How to Plan a More Eco-Friendly Trip to Niue
While climate change can seem like a distant issue, the impact of global warming is certainly present on the islands of the South Pacific. Although Niue has some marine reserves and conservation areas to protect its flora, fauna and reefs, the nation – like most – has had its issues with balancing environmental and social sustainability while trying to grow its tourism industry. As is a common theme for anyone trying to live a more sustainable lifestyle, it’s up to us travellers to be mindful of the tourism operators used, as well as be careful with the environment and respectful of communities in order to travel more sustainably. Nevertheless, ecotourism in Niue is alive and we’re here to guide you through it.
Quick Tips for More Eco-Friendly Travel in Niue
Although our guide to ecotourism in Niue will go into much more detail on eco-friendly and ethical travel in Niue, here are some quick sustainability tips to get you started.
- Stay at guesthouses and boutique accommodations to reduce your environmental impacts
- Enjoy low-impact activities, such as nature tours, cycling, sea tracks and more
- Minimise your waste by packing a reusable water bottle, plastic-free toiletries, shopping bags, etc.
- Use bicycles or e-bikes for transport where possible
- Use reef-safe sunscreen and natural insect repellent
- Be careful to not stand on or damage coral.
And there’s more where that came from over in the 25 Ways to Travel More Sustainably in Niue.
Environmentally Friendly Accommodations in Niue
Accommodations tend to play a huge part in a Niue getaway. Although “eco-stays” and “eco-resorts” are not yet a thing on this island with limited accommodations, choosing a certain type of accommodation can help reduce your environmental impact tremendously.
Local Guesthouses and Boutique Accommodations
Supporting local businesses while having less of a strain on the environment, small-scale stays like guesthouses and small holiday villa complexes are some of the most sustainable accommodation choices you can make in Niue.
Staying at guesthouses – a B&B-type of accommodation – is a more ethical and environmentally friendly accommodation than a resort owned by some distant overseas corporation or a holiday home all to oneself. One reason is due to their size. These small-scale accommodations are not only usually run by locals but tend to host a larger number of people per square metre. By having shared bathrooms, kitchen and lounge, they also tend to use much fewer resources per guest.
Eco-Tours and Attractions in Niue
Niue is home to several low-impact nature-themed tours and attractions.
Eco-Tours in Niue
These businesses use sustainable practices, educate on conservation and have a low impact yet allow you to encounter amazing aspects of nature. Some of the top eco-tours in Niue include:
- Taue Uga Tours – Showcasing sustainable coconut crab hunting techniques of a Niuean tradition
- Ebony Rainforest Tour – Educative low-impact forest walking tour
- Maala Garden Tour – Learn how to live off a small piece of tropical land on this garden tour.
And learn much more about these operators in the 8 Best Nature Tours in Niue.
Low-Impact Activities in Niue
The beauty about Niue is that many of its attractions can be enjoyed in a low-impact way; whether through walking, cycling or snorkelling. As long as you stay on marked trails, wear reef-safe sunscreen and avoid standing on or damaging coral and other sealife, you should be having minimal impact while enjoying Niue’s natural wonders.
Find out more about Niue’s low-impact activities in the following articles:
- The Complete Guide to Snorkelling in Niue
- The Guide to Walks in Niue + 35 Walks to Try!
- 5 Best Bike Trails in Niue
- 10 Best Reef Walks in Niue
- 10 Best Cultural Activities in Niue.
Protected Areas in Niue
Since 1992, the Niuean Government has been establishing areas of its small island as protected conservation areas, which include:
- Huvalu Forest Conservation Area (57.70 km²/22.28 mi²)
- Niue Moana Mahu Marine Protected Area (127,000 km²/49,035 mi² – one of the largest marine reserves in the world)
- Vailoapu-Namoui Marine Protected Area (0.23 km²/0.09 mi²)
- Hakupu Heritage Park Area (0.05 km²/0.02 mi²)
- Tualagi Tapu Area (0.66 km²/0.25 mi²)
- Kanumea Tree Tapu Area (0.64 km²/0.25 mi²)
- Niue International Dark Sky Sanctuary (259 km²/100 mi²)
Tips for Sustainable Transport in Niue
More often than not, our biggest environmental impact when travelling is, well, the travelling part. There are, however, some ways to reduce your carbon footprint when it comes to transport in Niue.
How to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint on Your Way to Niue
While carbon offsetting programs aren’t an excuse to fly more, they can partially help toward neutralising the associated danger to the planet. Most airlines have the option to pay a carbon offsetting organisation for the amount of CO2 you will emit on your flight. However, you can always do your own research and choose a reputable company with a proven program that invests in renewable energy.
Take the most direct flight to Niue. Nonstop flights generally require less fuel than flights that need to land and take off again. Check out Which Airlines Fly Directly to Niue? for details on how to fly more directly and What are the Flight Times to Niue? for some of the most direct routes.
How to Travel Around Niue More Sustainably
Your transport choices are limited in Niue, as the island has no public transport. This leaves car rental, motorcycle rental, e-bike rental and bicycle rental. Needless to say, travelling by bicycle and e-bike is significantly more sustainable than travelling by car by producing no carbon emissions (charging your e-bike will use the island’s solar/diesel-generated power, but this, again, is minimal compared to travelling by car).
For more advice on the subject, check out the 5 Eco-Friendly Alternatives to Renting a Car in Niue.
Eco-Friendly Packing Tips for Niue
Mindful packing not only means that you may save a few bucks on excess luggage fees, but it also can help you be less wasteful while visiting Niue.
- Only take reef-safe sunscreen with you to Niue to protect the reefs from harmful chemicals found in traditional sunscreens
- Only use natural insect repellents to protect your skin and the environment from harmful chemicals
- To avoid having to buy bottled water, take a reusable water bottle, such as the Lifestraw Bottle, that removes 99.9999% of waterborne bacteria
- Pack plastic-free toiletries, such as Ethique shampoo bars, to avoid using plastic-heavy accommodation toiletries. Plus, no shampoo explosions from your flight!
- Choose luggage that is durable and made with recyclable materials, such as Herschel’s Eco Collection.
And, as we are sure from someone reading this guide about sustainable travel in Niue, we don’t need to tell you to skip wrapping your luggage in plastic film at the airport…
For more sustainable packing tips, head to the 25 Ways to Travel More Sustainably in Niue.
More About Ecotourism in Niue
That’s it for our guide to ecotourism in Niue. For more sustainability advice, check out the following guides:
- NiuePocketGuide.com Helps Eliminate Plastic Straws in Niue
- 5 Eco-Friendly Alternatives to Renting a Car in Niue
- 25 Ways to Travel More Sustainably in Niue
Finally, get even more tips for your trip to Niue using the 30 Tips for Travelling in Niue.