That South Pacific Island You've Never Heard Of
That South Pacific Island You've Never Heard Of

That South Pacific Island You’ve Never Heard Of

(c) M. Crawford – Niue Tourism

Introducing Niue

Have you ever heard of an island called Niue? Pronounced “Nyoo-ay”, Niue is a small island in the South Pacific located 2,400km (1,490 miles) northeast of New Zealand and in the centre of Tonga, Samoa and the Cook Islands. Unlike its South Pacific neighbours, the country is just one island. In fact, it is the world’s largest raised coral atoll which also makes it unique in the South Pacific in that it doesn’t have soft sandy beaches. What it does have are incredible limestone formations lining its coastline, some of the clearest waters in the world, and an utterly blissful and relaxing atmosphere. This is Niue, The Rock of the Pacific.

5 Fun Facts About Niue

  • There are more Niueans living outside of Niue than in Niue
  • Niue has no traffic lights
  • It’s one of the only places in the world where you can swim with humpback whales
  • It’s one of the last places to see the sunset of each day
  • Niuean is an endangered language.

For more facts along with explanations, see the 10 Fun Facts About Niue.

That South Pacific Island You've Never Heard Of(c)

Reasons to Visit Niue

If you’re not already intrigued by this 260km2 (100sq mi) piece of rock in the South Pacific, then perhaps you need to learn more about the country. Niue is an island that is utterly unique, being the largest raised coral atoll in the world. The island is mainly made from limestone, which has created some unworldly formations both above and below the surface. Chasms, caves, pinnacle and arches are accessible by various sea tracks around the island, as well as underwater with scuba diving tours.

Speaking of water, the limestone island filters water rather than having any rivers running off into the ocean. This makes for some of the clearest snorkelling and scuba diving, accessible straight off the coast!

While nature is just one reason you might want to visit Niue, the culture will certainly draw you in too. The island’s 1,600 residents are extremely welcoming and can be interacted with effortlessly through the morning markets, rainforest and plantation tours run by locals, as well as community events such as Village Show Days.

The affordable experiences, the glorious tropical weather, the fishing and whale swimming being just 100m (330ft) off the coast are just some other reasons why you might want to say “Fakaalofa lahi atu!” to Niue.

For more reasons to visit the island, see 10 Amazing Reasons to Visit Niue.

That South Pacific Island You've Never Heard Of(c)

Things to Do in Niue

So Niue: what is there to do there? Can a 260km2 (100sq mi) rock really have so much to do? You have no idea…

In Niue, you can take part in the following:

  • Snorkel in crystal clear waters with tropical fish and coral straight off the short
  • Scuba dive among caves, chasms and pinnacles
  • Swim with humpback whales and spinner dolphins
  • Fish for wahoo, mahimahi, yellowfin tuna and more just 100m (330ft) offshore
  • Walk and cycle through a stunning rainforest conservation area
  • Follow sea tracks to limestone caves and dramatic chasms
  • Immerse in Polynesian culture with uga (coconut crab) hunting tours, vaka (canoe tours), plantation tours and more
  • Immerse in nature with nature and rainforest tours
  • Go to events like village show days, food festivals, yoga retreats and more.

Inspired? Find out more in the 10 Must-Dos in Niue.

That South Pacific Island You've Never Heard Of(c)

Where to Stay in Niue

Niue is not just a pitstop. With only two flights a week to the island, not only do you have to stay on the island, but you’re definitely going to want to.

Niue’s accommodation feels a lot more “exclusive” than other South Pacific Islands. You can stay in secluded clifftop cottages, get the local experience by staying in a guest house or opt to stay in the island’s one and only resort. There are options for budget travellers, families, as well as couples on a honeymoon. But don’t expect five-star resorts, your “Hiltons” or your “InterContinentals”. Niue is down-to-earth and likes to keep it that way.

Browse the accommodation of the island in our Accommodation category.


Robin C.

This article was reviewed and published by Robin, the co-founder of Niue Pocket Guide. He has lived, worked and travelled across 16 different countries before settling in the South Pacific, so he knows a thing or two about planning the perfect trip in this corner of the world. He is also consulting regularly with Niue Tourism to ensure content accuracy. Robin is also the co-founder of several other South Pacific travel guides and is a regular host of webinars with the South Pacific Tourism Organisation.

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