The Only Travel Guide to Niue You’ll Ever Need
There’s nowhere like Niue. The world’s largest uplifted coral atoll is a place of rugged coastal formations where exploring dramatic chasms, delving into limestone caves, and finding yourself alone on white coral beaches is all part of the adventure. Not to mention, the snorkelling and scuba diving in vividly clear water makes you feel like you’ve been dipped into an aquarium. The locals are also eager to show you their way of life, from tours of living off the stunning island rainforests to opportunities to learn how to craft and weave. Plus, with boutique accommodations scattered across the island, it often feels like the “Rock of the Pacific” is just for you. And depending on who you are, there’s a holiday waiting, from family getaways to backpacking adventures to honeymoons.
We go through each type of travel experience, along with suggested activities and accommodations, in this complete travel guide to Niue.
An Intro to Niue
Size: Niue’s area is 261 km² (101 mi²)
Climate: Daily average temperature – 25°C/77°F, yearly average rainfall – 1,955mm/77″
Find out more in What is the Weather Like in Niue?
Time zone: UTC/GMT-11
Find out more in What is the Niue Time Zone?
Find out more in Who are the People of Niue?
Languages: Niuean and English
Find out more in What is the Niue Language?
Frequently Asked Questions About Niue
And what are the most common questions travellers have about Niue? This wouldn’t be the best travel guide to Niue if we did tell you!
Can I Travel to Niue Now?
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there are restrictions for travel at the borders. Visit Niue Tourism‘s website for the latest travel information and to see whether you can travel to Niue.
Is Niue Worth Visiting?
Absolutely! Niue is one of the smallest countries in the world yet the world’s largest raised coral atoll, so its uniqueness makes Niue well worth visiting. Check out more reasons in the 10 Amazing Reasons to Visit Niue.
What is Niue Famous For?
As mentioned, Niue is famous for being one of the world’s smallest nations, as well as the world’s largest raised coral atolls. It is also one of the few places where you can legally swim with humpback whales. Check out some famous places in Niue in the 5 Most Famous Places in Niue.
Is Niue Safe?
Niue is as safe as it gets with almost non-existent crime, very few viruses, and no deadly animals. The biggest danger in Niue concerns basic ocean safety, but you can read up more on how to keep yourself safe in our guide, How to Stay Safe in Niue.
Is Niue a Part of New Zealand?
Niue is a self-governing state in free association with New Zealand. To find out what that means exactly, check out Who Owns Niue? The Political Status of Niue.
How to Get to Niue
First things first, you’ll need to see if you are currently able to travel to Niue due to restrictions put in place at the borders after the COVID-19 outbreak. Visit Niue Tourism‘s website for the latest travel information.
Next, what is the best way to get to Niue? Niue can be accessed by flight, cruise ship or private sailing yachts. The most popular way to get to Niue is by international flight, so let’s start with that.
Flying to Niue
Direct flights between Auckland, New Zealand and Niue happen twice a week, with Auckland Airport having hundreds of connecting flights. The flight between Auckland and Niue takes approximately 210 minutes (3h30mins). An important thing to note is that New Zealand and Niue have a 24 hours time difference, so when you depart Auckland on a Tuesday morning, you arrive in Niue on a Monday afternoon, for example.
Flights arrive at Niue at Hanan International Airport, approximately a five-minute drive from Alofi. Find out more about the airport in Which Airport to Fly to in Niue. Note that the departure process for Hanan Airport is a little unusual in that you can’t go through airport security until at least an hour after you have checked in. See Leaving Niue: The Niue Airport Departure Process for more details.
Cruises to Niue
For a quick visit to Niue, an alternative way to get to the island is on a South Pacific cruise. Cruises to Niue depart from either Auckland (New Zealand), Papeete (Tahiti) or Lautoka (Fiji). Due to the rocky nature of the island, cruise passengers can only disembark at Niue if the weather and the swell are safe enough. Often visits to Niue are cancelled in bad weather. Learn more about cruising to Niue in The Guide to Taking a Cruise to Niue.
Sailing to Niue
Visiting yachts to Niue must stop at Alofi Bay and call Niue Radio on VHF Channel 16 in order to arrange customs clearance. Follow the instructions given. Then radio the Niue Yacht Club on VHF Channel 10 for mooring allocation and advice for mooring. Niue has just 17 moorings available. Learn more about sailing to Niue in The Guide to Sailing to Niue.
A Note on Customs Declarations
Niue has strict biosecurity measures at the border to stop unwanted pests and diseases from entering the country. Therefore, anyone arriving in Niue has to declare any “risk items” they have packed in their luggage – even common items like food and sports gear. Be sure to read up on Everything You Need to Know About Arriving in Niue so you are prepared.
Check out our complete guide on How to Get to Niue for even more tips on making your way to the island.
When to Visit Niue
Niue is a tropical island with warm temperatures experienced throughout the year. It has only two distinct seasons, the hot and humid wet season and the drier and cooler dry season. Learn more in What is the Weather Like in Niue?
Wet Season (November to April)
The wet season, also known as summer, is Niue’s most hot and humid season with temperatures typically 22-29°C (72-84°F). Rain tends to be more frequent than the dry season with a monthly average of 156-300mm (6.1-11.8″) and there is a small risk of cyclones affecting the country. This season is best for fishing particular species like yellowfin tuna.
Dry Season (May to October)
The dry season, also called winter, is a drier and cooler season with temperatures typically around 21-27°C (70-81°F). The average monthly rainfall is 90-160mm (3.5-6.3″). This season is also best for whale swimming and fishing for particular species like wahoo and mahimahi.
So when is the best time to travel to Niue? Check out our complete guide, The Best Time to Visit Niue, which dives deeper into the subject.
What to Pack for Niue
The main thing you need to keep in mind when packing for Niue is having a tropical wardrobe that includes some more modest items of clothing for exploring Niues’s villages. A packing list for Niue might look a little something like this:
- Dresses/skirts below the knee to use during village visits or church services
- Light shirts/T-shirts to cover the shoulders to use during village visits or church services
- Sarong (paleu) to cover swimwear after swimming
- Light sleepwear
- Light jacket/cardigan/pashmina for cooler evenings
- Rash vest for sun protection
- Light cotton shirt to cover arms for sun protection
- Light rain jacket
- Walking shoes/sandals
- Reef shoes
And that’s just the clothes! For a full packing list of everything to take, including accessories and toiletries, check out The Complete Packing List for Niue.
Health Products to Pack
Tap water is Ok to drink at certain accommodations on the island, but not everywhere. The island also experiences high UV levels and mosquitos, so packing products for your health is recommended. Natural sunscreens and mosquito repellents are advised to protect you and Niue’s fragile ecosystem. Instead of buying bottled water, use reusable purification bottles for obvious environmental reasons. See our health essentials packing list in What Medication to Pack in Your First Aid Kit for Niue.
The Currency in Niue
The currency of Niue is the New Zealand Dollar. Cash is the most widely accepted payment method with some outlets accepting MasterCard, Visa and New Zealand debit cards. There is no ATM on the island, but you can take money out at selected outlets. See What is the Best Way to Pay in Niue? for more information.
Do You Need a Visa to Visit Niue?
To enter Niue, you need a passport that is valid for up to three months after your arrival date. A free Visitor Permit is granted upon entry if you are from a visa-waiver country. Otherwise, an Entry Permit is required, as explained in Do You Need a Visa to Visit Niue?
How Long to Spend in Niue
Niue might make for an idyllic tropical getaway to simply relax for a few days – and that’s fine; we all need to R&R from time to time. Most travellers, however, are here to explore one of the most unique islands in the South Pacific along with its natural attractions and marine experiences. With that in mind, our travel guide to Niue can show you what you can achieve in certain timeframes…
4 Days / A Long Weekend in Niue
Over a long weekend, you will have time to do some sightseeing on both coasts of the island, but not much time for activities and tours with many being closed on a Sunday. See The Best Niue Itineraries for a Weekend for suggestions.
5 Days in Niue
From Monday’s flight to Friday’s flight, you can explore both coasts of the island, as well as fit in one or two tours. See The Best Niue Itineraries for 5 Days for ideas.
7 Days/ One Week in Niue
One week in Niue gives you time to visit all of the major highlights along the coast, as well as do some of your bucket list activities. See The Best Niue Itineraries for 1 Week for recommended trip ideas.
14 Days / Two Weeks in Niue
This amount of time in Niue allows you to enjoy all of Niue’s coastal attractions, fit in the activities and tours you’ve dreamed of, as well as time to relax. See The Best Niue Itineraries for 2 Weeks for itinerary suggestions.
How to Get Around Niue
Niue might be a small island that should be easy to explore but there are limited transport options. While hiring a car or an e-bike is recommended to make the most of the island, we’ll still give you all of your transport options in this Niue travel guide:
Multiple car hire companies are available on the island, offering vehicle drop-off at the airport, as well as pick-up from their depots. Car rental is by far the most convenient and flexible way to get around the island. See The Guide to Car Hire in Niue for more information.
Some accommodations on the island offer airport transfers free of charge at the beginning and end of your trip. Find out more about transfers in the Airport Transfer Options in Niue.
There is one taxi on the island, only available by booking over the phone. Find out more in The Guide to Taxis in Niue.
Bicycle and E-Bike Rental
Some accommodations and car rental companies hire bicycles and e-bikes to explore some of the island and bike trails. Note that the island is too big to typically enjoy cycling around. Find out more in The Guide to Mountain Biking in Niue.
Motorcycle rental is extremely limited in Niue, perhaps due to the rough ride with the roads’ potholes. Nevertheless, get wised up to the ways of the motorcycle in The Guide to Renting a Motorbike in Niue.
For more ways to get around, as well as more transport advice, head over to another part of our travel guide to Niue, our Niue Transport Guide: 11 Ways to Get Around Niue.
Accommodation in Niue
Niue keeps its accommodation options small and intimate. There is only one resort on the island, while the rest of Niue’s accommodations come in the form of boutique cottage complexes/motels, holiday homes and guesthouses. We go through almost all of Niue’s accommodation options in The 30 Best Accommodations in Niue.
By far Niue’s largest accommodation, the Scenic Matavai Resort is a four-star resort with a pool, restaurant and evening entertainment. The main resort has international hotel-standard rooms, while the Scenic Matavai Villas & Apartments offer self-catering facilities and its own pool. Note that the villas and apartments are approximately a kilometre away from the main resort. Find out more about the resort in the 10 Best Hotels & Resorts in Niue.
Cottage Complexes / Motels
Accommodations like Namukulu Cottages, Taloa Heights and Breeze offer a handful of self-contained cottages surrounding communal facilities, such as a swimming pool or whale lookout. Check out our descriptions of Niue’s cottage complexes and motels in How to Pick the Best Villa in Niue for You, as well as the 5 Best Motels in Niue and the 10 Best Self-Catering Accommodations in Niue.
Guesthouses / Lodges
An affordable accommodation option in Niue, guesthouses and lodges are typically one large home renovated into a B&B-style accommodation. Expect private guest rooms, some with ensuites, as well as shared facilities, such as a kitchen, lounge and bathroom. See what else to expect in How to Pick the Right Guesthouse in Niue for You and check out our top picks in the 10 Best Guesthouses in Niue.
Niue has plenty of holiday homes allowing you to experience your own quiet corner of the island. Holiday homes range from one bedroom to four/five bedrooms so there’s a private place to stay for most group sizes. Find out more in How to Pick the Best Holiday Home in Niue for You, while the top options are listed in the 10 Best Holiday Homes in Niue.
Things to Do in Niue
The main drawcards of Niue are the dramatic coastal features of the world’s largest raised coral atoll, as well as marine activities like snorkelling and scuba diving among some of the world’s clearest waters. But there’s oh-so-much more to Niue, which you’ll only start to grasp after reading our 101 Things to Do in Niue: The Ultimate List or, you know, after visiting yourself.
A quick overview of the things to do in Niue includes:
- Snorkelling – There’s fantastic snorkelling from many points from shore or join a snorkelling boat tour to an outer reef
- Scuba diving – Explore a tropical underwater world with unbelievably clear water and dive into the island’s many hidden caves
- Whale swimming/watching – Whales migrate to mere metres away from Niue’s shores between July and September
- Dolphin swimming/watching – See Niue’s resident pods of spinner dolphins all year round
- Sea tracks – These are short walks to Niue’s most spectacular coastal attractions, from arches to chasms
- Bike trails – There are five official bike trails through bush, villages and the coast
- Fishing – One of the most abundant tours in Niue, fishing charters offer the opportunity to reel in Pacific game species
- Nature and culture tours – Experience Niuean traditions through engaging guided tours with locals
- Events – Niue has a lively events calendar with village show days, Takai (New Year) and more.
Again, you’ll find much more inspiration from our 101 Things to Do in Niue: The Ultimate List so get on there!
Budget Holidays in Niue
Niue is an effortlessly affordable Pacific destination. The top attractions on the islands, such as magnificent coastal arches, chasms and snorkelling spots are free to visit, while immersing in the local culture is simply part of your everyday. Budget accommodation options are available, such as guesthouses where you’ll find yourself being part of the family, while self-catering is almost always an option. Get tips for a budget trip in The Travel Guide to Niue on a Budget.
Free Things to Do in Niue
- Walk, snorkel and swim from Niue’s sea tracks
- Discover Niue’s historical sites
- Watch or try out some handicrafts
- Hit the island bike trails
- Watch whales and dolphins from the lookouts.
For a complete list and details on each experience, see the 10 Free & Cheap Things To Do in Niue.
Cheap Accommodation in Niue
Niue’s main type of budget accommodation is guesthouses. These backpacker-meets-B&B accommodations have guests staying in private rooms of renovated family homes with communal bathroom, kitchen and lounge facilities. Alternatively, there are a few affordable holiday homes available in Niue. Check out your options in the 10 Best Budget Accommodations in Niue.
Luxury Holidays in Niue
Niue doesn’t pretend to be anything that it’s not. It’s not your “glitz and glam” Pacific destination with five-star resorts. That’s not to say that there’s no luxury to be found in Niue. There are certainly premium choices when it comes to accommodation, especially in terms of being in unique locations. As for activities, scuba and snorkelling in some of the world’s clearest waters and enjoying hotspots all to yourself is just part of what Niue can offer. Learn more in The Luxury Travel Guide to Niue.
Luxury Activities in Niue
- Get acquainted with the island on an orientation tour
- Experience a close whale or dolphin encounter
- Browse gorgeous ebony carvings and take a tour to see how they are made
- Shop for unique art and souvenirs
- Play golf on Niue’s very own golf course.
For more details on each experience, see the 10 Best Luxury Experiences in Niue.
Luxury Stays in Niue
Niue’s premium accommodations come in the form of villas perched on clifftops with amazing views, four-star resorts with everything you need, private holiday homes and more. Compare some of Niue’s most lavish offerings in the 10 Best Luxury Accommodations in Niue.
Weddings, Honeymoons and Romantic Getaways to Niue
Whether you’re looking for a unique honeymoon destination or even looking to tie the knot in paradise, Niue presents an alternative yet utterly romantic destination in the South Pacific. Find yourselves in secluded snorkelling spots and beaches, learn a new skill together in scuba diving, or even see how you would fare in the wild on a guided nature tour. We go through it all in The Wedding, Honeymoon & Romantic Getaway Guide to Niue.
Things to Do in Niue for Couples
- Find yourselves a secluded snorkelling spot
- See how you would fare being marooned together on an island with a nature tour
- Stargaze in some of the darkest skies D061
- Explore the coast together by kayak
- Impress each other with a huge catch on a fishing charter.
For more details on each experience, see the 10 Romantic Activities in Niue for Couples.
Accommodation in Niue for Couples
From cottages nestled in tropical forest to a modern resort, there’s quite the range when it comes to couples’ accommodation. Check out stays to suit a range of styles, budgets and tastes in the 10 Best Wedding & Honeymoon Accommodations in Niue.
Family Holidays in Niue
Looking for something a little different for your family getaway? Niue is like nowhere else, offering families a fun and educational experience on the world’s largest raised coral atoll! Wildlife and nature are the key aspects of a Niuean holiday, where families can find safe snorkelling spots, see stunning coastal formations and enjoy some downtime, whether it’s at the local mini-golf course or by the pool. Plan your family holiday with The Travel Guide to Niue for Families.
Things to Do in Niue with Kids
- Have a swim at the Limu Pools
- Explore caves and snorkel with fish at the Talava Arches
- Learn how to survive in the wild on Misa’s Nature Tour
- Play some clifftop mini golf
- Get in some pool time.
For more details on these activities, take a look at the 10 Things To Do in Niue with Kids.
Family Accommodation in Niue
Niue provides families with the home-away-from-home experience, with most accommodations providing all of the essentials in a holiday home. Nevertheless, if you’re looking to treat yourselves, there are resort-style accommodations to indulge in. See 10 Best Family Accommodations in Niue for more information.
Foodie Holidays in Niue
At first glance, Niue seems to be all about the landscapes and the underwater world. What surprises many visitors is how much of a foodie destination Niue is! From morning markets with many intriguing foods to hands-on plantation tours, there are many unique ways to get your foodie fix in Niue. Not to mention, the restaurants here will take your tastebuds on a trip across the world, but only using the freshest Pacific ingredients, from Japan to Europe. Start planning your foodie trip with The Food Guide to Niue: Places to Eat & Food Tours.
Food-Related Activities in Niue
- Learn how to bait and hunt uga
- Take part in a Niuean plantation tour
- Browse the Niue Market
- Pick up Niuean honey made from the world’s cleanest bees
- Sample Niuean food at an umu night.
For more details on each activity, learn more in the 10 Best Foodie Experiences in Niue.
Foodie Accommodation in Niue
There’s only one accommodation with an on-site restaurant in Niue. Foodies coming to the island will need to either stay in self-catering accommodation or stay close to the island’s restaurants to get their foodie fix. See the 10 Best Accommodations in Niue for Foodies for some of your best options.
Adults-Only Holidays in Niue
The “adults-only” getaway is fast becoming a top trend in South Pacific travel: a holiday where you can enjoy your island getaway undisturbed. However, with so few tourists, Niue isn’t an island that exactly needs adults-only resorts and activities. You often find yourself at top attractions alone! Nevertheless, if you want to ensure your getaway has the right tone, there are limited but fantastic options when it comes to adults-only accommodations, as well as a few adventure and relaxation experiences aimed at adults. Plan your getaway with The Adults-Only Travel Guide to Niue.
Things to Do in Niue for Adults
- Sip cocktails at one of the Niue bars
- Head out on an exciting scuba diving excursion
- Unwind with a heavenly massage
- Play a round of golf
- Tackle game fish on a fishing charter.
For more details on each experience, see the 7 Adults-Only Activities in Niue.
Adults-Only Accommodations in Niue
Niue’s adults-only accommodations consist of three properties, Lau’s Getaway (18 years+), Petite Hatava (12 years+), and The Restoration Reef (not suitable for children). A good alternative to adults-only accommodation would be one of Niue’s holiday homes, usually in a quiet location (except for the chickens) and with the people you choose. See the 10 Best Holiday Homes in Niue for recommendations.
Food in Niue
Niue has a small but varied range of restaurants, bars and cafes with international influences including Japanese, Indian, Chinese, American, British and more. Due to limited seating at most restaurants, it’s recommended to book a table, especially in the high season. See all of the restaurants on the island in The Guide to the Best Eats & Restaurants in Niue.
Niuean food is best sampled at arranged umu/Niuean buffet nights, as well as occasionally at the Niue Market and village show days. Find out more about what local dishes to try in the 8 Unique Foods in Niue You Have to Try.
Self-catering facilities are available at almost all of Niue’s accommodations where visitors can buy groceries from the large supermarket, Swansons Supermarket, as well as from smaller grocery stores in Alofi. See The Guide to Food Shopping in Niue for more advice.
We go into much more detail on where to eat, what to eat, self-catering and food tours in The Guide to Food in Niue.
Typical Costs and Travel Budget: How Much Does a Holiday to Niue Cost?
We all travel very differently. Therefore, making a precise budget for everyone travelling to Niue is, quite frankly, an impossible task. Nevertheless, you can work out your own needs, thus budget, by simply looking at the typical prices listed below or in our article, Niue Travel Budget: How Much Does a Trip to Niue Cost?
The Cost of Accommodation
- Guesthouse double room/night – NZ$50-$90
- Guesthouse double ensuite/night – NZ$60-$190
- Budget self-contained studio/night – NZ$120-$150
- Budget family unit or holiday home/night – NZ$160-$200
- Premium self-contained villa/night – NZ$195-$320
- Resort room/night – NZ$290-$460
- Resort room interconnecting/night – NZ$650-$840
- Premium studio apartment/night – NZ$225-$250
- Premium family holiday home/night – NZ$230-$500
For more information and the cost of accommodation services, see What is the Cost of Accommodation in Niue?
The Cost of Food
- Main breakfast meal – NZ$9-$22
- Main lunch meal – NZ$13-$25
- Main dinner meal – NZ$20-$35
- Niuean buffet – NZ$50-$60
- Small coffee – NZ$5-$6
- Bottle of beer – NZ$4-$10
- Glass of wine – NZ$11-$16
- Cocktail – NZ$15-$17
- Soft drink – NZ$4-$5
Grocery prices for self-catering can be found in What is the Cost of Food in Niue?
The Cost of Activities
- Guided orientation tour – NZ$70
- Uga hunting tour – NZ$70
- Nature tour – NZ$50-$70
- Plantation tour – NZ$50-$70
- Cave tour – NZ$75
- Spa treatment – NZ$90+
- Mountain bike hire/day – NZ$10-$30
- Museum entry – NZ$10
- Whale/dolphin swimming tour – NZ$170
- Scuba diving/two-tank – NZ$190-$230
- Snorkelling by boat – NZ$90-$100
- Snorkel hire/day – Free-NZ$10
- SUP hire/day – NZ$50
- Private fishing charter/half-day – NZ$500
- Vaka (canoe) tour – NZ$50
For more information and a list of all of Niue’s free activities, see What is the Cost of Activities in Niue?
The Cost of Transport
- Niue Driver’s License – NZ$22.50
- Motorbike rental/day – NZ$40
- Car rental/day – NZ$55-$75
- Petrol/litre – NZ$2.64+
- Bicycle rental/day – NZ$10
- Taxi/kilometre – NZ$2
- Accommodation/airport transfers – Free
For more information on transport prices, see What is the Cost of Transport in Niue? And again, check out another aspect of our travel guide to Niue, Niue Travel Budget: How Much Does a Trip to Niue Cost? for more budget tips and costs.
Get More Essential Tips from the Largest Travel Guide to Niue
That’s it from our complete travel guide to Niue. There’s much more where that came from; perhaps from the 31 Tips for Travelling in Niue or you might find the Niue Travel Advice: How to Plan a Trip to Niue more useful. Either way, we hope you enjoy your trip to one of our favourite places in the world.
– Happy travels!