Where to See Uga in Niue
Coconut crabs, locally known as uga, are an iconic species in Niue. They are integral to the Niuean culture, as locals love to eat as a delicacy. Uga are also amazing creatures to simply observe and learn about, as they are large land-dwelling anthropods that can live up to 60 years old, weighing around 3-4 kg (6.6-8.8 lbs) when fully grown! Uga are amazing to see in action, ripping open coconut husks with their powerful claws and climbing tree trunks to get their next fix of coconut. Learn more about where to encounter an uga for yourself in this list of ways to see a uga in Niue.
For more ways to experience wildlife on your holiday, see A Guide to Niue Wildlife for Travellers.
1. Taue Uga Tour
As the name suggests, Taue Uga Tour’s main focus is the prized uga. Join your local guide for a tour of culture-meets-nature where you’ll learn how to set up coconut baits to entice uga for catching later in the evening. There are two tours available; best if both are experienced but it’s possible to just do either the day tour setting up the baits or the night tour catching the crabs. Either one gives you an opportunity to learn about the fascinating lifecycle of the uga, see them in action and even hold one.
Learn more about this tour in detail, as well as other tours on this list, in The Guided Tours in Niue.
2. A5 Plantation Tour
Another opportunity to hold an uga presents itself on the A5 Plantation Tour. This 4WD tour in Mutalau takes you to a Niuean plantation where you can learn about how locals cultivate the land and enjoy sustenance living. You’ll also learn how to husk a coconut and try a range of vegetables and seasonal fruit on this interactive tour. The finale is a short walk into the rainforest to check out the habitat of the local uga!
Find out how to book this tour, as well as many others, in How to Book Tours in Niue.
3. Scenic Matavai Resort
Niue’s only resort, the Scenic Matavai Resort, has a busy evening schedule of entertainment including an uga demonstration! Once a week, an uga demonstration takes place at the resort’s Pool Bar where you’ll learn some interesting facts about the infamous uga and also have the opportunity to hold one. The Scenic Matavai’s entertainment schedule is available upon check-in, as well as at the Visitor Information Centre. Non-guests are also welcome.
Learn more about this resort in the 10 Best Hotels & Resorts in Niue.
4. Village Show Days
Each year, each Niue village has one day to showcase the best of their village, whether it’s their food, crops, catch, handicrafts or something else. As part of the celebrations, there’s almost always uga involved, either for selling or for racing or just showing off who caught the biggest uga.
Learn more about Show Days, as well as when to experience one, in What are the Village Show Days in Niue?
5. Crossing the Road at Night
Uga are nocturnal creatures with an acute sense of smell, so if they smell a coconut across the road with its name on it, nothing is going to stop it! When driving along the road at night, particularly in forested areas near the coast, you might be lucky enough to spot an uga on the road so slow down and watch the show!
6. Niue Market
If you want to try an uga for eating, then you are typically able to buy one from the Niue Market. The Niue Market is held in the market building in Alofi next to the Visitor Information Centre.
Take a look at the 5 Best Markets in Niue for market schedules.
More About Uga and Coconut Crabs in Niue
That’s it for the ways to see uga in Niue. For more about Niue’s wildlife, check out some of these handy guides:
- 10 Ways to Experience the Niue Wildlife
- The Guide to Swimming with Whales in Niue
- 10 Animals and Birds Native to Niue
Finally, head to the 101 Things to Do in Niue: The Ultimate List featuring more amazing experiences.