3-Day Budget Itinerary for Niue
Ok, so with the shortest amount of time you can spend in Niue being between Friday to Monday*, when the only two flights to the island arrive/depart, your three-day budget itinerary technically just turned to four! Nevertheless, active budget travellers can still explore many of the free coastal attractions of Niue in just three to four days. That doesn’t leave much time for anything else, but this Niue budget itinerary for three days will certainly show you how to make the most of your time.
While this itinerary is for the backpacker or budget traveller that wants to explore, see and do it all, a more relaxed agenda can be found in the What to Do for 3 Days in Niue on a Budget.
Before we dive into this 3-day budget itinerary for Niue, bookmark the Niue Travel Budget: How Much Does a Trip to Niue Cost? for its full budget overview or The Travel Guide to Niue on a Budget for more advice.
* Note that due to Niue’s reduced flight schedule, this itinerary may no longer be compatible with current flights – check the flight schedule in Which Airlines Fly to Niue?
How to Get Around Niue in 3 Days on a Budget
With only three/four days to explore Niue and no public transport, we recommend that you hire a car for your stay on the island. Economy car rentals are available, which you can learn more about in The Guide to Car Hire in Niue. Note that you will need a Niue Driver’s Licence from the Alofi Police Station, which costs around NZ$22.50.
Day 1 – Arrive in Niue and Check-in at Your Accommodation
Fakaalofa lahi atu and welcome to Niue, even if it is just for a short time!
Once you land at Hanan International Airport, you will go through the airport customs and biosecurity process, which is explained in Everything You Need to Know About Arriving in Niue, so you know what to expect.
After passing through quarantine inspection with your baggage, you’ll come out at the entrance to the airport where you will need to go to the appropriate kiosk for your chosen car rental company. Go through the car inspection process and be on your way to your chosen accommodation for check-in.
Budget Accommodation in Niue
- Kumar Enterprise / Guest House
- Turtle Lodge
- Heleni Jessop’s Fatahega
- Kololi’s Motel
- Aleki Guesthouse
- Damiana’s Motel
- Lialagi Units
- Aliutu Guesthouse
For more details on our recommended picks, see the 10 Best Budget Accommodation in Niue.
Self-catering and Cheap Eats in Niue
Almost all budget accommodation on the island has kitchen facilities, where you’ll find it easier to pick up supplies on your way to your accommodation. The largest supermarket, Swanson Supermarket, is just outside of the airport (turn left). Alternatively, there are a few grocery stores in Alofi.
If you can’t be bothered cooking for yourself over the next three days, then you can find some affordable meals at some of Niue’s restaurants and cafes. See the Top Cheap Eats in Niue for suggestions.
Day 2 – Explore the West Coast
This morning, head to the Police Station in Alofi to pick up a driver’s license, then hit the road to some of the top free attractions on the west coast! Note that attractions for snorkelling on the west coast are tide-dependent, so it’s unlikely that you will get to make the most of all of them in one day. We suggest just picking two or three of the attractions that sound the best to you.
An oasis for swimming and snorkelling, the Limu Pools is an easy walk on the sea track starting near Namukulu. The Limu Pools Sea Track emerges at the main pools, where swimming is best enjoyed at half-to-high incoming tide. There’s also a small side track to another snorkelling spot with an archway which is generally better to snorkel at low tide.
Suitable for swimming and snorkelling at any tide, the Matapa Chasm is a wide chasm harbouring all sorts of tropical fish and crabs in its safe swimming spot. Walk down a seven-minute rocky sea track, starting from Hikutavake, through the forest to emerge at the chasm.
Enjoyed at any tide, but best at low tide if you want to walk across the reef and under the arch, the Talava Arches is a magnificent sight after a 30-minute walk through the forest. Starting next to the Matapa Chasm Sea Track, the Talava Arches track leads to a series of limestone caves to navigate with guide ropes. You’ll emerge at a stunning view of the coastal archway and a coral-lined channel ideal for snorkelling.
Avaiki an Palaha Caves
Nearby the village of Makefu, the Avaiki Cave Sea Track is accessible at low tide, taking you down to a huge cathedral cave with a swimming pool. After a bit of snorkelling, head back up the sea track and a little further north up the road to the nearby Palaha Cave for more awesome viewings of grand limestone caves. Although you can walk between the two caves on the reef at low tide, it’s not recommended, as it’s hard to avoid standing on fragile coral.
And if none of these sea tracks excites you, then maybe the 10 Best Sea Tracks on the West Coast of Niue will?
Day 3 – Explore the East Coast
It’s time to get off the beaten track (as if you already weren’t in Niue) and explore Niue’s more rugged side. With not much opportunity for swimming and snorkelling, you can generally get through the attractions on the east coast a little faster. Plus, the enjoyment of them is not determined by the tide, so take the whole day to see them all!
Starting from south to north, head to the village of Hakupu and the Anapala Chasm Sea Track. The 15-minute one-way track takes you through lush rainforest and down some steep steps to the bottom of a deep, dark and awe-inspiring chasm. If you’re not too spooked, you can swim in the fresh water at the bottom.
Your next chasm fix comes with a 30-45-minute walk to Togo Chasm. After walking through the Huvalu Forest Conservation Area, you’ll emerge on a rocky coastline with limestone pinnacles as far as the eye can see. Follow the track down a ladder and into a sandy-bottom oasis scattered with coconut palms! You can scramble over the rockfall at the back of the chasm to watch waves breaking against the rocks. Needless to say, you will not want to venture further, so return the same way.
Laufoli Umu Pit
Easy to miss, keep an eye on the east side of the road, north of the Togo Chasm for a quick stop at the Laufoli Umu Pit. You can see the distinct ditch in the ground that was used as an earth oven where it is said that a great warrior created to throw himself into.
Hikulagi Sculpture Park
Another quick stop on the way, this outdoor sculpture park features works of art created out of rubbish washed up on Niue’s shores.
Uluvehi Sea Track
Park up on some steep clifftops and delve inside a couple of shallow limestone caves, where fishermen store their vaka (canoes).
While the suggested free attractions will keep you busy for the day, there are many more nooks and crannies to explore. See the 7 Best Sea Tracks on the East Coast of Niue for more ideas.
This is the time that you realise three days in Niue just wasn’t enough.
Make your way to Hanan Airport to check in your baggage. Then you’ll likely have some time to spare before catching your flight, as explained in Leaving Niue: The Niue Airport Departure Process. Grab a bite to eat in Alofi or the Swanson Shopping Complex, then return your car rental by parking the car where the “Rental Cars Only” signs at the airport, leaving the keys in the car.
Then, it’s goodbye to Niue, as you make your way back to Auckland.
More on Niue Budget Itineraries and Trip Ideas
That’s it for the Niue budget itinerary: 3 days. Get more trip-planning inspiration from our 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.