A Self-Drive Day Tour of Niue’s East Coast
If there was ever an island to experience the joys of independent exploration, Niue would be it. Rent some wheels and hit the open albeit pothole-filled road to the island’s less-visited side, the east coast. This self-guided day tour of Niue’s east coast will show you the way.
Pack sights such as tropical forests, dramatic chasms, rugged sea tracks and vibrant reefs into a self-drive Niue east coast itinerary. After you’ve seen it all, you might want to try A Self-Guided Tour of Niue’s West Coast next!
How to Get Around Niue’s East Coast Using This Self-Guided Itinerary
This self-guided one-day itinerary of Niue has you exploring the east coast of the island independently. To get around, you will either need to hire a car, motorcycle, bicycle or e-bike. Tips on where to rent vehicles, as well as how to hire a driver can be found in the following guides:
- What You Need to Hire a Car in Niue
- Motorcycle Hire in Niue: Where to Rent, Cost & More
- Cycle Niue: Where to Rent Bikes in Niue
For more transport options, check out our Niue Transport Guide: 11 Ways to Get Around Niue.
3 Extra Tips for this Niue East Coast Itinerary:
- Check the tide times! Reef-walking spots that we mention in this itinerary, such as Tautu Sea Track, Motu Sea Track and Puluhiki Sea Track, have preferable tide times to enjoy safer exploration. This also may determine the order you choose to sample this itinerary
- This itinerary doesn’t include every sea track available on the east coast. However, you might want to pick and choose the tracks that appeal to you from the 8 Best Sea Tracks on the East Coast of Niue
- Don’t forget your reef shoes! A road trip on the east coast of Niue mostly involves exploring rocky sea tracks and reefs. Pack reef shoes to protect your feet, as well as other items we recommend in the 10 Essentials to Pack for Niue.
Now, let’s get to our one-day Niue east coast itinerary!
Avatele to Hakupu
Distance: 8.8 km (5.5 mi), Drive time: 15 minutes.
With many of Niue’s tourist accommodations based in and around Avatele, the village on the west coast of the island is a good place to start your journey to the east. Check out the 9 Things to Do in Avatele, then hit the road!
Follow the main road east, to the village of Vaiea and continue onto Hakupu. Look out for signs to the Ebony Carving Studio on your way into the village to join the Ebony Rainforest Tour (bookings essential) – find out more about the tour in The Best Guided Tours in Niue.
Don’t leave Hakupu too quickly, as behind the village hides Anapala Chasm. Take the second or third righthand turnoff, as they both connect to a winding gravel road toward the coast. The short walk here takes you through the forest to a set of steep steps descending into the chasm. At the bottom is a freshwater pool that offers a “refreshing” swim.
Hakupu to Liku
Distance: 11.8 km (7.3 mi), Drive time: 15 minutes.
As you leave Hakupu following the road to Liku through the Huvalu Forest Conservation Area, you’ll see the road become all the more lively with potholes.
Some 4 km (2.5 mi) from Hakupu, you’ll come across signs and an obvious parking area for the Togo Chasm walk. There is a toilet here if you need it. The walk through the forest and over weathered pinnacles to the chasm takes approximately 45 minutes one-way (or more like 20-30 minutes for fit hikers).
Once you’ve walked your legs off, hop into the car and continue for another couple of kilometres, keeping an eye out for the Laufoli Umu Pit on the right-hand side (it’s easy to miss). After seeing this historical site, it’s another couple of kilometres to the Hikulagi Sculpture Park on the left-hand side. The park is full of art made from waste that has washed up on Niue’s shores.
Finally, you’ll reach the village of Liku. Here, we recommend a side trip to the Tautu Reef and sea track for an amazing photo opportunity in a coastal cave. The access road is signposted from the village green. The road is rough, so some travellers prefer to leave their car and walk down the road.
Liku to Lakepa
Distance: 6.1 km (3.8 mi), Drive time: 12 minutes.
There’s yet another sea track to discover between Liku and Lakepa. Approximately 4 km (2.5 mi) north of Liku, you’ll find a sign and a narrow flat road through the forest to the parking area of the Motu Sea Track. The rocky walking track through the forest emerges on exposed clifftops where you’ll find a ladder down to the reef below. The reef is best explored at low tide.
As you reach Lakepa, there’s another sea track opportunity at the Puluhiki Sea Track. You’ll find the track signposted from the northern side of the village green. The road to the track is steep and unsealed. Walk the sea track to more of Niue’s rugged coastal landscape. There’s a concrete platform to access the reef.
Lakepa to Mutalau
Distance: 7.3 km (4.5 mi), Drive time: 14 minutes.
The final stretch of your east coast adventure brings you to Mutalau, which offers several sights and attractions, as listed in the 6 Best Things to Do in Mutalau.
For a bit of history, check out Taue i Fupiu (Fupiu Fort) to see the remains of a traditional fort – find out more details in the 10 Fascinating Historical Sites in Niue.
There is an attractive picnic area overlooking the Pacific Ocean from the car park of the Uluvehi Sea Track. The sea track is easy to find, signposted from the centre of Mutalau village, allowing you to access two caves harbouring vaka (canoes) and limestone features.
If you need more reasons to enjoy Mutalau, A5 Plantation Tours offers an interesting experience touring a tropical plantation and holding a giant coconut crab (uga). Find out more about the experience in The Best Guided Tours in Niue.
To return to the west coast, take the main road west over Niue’s highest point at 69 m (226 ft).
More About Planning a Self-Guided Itinerary of Niue’s East Coast
That’s it for our self-guided day trip itinerary of Niue’s east coast. For more details about the sights visited on this one-day itinerary of Niue, these other articles should do just the trick!
- 10 Best Sea Tracks on the East Coast of Niue
- The Food Guide to Niue: Places to Eat, Food Tours & More
- 7 Best Things to Do in Hakupu