Driving in Niue: Safety Tips
Is it safe to drive in Niue? Niue is a safe country to drive in thanks to the limited traffic, mostly paved roads and low speed limits in place. However, it’s still common to encounter hazards in Niue, from dogs on the road to potholes (oh-so-many potholes)! While we don’t think you’ll have a problem driving in Niue, it’s still good to be aware of the road rules and hazards. We go through a few in this guide to safety on Niue’s roads.
For more road talk, check out How to Drive in Niue and The Driving Times in Niue You Need to Know.
Safety Tips for Driving in Niue
- Drive on the left side of the road
- Watch out for dogs and chickens
- Don’t park under coconut trees
- Mind the potholes
- Stick to the speed limit – 40km/h in villages and 60km/h elsewhere
- Wear safety belts
- Don’t drink and drive
- Wear a helmet if driving a motorcycle
- Check that the surface is flat before parking on grass verges
- Take extra care on dirt roads
For more information on each, as well as more safety tips, see the 10 Safety Tips for Driving in Niue.
What is the State of the Roads in Niue?
Niue has 123km (76 miles) of paved roads. Except for in most villages, these roads have many potholes. The road on the east coast of the island has more potholes than on the west coast, but both roads still need to be driven with care. Potholes are more difficult to spot during the bright morning and afternoon sun, so take extra care during those times and make sure to drive with sunglasses. When driving after heavy rain, the depth of potholes is difficult to judge, so take care when driving in or after the rain.
Some of Niue’s inland bush roads and some minor roads leading to the coast are gravel or dirt roads. These tend to be single-file roads so care needs to be taken in case there is approaching traffic. We don’t recommend driving down any dirt roads in rental cars after heavy rain.
A limited number of roads in Niue are not suitable for rental cars. These roads are clearly marked on the Niue visitor map available at the Visitor Information Centre in Alofi.
The Conditions of Vehicles in Niue
The condition of the rental vehicles is generally good in Niue – better than some other South Pacific Islands. Most car rental companies take care of cars well and have mechanics on hand should you encounter any problems. Roadside assistance is also offered for most car rentals.
While many of the cars for rent are over 10 years old, they tend to be well-maintained. Cars less than 10 years old are also available to hire on the island.
Some accommodations offer car hire to guests, which typically do not have covers such as insurance and roadside assistance. Ask to see the vehicle before hiring.
Learn more about the car hires available in The Best Car Rentals in Niue.
Road Hazards in Niue
There are a few hazards on Niue’s road that you might not be used to. It’s a good idea to at least be aware of them so that you’re not taken by surprise while you’re behind the wheel.
Dogs and Chickens on the Road
Dogs and chickens roam the roads in Niue, so slow down when approaching to give them time to love out of the way. If you see a dog crouching beside the road, slow down as some dogs can jump out.
We’ve already talked extensively about Niue’s potholes. Just as a reminder, it is likely that you’ll need to drive slower than the speed limit to navigate over and around Niue’s infinite amount of potholes.
Some of Niue’s roads are narrow and with some blind corners. Approach these with caution.
Giving Way to the Right
In Niue, you must give way to the right, meaning that if traffic approaching you is wanting to turn right, you need to let them turn in front of you.
There are no traffic lights in Niue, so take extra care when approaching intersections.
It’s also a good idea to check out some of Niue’s road rules that you might not be used to. See the 10 Road Rules for Niue You Need to Know.