How to Travel Around Niue
If you thought the South Pacific was already off the beaten track, think again. To get to the remote island of Niue, you’ll have to catch one of only two flights departing each week or hop on one of the very limited cruises visiting the island or have your own sailing boat! On arrival, this is an island you’ll definitely want to explore with epic landscapes all around the coastline. Car rental is the most popular way to go about transport in Niue, but visitors can also hire bikes or e-bikes.
Wise up on all of the ways to get around Niue, right here, in this complete Niue transport guide!
1. International Flights – The Main Way to Get to Niue
Let’s start with how you get to Niue. Most travellers get here by international flight.
There’s only one airline flying to Niue with flights just twice a week, so at least comparing flights won’t give you a headache! Air New Zealand operates flights between Auckland Airport, New Zealand and Hanan Airport, Niue, where flights take approximately 3 hrs 30 mins. Find out more about schedules in Which Airlines Fly to Niue?
Note that on arrival there are biosecurity and customs formalities, which we detail in Arriving in Niue: Airport Customs, Biosecurity & Arrival Process.
2. Car Rental – The Most Popular Way to Get Around Niue
With no public transportation, renting a car in Niue is highly recommended to make the most out of the island. Much of Niue’s attractions are scattered along a 64 km (40 mi) circular road which has a few characterful features like potholes, chickens and dogs.
There are several car rental operators on the island, which offer airport and accommodation delivery. Some accommodations also offer car rentals for guests. Wherever you decide to hire, note that you will need a Niue Driver’s Licence, which can be purchased from the Police Station. Get more details on everything you need to know in our guide, What You Need to Hire a Car in Niue.
3. Bicycle Rental – The Cheapest Way to Get Around Niue
While a bicycle would be tough going to get you around the entire island, they are still worth considering if you are staying in or just outside of Alofi and want a quick way to get into town, or to explore the west coast attractions. There are also dedicated bike trails leading into the bush, which you can learn more about in The 5 Best Bike Trails in Niue.
Cycling in Niue is easy and safe, with most of the island being relatively flat. While it’s not mandatory to wear a helmet, it is advised. Find out more about renting a bike in The Guide to Mountain Biking & Cycling in Niue.
4. E-Bike Rental – The Fun Way to Get Around Niue
Electric bicycle rental: now that makes cycling between attractions, your accommodation and Alofi a little easier if you’re keen to peddle. Niue has a dedicated e-bike rental company, as well as a couple of rental companies with a limited number of e-bikes – so get in there quickly! Again, find out more about who hires e-bikes in Where to Rent Bikes in Niue.
While e-bikes are a little more expensive than normal bike hire, they have the benefits of being cheaper than hiring a car and are one of the 6 Eco-Friendly Alternatives to Renting a Car in Niue. Plus, learn about the time and distance to get around the island in The Cycling Times & Distances in Niue.
5. Airport/Accommodation Transfers – How to Get To and From the Airport
For getting between Hanan Airport and your chosen accommodation, many of the accommodations make it easy by offering airport transfers. Drivers and representatives from accommodations meet incoming flights, as long as they have been booked in advance. Some accommodations offer complimentary airport shuttles, while a limited few charge a fee. Find out more about airport and accommodation transfers in our guide, Airport Transfer Options in Niue.
6. Guided Tours – How to See the Sights Without a Car
Admittedly, there are not many tours that will transport you around Niue as part of the experience. Nevertheless, introductory tours, such as Explore Niue, that take place after arrival days incorporate sightseeing on the west coast of the island. Explore Niue also offers tours of the east coast of the island, offering sightseeing with transport included. Additionally, Ebony Rainforest Tours is one of the limited tours on the island that provides transfers from Alofi and the Scenic Matavai Resort to the tour site.
Although guided tours are very limited in the transport they offer, they provide another option for travellers who prefer not to drive, cycle, etc. Find out more about these tours in The Best Sightseeing Tours in Niue and the 6 Best Guided Tours in Niue.
7. Motorcycle Rental – Getting Around Niue for the Biker!
Motorcycle hire is extremely limited in Niue. Rentals are only available with one rental company, but those with a motorcycle license will still have a blast riding around the island feeling the tropical breeze (and the occasional tropical shower). A few things worth noting are that it is mandatory to wear a helmet when riding a motorcycle, a motorcycle license is required, and extreme care is needed due to Niue’s many potholes.
Find out more about this Niue transport method in The Guide to Renting a Motorcycle in Niue.
8. Walking – The Relaxed Way to Get Around Niue
While Niue’s attractions are spread out far and wide, it’s unlikely that you’ll be completely stranded if you are spending some time getting around on foot. Alofi, the capital of Niue, is a good base if you want to walk, with restaurants, shops, services, tours and attractions all available within short walking distance of each other.
The villages of Tamakautoga and the nearby Avatele are smaller hubs with a few attractions, tours and the Scenic Matavai Resort with a restaurant to keep you fed and entertained, so also consider staying in these villages if you would rather walk.
9. Hitchhiking – The Unreliable Way to Get Around Niue
Hitchhiking is legal in Niue. However, it is one of the least reliable forms of transport, as there is very little traffic in Niue. Nevertheless, it can be a fun adventure and a great way to meet locals and fellow tourists if you can make it work.
Learn more about hitching a ride, as well as safety tips, in A Travellers’ Guide to Hitchhiking in Niue.
10. Niue by Cruise Ship – How to Get to Niue for the Day
An exclusive number of cruise liners have Niue on the agenda, offering holidaymakers an alternative way to get to the island. Some South Pacific cruises allow a full day to tour Niue’s caves, sea tracks, museum and sculpture park, which you can learn more about in The Complete Guide to the Ports of Call in Niue. The cruise season is typically February to April, as well as in September.
Learn more about cruising to Niue in Which Cruises Visit Niue?
11. Niue by Sailing Yacht – How to Get to Niue Privately
Just about the only final way you can make your way to the remote island of Niue is if you have your own yacht. Considering that Niue has an unforgiving coastline, it is essential that when you reach Alofi Bay, you radio customs on VHF Channel 16, as well as the Niue Yacht Club on Channel 10 for mooring instructions and advice. Get a complete rundown on arriving in Niue by yacht in The Guide to Sailing in Niue.
5 Niue Transport Tips
And for some final transport tips…
1. Niue Has a 24-Hour Time Difference from New Zealand
One thing to note about travelling from New Zealand is that Niue is on the opposite side of the International Date Line making a 24-hour time difference between Niue and New Zealand. So when you depart from Auckland on a Wednesday morning, for instance, you arrive in Niue on a Tuesday afternoon. Keep this in mind when making travel arrangements.
2. You Need to Get a Niue Driver’s License
You need to get a Niue Driver’s License to legally drive a motor vehicle on Niue’s roads. These can be obtained from the Police Station and cost NZ$22.50. While you can drive on your overseas license when you first arrive in Niue, you must get a Niue Driver’s License as soon as possible. See How to Get a Niue Driver’s License for more details.
3. Bicycle Rental is Good to Explore Some of the Island
Can you cycle around Niue? Niue has a landmass of 240 km² (100 mi²) so cycling around the island is a challenge, to say the least! However, bicycle rental is a good option for exploring the west coast, doing the five bike trails, or getting between town and your accommodation if staying on the outskirts. Bike hire is available with some car rental companies, as well as with some accommodations, as explained in The Guide to Cycling & Mountain Biking in Niue.
4. Stay Somewhere with Plenty to Do if You Don’t Have a Car
So, if you don’t want to hire a car or you only want to hire one for a few days during your visit, then make sure you stay somewhere where there is still plenty to do within walking distance. There are quite a few accommodations in Niue that are in smaller and more remote villages, which are not ideal if you don’t have your own transport. We list all of the villages, things to do and accommodations available in A Guide to the Villages in Niue.
5. Car Rentals Can Be Delivered Anywhere on the Island
An extremely handy thing about Niue’s car rentals is that car rental companies offer complimentary delivery/returns anywhere on the island. This allows you, for instance, to spend a couple of days without a car in Niue, then just get one delivered when you’re ready, saving you a few bucks in the process. Get more tips in the 10 Ways to Save Money on Car Rental in Niue.
More About Niue Transport and Ways to Get Around Niue
That’s it for our Niue transport guide but by no means the end of our transport tips. See the following guides for more advice:
- A Self-Guided Tour of Niue’s West Coast
- A Self-Guided Tour of Niue’s East Coast
- The Best Motorcycle Road Trips in Niue
Now figure out where you’re going to go with your new-found transport with the following itinerary compilations: The Best Niue Itineraries for 2 Weeks, The Best Niue Itineraries for 1 Week, The Best Niue Itineraries for 5 Days and The Best Niue Itineraries for a Weekend.