What You Need to Know About Cycling in Niue
Niue is an island that enables you to ride to your heart’s content. There are five official bike trails, more than 190 km (118 mi) of bush trails to explore and 123 km (76 mi) of quiet paved roads. In short, you can cycle just about anywhere on this glorious tropical island. However, there are a few misconceptions when it comes to biking in Niue, from cycling around the island to where you can get a bike, so we’re setting the record straight with these essential tips for cycling in Niue!
1. There are Plenty of Bike Rentals on the Island
Any great cycling adventure starts with a bike, which you can easily hire in Niue. Mountain bikes and e-bikes are available to hire from various gear rental companies and some accommodations. Compare your bike hire options in Where to Rent Bikes in Niue.
2. Don’t Underestimate the Distances
Niue is an island with a landmass of 260 km² (101 mi²). For cycling around, that’s pretty huge. The main road around the island is around 64 km (40 mi) long, which takes around three hours to complete for the athletic cyclist and around four to five hours for the rest of us.
We don’t recommend hiring a bike to explore the whole island, but you can enjoyably cycle to a few nearby attractions. Check out the cycling times and distances in The Cycling Times in Niue.
3. Check Out the Bike Tracks
A good option for where to cycle is Niue’s five official bike tracks. Bike tracks take from 30 minutes to two hours to complete, while some of them can be joined to create a longer route. They incorporate a bit of the main road to give you a chance to visit coastal attractions, as well as inland bush trails ideal for off-road in Niue’s less-visited forests and plantations.
Check out a description of each bike track in The 5 Best Bike Trails in Niue.
4. Wearing a Helmet is Not Compulsory, But Recommended
In Niue, it’s not the law to wear a helmet when cycling. However, for obvious safety reasons, it’s always recommended to wear a helmet when cycling.
5. Know How to Handle Dogs
Although dogs have owners, dogs are left to roam free in Niue. While most dogs are relaxed and as cute as ever, there are the occasional guard dogs that will have a whale of a time chasing you down the road. This can be pretty scary and dogs have been known to bite cyclists on rare occasions.
The best thing you can do if a dog is chasing you is to stop cycling and get off the bike. If that doesn’t calm the dog down then shoo the dog in an assertive manner. If the dog is overly aggressive, scream at it and pretend like you’re about to throw something at it.
6. Pack a Bike Properly if Bringing Your Own
Cycling enthusiasts know that nothing compares to your own bike, so know that you can bring your own bike to Niue if you follow the airline guidelines.
Niue’s sole airline, Air New Zealand, requires bikes to be checked in as check-in luggage in either a bike bag or a bike box, which is available to purchase from Auckland Airport for around NZ$30.
When packing your bike, you need to remove the handlebars or turn them sideways and remove the pedals or turn them in. Make sure the pressure of any nitrogen gas mountain bike struts is no more than 200 kPa (kilopascal) or 29 PSI (pounds per square inch) and that any cartridges for inflating tyres are less than 50 ml (1.6 oz) and contain a non-flammable gas. Seal and label the bike box/bag with your name and phone number.
7. Mountain Bikes are Better than Road Bikes on Niue’s Roads
If you were planning on packing your road bike for Niue, then forget it. Niue’s bush trails and even its sealed roads are much better suited for mountain bikes due to the many potholes and uneven terrain along the way. All of the bike rentals in Niue are mountain bikes or e-bikes that are designed for rough terrain.
8. Take into Account the Heat When Planning Your Ride
Although you might be used to riding long distances, take into consideration the extra exertion it takes to ride in the tropical heat. Niue has a warm climate all year round, with temperatures at 21-27°C (70-81°F) in the “winter season” and at 22-29°C (72-84°F) combined with high humidity in the “summer season”.
With this in mind, pack plenty of drinking water and snacks and you might want to plan to ride a little shorter than what you’re used to. See Niue Weather, Seasons & Climate + Weather by Month for more information on the weather.
9. Avoid Cycling at Night
For safety reasons, avoid cycling in Niue at night. There is very limited street lighting and rental bikes are not kitted out with lights to make you more visible to others. It is the law in Niue to have a working headlight when cycling after sunset.
10. Follow the Niue Road Rules
When cycling on the roads of Niue, it’s important for your safety to understand the rules of the road even when you’re cycling. For instance, be sure to stop at intersections and give way to traffic where appropriate.
Get clued up with the road laws in the 10 Road Rules for Niue You Need to Know.
More Tips for Cycling in Niue
That’s it for our tips for cycling in Niue. For more cycle chat, take a look at the following guides:
- Cycle Niue: Where to Rent Bikes in Niue
- The Cycling Times & Distances in Niue
- Can You Cycle Around Niue?
Finally, if there’s anything we’ve missed, you’re likely to find it in The Guide to Cycling & Mountain Biking in Niue.