What’s Different in Niue?
Niue might just be another island in the South Pacific but this one is different. It’s the world’s largest raised coral atoll, it is home to a unique culture, and allows you to have unusual interactions with diverse wildlife. If you’re looking for a getaway where you’ll try something new, no doubt you will find it in Niue. Check it out for yourself in this list of unique and unusual experiences in Niue.
Before we get into the unique and unusual experiences in Niue, be sure to bookmark the 101 Things to Do in Niue: The Ultimate List featuring more amazing activities.
1. Swim with Humpback Whales
Niue is one of the very few places in the world where you can actually swim alongside some of the ocean’s largest mammals. humpback whales frequent Niue’s waters between July and September each year after an amazing migration from the Antarctic. Licensed operators following strict guidelines can take you to have an in-water interaction with these gentle giants in some of the clearest waters for an unforgettable and unusual experience. See The Guide to Swimming with Whales in Niue for more information.
2. Hold a Giant Coconut Crab
Niueans revere the almighty uga, also known as a coconut crab! These unusual crabs reside on the land climbing trees and ripping open coconut husks with their powerful claws. The giant crab which can live up to 60 years is also a delicacy in Niue, where joining an uga hunting tour gives you a unique chance to have one cooked for you. However, there are many opportunities to hold a uga on the amazing nature tours in Niue.
3. See a Village Show Day
Niue’s culture is accessible and authentic and there’s no greater example of what the Niuean culture is all about than a village show day! Each year, each of the 14 villages on the island hosts their own show day where they present the best of their crops, catch, handicrafts and much much more. The event usually involves playing traditional and contemporary games and partaking in fun competitions. Learn more in What are the Village Show Days in Niue?
4. Try Niuean Food
Where else can you try Niuean cuisine? Niue prides itself on traditional dishes like takihi, povi masima, faikai ika, pitako and nane, which you can sample and Niuean buffet nights or even sometimes pick up at the Niue Market. They also have traditional cooking techniques like an underground oven called an “umu”. Find out more in The Guide to Food in Niue.
5. See Ancient Polynesian Heirlooms
Niue has an interesting history of early Polynesian settlers and kings. Traditions have been passed on from generation to generation, and with that, heirlooms of traditional Niue. Tours like the Avatele Village Experience give you a great insight into the history and customs of Niue [Update: this tour is no longer available], while the Taoga Niue Museum holds many interesting treasures to admire. Check out some of the other cultural experiences in the 10 Best Ways to Experience the Niue Culture.
6. Hold a Fruit Bat
Niue has only one native land mammal, the Polynesian flying fox. These large bats hang around in colonies in the forest canopy, but one tour on the island gives you a unique opportunity to see them up-close. Misa’s Nature Tour allows you to even hold a flying fox (or more like they hold you) that have been injured and retrieved from the forest. Learn more about Niue’s fascinating wildlife in Where to See Wildlife in Niue.
7. Paddle a Vaka
Even to this day, local fishermen use traditional vaka (outrigger canoes) to fish along Niue’s rugged shoreline. You’ll see them lining the beach of many sea tracks, but one tour on the island allows you to actually paddle one yourself. Taue Vaka Tours takes you to a lagoon to learn how to manoeuvre one of these wooden canoes and get a great insight into the Niuean culture. For more experiences like this, see the 5 Best SUP, Vaka & Kayak Tours in Niue.
8. Learn to Survive in a Niuean Rainforest
Learn about what it’s like to live in the rainforest of a tropical island on one of the fantastic nature tours in Niue. Misa’s Nature Tour is with a guide who grew up living in the bush, while the Ebony Rainforest Tour takes you into the island’s Huvalu Forest Conservation Area to show you how Niueans have survived in the forests for centuries. You’ll learn how to make fire, which coconuts to eat, and see the caves that people used to sleep in. Learn more about these tours in The Best Guided Tours in Niue.
9. Explore the Formations of the World’s Largest Raised Coral Atoll
Just exploring the world’s largest uplifted coral atoll is a unique experience in itself. The limestone island is lined with incredible coastal formations, from arches to chasms to caves, while the underwater seascape is wonderous to dive. Your time in Niue can easily be spent exploring every nook and cranny of this island with awe-inspiring formations as outlined in the 10 Most Breathtaking Natural Attractions in Niue.
10. Swim with Spinner Dolphins
Finally, another unusual wildlife interaction to have is with spinner dolphins. Sure, you can swim with dolphins in many places around the world, but the technique for swimming with Niue’s acrobatic dolphins is quite unusual. Swimmers will simply hold onto a rope with a handle alongside the boat and gently be dragged along, which often attracts dolphins to swim alongside you! Find out more in The Guide to Swimming with Dolphins in Niue.