What’s it Like to Shop in Niue?
Niue is not a shopping destination, but more like a welcome addition to your getaway to paradise. Niue doesn’t have any malls, any cinema or even a pharmacy. What it does have are boutique gift shops and markets to at least give you your shopping fix when it comes to handcrafted and locally-designed souvenirs. Getting supplies for groceries or on-the-shelf health products is easy with the island’s large supermarket and well-stocked convenience stores. However, if you like to shop, Niue’s stores will make a nice addition to your holiday and undoubtedly prompt you to get some unique souvenirs to take home. Find out more about shopping in Niue in this guide.
For souvenir inspiration, check out the 10 Amazing Niue Souvenirs.
Quick Tips for Shopping in Niue
- While many stores accept New Zealand bank cards, MasterCard and Visa, make sure you have cash available especially for the markets
- Haggling the price is not customary in Niue
- While most stores are open 9am-4pm Monday to Friday, be aware of “odd hours” especially kept by gift shops and art galleries
- If you have bought any food products to take home with you, be sure to check if you need a phytosanitary or a zoosanitary certificate for them at the quarantine office of Hanan Airport. Certificates are usually NZ$15
- Do not pack foods like honey or coconuts into your carry-on baggage for your departure flight from Niue.
For elaboration on each tip, as well as more advice, see the 10 Tips for Buying Souvenirs in Niue.
The Best Places to Go Shopping in Niue
Forget bustling shopping malls where you can shop until you drop, fuel up with a McDonald’s, and keep going. Niue provides a very relaxed shopping experience with a small choice of gift shops and supermarkets. While there is the odd store hidden here and there around the island, most of Niue’s shopping opportunities are in the Commerical Centre in Alofi, as well as at the Swanson Shopping Complex near the airport.
Alofi Commercial Centre
Located in the town centre of Alofi, opposite the Ekalesia Church and a short stroll from the Visitor Information Centre, the Commercial Centre in Alofi is where you’ll find a small selection of gift shops, an art gallery, a fish and chips shop, an Indian restaurant, the bank and post office and a phone store. The small complex of shops surrounds a central grassy courtyard with a children’s playground and picnic tables in the shade.
Swanson Shopping Complex
Situated along Tapeu-Poritt Road between Hanan Airport and Alofi, the Swanson Complex is impossible to miss with its giant uga (coconut crab) sculpture at the entrance. It’s home to the Swanson Supermarket (see the section below), as well as a clothes store, travel agency, cocktail bar and more.
The Niue Market or “Markete” is located in Alofi town centre next door to the Visitor Information Centre. The market here takes place on Mondays and Fridays from 5am to 8am and on Wednesdays from 6am until the afternoon. It’s a good place to pick up local gifts and produce, as explained in the section below.
Groceries and Essentials in Niue
For a remote island, Niue is well stocked with the type of groceries and essentials you’re probably used to. In the supermarkets, convenience stores and village shops, you’ll find a mix of imported goods from New Zealand, as well as local produce and products.
Where to Buy Food and Essentials in Niue
Niue has one large supermarket, Swanson Supermarket, located near Hanan Airport. It stocks a wide range of food and health products from New Zealand, as well as imported and local fresh produce. It also has a bakery with fresh baked goods.
In Alofi, you have a few convenience store options, including Double M, MCM and Central Services Petrol Station. The former two cover just about all of the essential food goods including baby food, while Central Services tends to do baked goods, pies, snacks and sometimes fruit and vegetables.
The Niue Market in Alofi takes place every Monday, Wednesday and Friday morning where you can buy fresh local produce. Some villages also have village shops or stalls selling a few essentials but tend to be only open early morning and in the evening.
Note that there is no pharmacy in Niue. Light medication, such as pain killers, can be purchased from Swanson Supermarket. Prescribed medication is only available from the Niue Foou Hospital.
Gifts and Souvenirs in Niue
Niue has a fantastic range of gifts and souvenirs to purchase, each individually made or locally grown for something unique and special. Gifts and souvenirs can be picked up from Niue’s gift shops, as well as the local markets.
Gift Shops in Niue
Niue has a small selection of gift shops, particularly in the Commercial Centre in Alofi with outlets such as Hinapoto Handicrafts, Taoke Prints and Tahiono Art Gallery. As you travel around the island, you’ll also find hidden gems like Kauhi Krafts in Avatele and the Ebony Studio in Hakupu. Find out more about the gift shops, opening hours and what they sell in Where to Buy the Best Souvenirs in Niue.
Niue has two markets, the Niue Market in Alofi and the market at the Hanan Airport on plane days. The Niue Market takes place on Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings where there’s an array of stalls selling handicrafts and local food products. It’s the ideal place to mingle with the locals and pick up something authentic. The Hanan Airport market is a smaller affair but still has an interesting selection of stalls, typically the same as what is at the Niue Market.