Is it Possible to Bike Around Niue?
The short answer to whether you can cycle around Niue is yes. However, you might not want to. Niue’s main road around the island is a little over 60km (37 miles), which in the tropical heat while likely wanting to spend the time exploring some of the amazing coastal attractions as you go, can be a tiring mission. However, with the introduction of e-bikes on the island, the annual Ride the Rock cycling race around the island, or just being an eager cyclist, you may still want to challenge yourself to cycle around an entire country! Learn more about the road that goes around Niue, how long it takes to cycle and alternative bike trails in the guide below.
For more cycle chat, take a look at The Guide to Mountain Biking in Niue.
Hire a Bike in Niue or Bring Your Own?
It’s pretty easy to go with either option. There are several choices for bike hire in Niue or your own bike can be brought on your flight to Niue as check-in baggage.
Niue’s bike rental companies include Niue Rentals, Alofi Rentals, Freedom Bike Niue, Scenic Matavai Resort and Namukulu Cottages. Accommodations like Lolani’s Retreat, Breeze and Damiana’s Motel offer complimentary bike hire for guests. See Where to Rent Bikes in Niue for more information.
As for bringing your own bike to Niue, you can check-in bikes on your Air New Zealand flight to Niue as long as your bike is in a bike box or bike bag. When packing your bike, you need to:
- Remove the handlebars or turn them sideways
- Remove the pedals or turn them in
- Make sure the pressure of any nitrogen gas mountain bike struts is no more than 200kPa (kilopascal) or 29PSI (pounds per square inch)
- That any cartridges for inflating tyres are less than 50ml (1.6oz) and contain a non-flammable gas.
For more tips like this, take a look at the 10 Tips for Cycling in Niue.
Cycling the Main Ring Road of Niue
When looking for whether you can “cycle around Niue”, you’re probably referring to cycling around Niue’s main road that circles the island close to the coast. This road in its entirety is 64km (40 miles).
The main road around Niue is paved. With lots of potholes, however, the road is best suited to mountain bikes rather than road bikes.
The elevation is minimal on Niue’s main road, taking you from 28m (92ft) above sea level to only as high as 63m (207ft) above sea level. In short, uphill struggles are limited, making the main road around the island pleasant to cycle.
The road passes through the island’s 14 villages, where only Alofi, Tamakautoga and Tuapa have places to stop for refreshments. So bear this in mind when planning your trip.
How Long Does it Take to Cycle Around Niue?
How long does it take to cycle approximately 60km of the main road around Niue? Well, this depends on many factors, from your cycling speed to the quality of your bike to how often you want to stop. To give a ballpark figure on cycling times around the island, here are a few speed and time calculations for travelling 60km without stopping:
- Speed: 12kmh (7.5mph) = 5 hours
- Speed: 15kmh (9mph) = 4 hours
- Speed: 19kmh (12mph) = 3h10mins
- Speed: 25kmh (15mph) = 2h25mins
- Speed: 27kmh (17mph) = 2h15mins
Keep in mind that Niue can get really hot, plus, you’ll be on holiday, so while most people would consider a speed of 15kmh (9mph) to be a decent pace, you may want to stop along the way and enjoy the journey, so plan accordingly and make it a 5, 6 or even 7h outing.
For more cycling distances around Niue, take a look at The Cycling Times in Niue.
Bike Tracks in Niue
A four-hour bike ride around the island might be a little much for some, but luckily, Niue has five official bike tracks which are loops (begin and end in the same place) ranging from 30 minutes to two hours to cycle. These can easily be joined to create longer routes if you wish.
Bike track maps can be picked up from the Visitor Information Centre in Alofi. What’s more, the parts of the bike trails that venture off the main road are well sign-posted, so it’s hard to go wrong.
Check out The Best Bike Trails in Niue for a description of each of the bike tracks.