5-Day Budget Itinerary for Niue
Five full days in Niue gives you just enough time to explore Niue’s top free attractions, such as stunning chasms, arches and snorkelling hotspots, but not much else… Nevertheless, if you only have limited time to enjoy the “Rock of the Pacific”, this Niue budget and backpacking itinerary for five days will show you how to see and do as much as possible while spending as little as possible. If you’re looking for a more relaxed five days away, scroll to the bottom of this article for an alternative itinerary.
Note that this Niue budget and backpacking five-day itinerary has some activities that are only available on particular days of the week. This itinerary is based on if you arrive in Niue on a Friday (local time), but days can be swapped around accordingly should you arrive in Niue on another day of the week. See flight schedules in Which Airlines Fly to Niue?
Overview: Niue Budget and Backpacking 5-Day Itinerary
- Day 1 – Welcome to Niue!
- Day 2 – Explore the East Coast
- Day 3 – Check Out the Limu Pools, Matapa Chasm and the Talava Arches
- Day 4 – Explore Avaiki Cave, the Palaha Cave and Do Some Whale Watching
- Day 5 – Departure Day.
How to Get Around Niue in 5 Days on a Budget
Niue is one island with 123 km (76 mi) of paved roads, 64 km (40 mi) of road circling the island and no public transport… For this reason, we strongly recommend hiring some sort of vehicle to make the most out of this five-day budget and backpacking itinerary for Niue.
Budget car rentals are readily available in Niue, just make sure to book your vehicle in advance to get the best deal. We give advice on What You Need to Hire a Car in Niue, including the Niue Driver’s License. For money-saving tips, check out 10 Ways to Save Money on Car Rental in Niue.
Certainly cheaper than hiring a car, but more exhausting to ride in the tropical heat, cycling around Niue can be a fun way to explore for the right people. Both bicycle and electric bike hire are available in Niue. Find out more about this transport method in The Guide to Cycling & Mountain Biking in Niue.
If you have a motorcycle license, motorcycle rental could be a more affordable motor-powered way to get around Niue. Find out more about the advantages and disadvantages in our guide, Motorcycle Hire in Niue: Where to Rent, Cost & More.
For alternative transport in Niue, including airport transfers and motorcycle rental, see the 11 Ways to Get to (& Around) Niue. Plus, compare the most popular methods in Should You Rent a Car or a Bicycle in Niue?
Day 1 – Welcome to Niue!
Travel time: 5-10 minutes drive.
Your Niue adventure begins! On arrival, you will go through the airport customs and biosecurity process, as outlined in Everything You Need to Know About Arriving in Niue.
Visit the appropriate kiosk for your chosen car rental company or your chosen accommodation will either have its own kiosk for accommodation transfers or simply a representative with a sign ready to pick you up. You may also want to pick up your Niue Driver’s License from the Police Station since it’s so close to the airport.
Because Niue is so small (it takes around two hours to drive around the whole island), it’s more convenient to stay in the same accommodation for the duration of your visit to Niue.
Budget Accommodations in Niue
- Heleni Jessop’s Fatahega
- Kololi’s Motel (Guesthouse)
- Peleni’s Guesthouse
- Aleki Guesthouse
- Damiana’s Holiday Motel
- Lialagi Dorm & Units
- Aliutu Guesthouse
- Yolos Accommodation
- Vinnie’s Guesthouse
- Kaliki Lodge
For more details on our top picks, see the 10 Best Budget Accommodations in Niue.
Self-Catering in Niue
Almost all budget accommodation on the island has self-catering facilities, so we recommend picking up supplies on your way to your accommodation. The largest supermarket, Swanson Supermarket, is just outside of the airport. Alternatively, there are a few grocery stores in Alofi. Check out The Guide to Supermarkets & Food Shopping in Niue to learn more.
Day 2 – Explore the East Coast
Travel time: 1 hour drive.
It’s time to get off the beaten track (as if you already weren’t in Niue) and explore Niue’s rugged side, the east coast! Hire a car, if you already haven’t, and hit the road to Niue’s quieter coast. We have a full-day itinerary you can follow in A Self-Guided Day Trip in Niue: East Coast Itinerary. Otherwise, some highlights include…
Starting from south to north, head to the village of Hakupu and the Anapala Chasm Sea Track. The 15-minute one-way walk takes you through lush rainforest and down some steep steps to the bottom of an awe-inspiring chasm. If you’re not too spooked, you can swim in the cold freshwater at the bottom.
Your next chasm fix comes with a 30-45-minute walk to Togo Chasm. After walking through the tropical rainforest of 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 chasm dotted 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 won’t 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 which it is said that a great warrior created in order to end his life there – learn more in the 10 Best Historical Sites in Niue.
Hikulagi Sculpture Park
Have a quick browse around this outdoor sculpture park with works of art created out of recycled materials.
Uluvehi Sea Track
Park up on some steep clifftops where you’ll be able to look inside a couple of shallow limestone caves, see fishermen’s vaka (canoes) and enjoy amazing views of the Pacific Ocean.
While the suggested free attractions will keep you busy for the day, there are many more nooks and crannies along the east coast to explore should you be a fast explorer. See the 8 Best Sea Tracks on the East Coast of Niue for more inspiration.
While self-catering will always save you more than eating out, if you have the budget to spare, treat yourself to a panini at the rustic cliff-top eatery of the Crazy Uga Cafe (Alofi). For dinner, cheap eats can be found at Buk Buk Chicken (behind Alofi Commercial Centre). See more recommendations in The Top Cheap Eats in Niue.
Day 3 – Check Out the Limu Pools, Matapa Chasm and the Talava Arches
Travel time: 10-30 minutes drive.
There’s so much to see on the calmer side of the island, including snorkelling hotspots, that you might want to take your exploration on the west coast a little slower. First, head north to the villages of Hikutavake and Namukulu, which have a whole bunch of amazing coastal attractions. Note that these attractions for snorkelling are tide-dependent, so change the order you visit them according to the tide – get more advice in Tide Times in Niue: Essential for Your Trip!
An oasis for swimming and snorkelling, the Limu Pools is a must-visit. Follow a short sea track down to the main pools, where swimming is best enjoyed at half-to-full incoming tide. Otherwise, the water tends to be a little too shallow at low 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 at any tide, the Matapa Chasm is a wide chasm harbouring all sorts of tropical fish in its safe swimming spot. Walk down a seven-minute rocky sea track 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 what awaits after a 30-minute walk through the forest. The sea track is right next to the beginning of the Matapa Chasm track and leads to a series of limestone caves to navigate with guide ropes. You’ll emerge at a stunning view of the coastal archway and have the opportunity to snorkel in the coral-lined channel below.
After you’re done swimming, snorkelling and galavanting on the west coast, head south to Avatele where the Washaway Cafe is exclusively open on a Sunday. Enjoy affordable burgers, pizzas and focaccia at this funky honesty bar and kitchen.
Day 4 – Explore Avaiki Cave, the Palaha Cave and Do Some Whale Watching
Travel time: 10-25 minutes drive.
You have more time to make the most of the amazing coastal scenery on the west of the island, this time around the village of Makefu.
Just before low tide, find the Avaiki Cave Sea Track down to a huge cathedral cave with a swimming pool at the base. After a bit of snorkelling, head back up the sea track and up the road to the nearby Palaha Cave for more magnificent viewings of grand limestone caves. Although you can walk between the two caves on the reef at low tide, we don’t recommend it, as it’s hard to avoid standing on fragile coral.
Top off your exploration of Makefu by setting up camp (not literally, but more like a picnic camp) at the Makefu Sea Track, which is a good place to look out for whales (July to September) and dolphins. See more spots like this in the 10 Best Whale & Dolphin Lookouts in Niue.
Pick up breakfast or brunch to go from the hole-in-the-wall takeaway of Little Rock (Alofi), serving fresh wraps, hot rolls and fish and chips for a reasonable price.
Day 5 – Departure Day
Travel time: 5-10 minutes drive.
Leaving already?! We told you five days wasn’t enough! Check out of your accommodation and make your way to Hanan Airport to check in your luggage, which opens at 9 am – see why you need to do this in our guide to Leaving Niue: The Niue Airport Departure Process.
As you will have some free time before catching your flight, we recommend heading to Alofi to do some of the free/cheap activities there.
Alofi has some of its own free sea tracks leading to stunning coves, reefs and beaches. Check out the local museum, browse the art gallery, check out the Niue Market and more! Here are some more ideas should you need inspiration…
Free/Cheap Things to Do in Alofi
- Visit the Niue National Museum – Fale Tau Taoga
- Find all of the Alofi sea tracks
- Check out historic sites, like Tomb Point and Opaahi
- Scout out the cheap eats in Alofi
- Admire the canvas paintings in the Tahiono Art Gallery
- Watch whales and dolphins from the lookout at Tomb Point.
For details and more ideas, check out the 10 Free & Cheap Things to Do in Alofi.
When you’re done, head back to the airport to return your rental car by parking it anywhere in the car park and leaving the keys in the ignition.
Then it’s goodbye, Niue!
Alternative Itinerary: Niue Relaxing Budget and Backpacking 5-Day Itinerary
Below is an overview of a laidback budget and backpacking itinerary for Niue as an alternative to our more active itinerary above. With Niue being a small island, bear in mind that this itinerary has you staying in the same accommodation for the full five days.
- Day 1 – Arrive in Niue and check-in at your accommodation
- Day 2 – Swim at the Limu Pools and trek to the Matapa Chasm and Talava Arches
- Day 3 – Explore the east coast sights, like Togo Chasm and Anapala Chasm
- Day 4 – Visit Alofi and experience the culture of the Niue Market and Niue Council of Women’s weaving group
- Day 5 – Get prepared for departure on an exciting and unusual Niue plane day.
Alternative Niue 5-Day Itineraries
Is this five-day budget and backpacking itinerary for Niue not quite speaking to you? How about checking out our alternative itineraries for five days:
- Niue Child-Free Itinerary: 5 Days
- Niue Food Itinerary: 5 Days
- Niue Honeymoon & Romance Itinerary: 5 Days
- Niue Family Itinerary: 5 Days
- Niue Luxury Itinerary: 5 Days
Finally, if there’s anything we’ve missed from this Niue budget and backpacking itinerary, you’re likely to find it in The Backpacking & Budget Travel Guide to Niue.