The Wild Side of Niue
Admittedly, the west side of this tiny island of the South Pacific takes all the limelight when it comes to exploring the coast. However, it’s highly recommended to rent a car for the day and discover Niue’s wild side too. The east coast of Niue has a number of breathtaking coastal features, from unspoiled reefs to dramatic chasms. These can be accessed by taking the sea tracks on the east coast of Niue that we go through, from south to north, in the list below!
Tip: when looking for sea track signs from the road, look out for signs saying “Hala Tahi [track name]”, which is Niuean for “Sea Track”. For tracks on the west side of the island, see the 10 Best Sea Tracks on the West Coast of Niue.
1. Anapala Chasm Sea Track
Starting from the east coast’s southernmost sea track, the Anapala Chasm is a must-do! Signposted near the large intersection and village church, the Anapala Chasm road is a short but narrow and winding gravel road so take care. You’ll arrive at the start of the Anapala Chasm Sea Track with an interpretation sign telling you more about the history of the area. The sea track is a 15-minute one-way walk on a well-maintained trail through the forest and down an estimated 146 steps to the bottom of the Anapala Chasm and its freshwater pool. Go for a swim if you’re brave enough in its cold water. Return the same way (yes, up those 146 steps). Before leaving the car park, continue a little further down to the road to check out the views of the coast and a short sea track down to the reef.
Location: Hakupu, signposted between the northern end of the community centre and the church
2. Togo Chasm Sea Track
One of the most iconic places in Niue, the Togo Chasm is another must-do sea track along the east coast road. The track is well signposted in the Huvalu Forest Conservation Area where an interpretation sign marks the start of the trail. The track is a 45-minute one-way walk (but fit people will probably find themselves doing it 20-30-minute one-way), which starts off through stunning rainforest. You’ll emerge on the clifftops where the track continues along the cliffs to a rung ladder leading into the Togo Chasm itself. Admire the sandy oasis with coconut palms. You can also climb the boulders at the back of the chasm to watch the waves crashing at the other side. Return the same way.
Location: 4km (2.5 miles) north of Hakupu in the Huvalu Forest Conservation Area. The track is well signposted on the coastal side of the road
3. Vaikona Chasm Sea Track
The Vaikona Chasm Sea Track is worth mentioning as the signs and well-formed trail seen from the road is likely to pique interest. However, the Vaikona Chasm is a guided walk only due to the arduous and rough nature of the track, taking you over sharp coral bommies, sinkholes and under dense rainforest foliage to get to a fern-covered chasm with a freshwater pool for swimming. The pool can be crossed and dived through to get to another pool, but this is highly discouraged as it can be a dangerous undertaking. A guide is essential for this experience, which you can organise through the Visitor Information Centre. Check out How to Book Tours in Niue for more information.
Location: Veli, just north of the Laufoli Umu Pit in the Huvalu Forest Conservation Area
4. Tautu Sea Track
Very easy to miss, the Tautu Sea Track is accessed from Liku village green left of the striking white house. Follow a steep unsealed road to the sea track (if you don’t want to take the car down the road, you can park it up before the road and walk, which takes about 20 minutes one way). The short walk, which is about 500m (550 yards), brings you through an archway onto a reef, which is best explored at low tide. Tautu Reef is considered one of the best places on the island to watch the sunrise.
Location: Liku, access road is from the northeast corner of the village green left of the white house
5. Motu Sea Track
A sea track signposted along the road between Liku and Lakepa, the Motu Sea Track is well worth exploring. The signpost points to a narrow unsealed road, which is flat the whole way so is suitable for rental cars, except that you might need to clear a few fallen branches from the road. Otherwise, walk along the gravel road, which is 1.4km (0.9 miles) taking about 20 minutes. At the end of the road is a small parking area and the start of the Motu Sea Track. Follow the rocky trail through the forest and across exposed clifftops. You’ll eventually reach a hole in the cliff to peer through across the reef (it’s super slippery here). There is also a ladder down to the reef below where it’s possible to spot crabs, eels and much more. The reef is best explored at low tide. Learn more about the importance of the tide in What You Need to Know About the Tide Times in Niue.
Location: Signposted between Liku and Lakepa on the coastal side of the road. The Motu Sea Track is a little closer to Lakepa than to Liku
6. Puluhiki Sea Track
After a drive down a relatively steep and narrow unsealed road, you’ll come to a small car park and the start of the Puluhiki Sea Track. The sea track takes you down a set of concrete steps through low coastal foliage to a concrete platform to access a reef. The reef is fun to explore at low tide and provides stunning vistas of the coast. This is another amazing spot to catch the sunrise.
Location: Lakepa, signposted from the left (northern) side of the village green
7. Uluvehi Sea Track
Finally, on the northeast coast of Niue is the Uluvehi Sea Track, accessible from the village of Mutalau. A short unsealed bush road signposted from the village takes you to the start of the wide concrete Uluvehi Sea Track, which is better described as a road than a sea track. This takes you to two small caves, one storing vaka (canoes) and the other with impressive limestone features.
Location: Mutalau, signposted from the centre of the village