are sold for eating at markets and village show days, note that it is forbidden to take uga back to New Zealand. If you buy an uga, make sure you eat it (or set it free) in Niue.

10 Tips for Buying Souvenirs in Niue(c) niuepocketguide.com

Author

Laura S.

This article was reviewed and published by Laura, editor in chief and co-founder of Niue Pocket Guide. Since arriving solo in the South Pacific over 10 years ago with nothing but a backpack and a background in journalism, her mission has been to show the world how easy (and awesome) it is to explore a paradise such as Niue. She knows the island inside-out and loves sharing tips on how best to experience Niue’s must-dos and hidden gems. Laura is also editor of several other South Pacific travel guides.

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