What You Need to Know About Niue on a Sunday
Sunday is a day of rest, quiet and worship on the island of Niue. As a devout Christian country, going to church is important to locals, which, in turn, provides a wonderful cultural experience for visitors. You will find that many of Niue’s shops, services and guided tours do not operate on a Sunday, but there’s still plenty to do to keep the vacation spirit on a high. We’ll go through the Sunday customs you need to be aware of, as well as list the shops and services that are open and closed in this guide to Sundays in Niue.
Before we get into our Sunday customs guide, be sure to bookmark The Guide to the Niuean Culture for Travellers for even more advice on the local customs and cultural experiences.
A Quick Overview About Sundays in Niue
If you can’t be, well, bothered reading our complete guide to Sundays in Niue (we get it, not everyone’s a reader), here are the main things you need to know.
- Many businesses and tours are closed on a Sunday, but you can still go sightseeing, swimming (just not near a church while it’s in session) and play golf
- Restaurants that are open on a Sunday include the Washaway Cafe, Vaiolama Cafe, Hio Cafe & Bar, Dolphin Restaurant and Gill’s Restaurant
- Church services occur every Sunday, typically once in the morning at 9am/10am and once in the afternoon at 3pm/4pm
- Do not go down sea tracks near a church while the church is in session
- Avoid swimming near village greens and churches
- If going to church, wear suitable clothing, such as a covered top and knee-length skirts for ladies and collared shirts and pants for males.
Niue’s Sunday Rules
There are a few reasonable rules to keep in mind while experiencing Niue on a Sunday. Remember, that the general customs for Niue, like dressing modestly when walking in towns and villages, still apply on a Sunday.
The Customs of Sundays in Niue
Some of the local customs to respect on a Sunday include:
- Do not go down sea tracks near a church while the church is in session, which is typically once in the morning at 9am/10am and once in the afternoon at 3pm/4pm
- Avoid swimming near village greens and churches
- If going to church, wear suitable attire, such as a covered top and knee-length skirts for ladies and collared shirts and pants for males
- Activities like fishing, diving and boating are forbidden on a Sunday.
General Niue Rules and Customs
In addition to the Sunday rules, there are general customs that you should abide by for your entire visit to Niue, including on Sundays. General customs and rules include:
- Avoid walking through towns and villages in just your swimwear
- Dress modestly and respectfully in public, for example, don’t walk around or ride your bike shirtless
- Don’t touch or move vaka (canoes) that you see down the sea tracks
- Don’t go down sea tracks that are closed for the kaloama season
- Avoid areas where a Fono (prohibition) is in place, indicated by coconut palm leaves tied around the area
- Wave to everyone you pass while driving on the roads (it’s just polite)
- Contribute to Niue’s commitment to sustainability through appropriate waste, energy and water management and conservation.
For more information about respecting the local customs, see our article, Niue Etiquette: What are the Local Customs in Niue?
What is Closed on a Sunday
As Sunday is considered a day of rest and worship in Niue, you’ll find that many businesses are closed on a Sunday.
Businesses that are closed on a Sunday include shops and supermarkets, the bank, the post office, the Niue Tourism Visitor Information Centre, the Police Station, guided tours and any activities on the water, such as fishing, scuba diving, snorkelling tours, etc.
Some restaurants close on a Sunday, while some choose to remain open with limited hours – see the section below for restaurants that remain open on a Sunday.
Note that there are a select few services that are open on a Sunday, but for limited hours. The Central Services Petrol Station is open on Sundays from 4pm to 8pm. The Niue Foou Hospital‘s clinic hours on a Sunday are 9am-10am and 7pm-8pm.
What to Do on a Sunday
Now that you know about the customs and what’s closed on a Sunday, what can you actually spend your Sunday in Niue doing? The answer is, quite a lot!
On a Sunday, you’re still able to go sightseeing, swimming and even play a round at the local golf course.
Things to Do on a Sunday in Niue
- Go to a Niuean church service
- Explore the sea tracks to swimming spots, caves and more
- Play golf at Niue’s golf course
- Or play mini golf at the Vaiolama Cafe
- Hit the bike trails
- Spend the day by the pool
- Dine at the restaurants that are open on a Sunday.
Restaurants that are Open on a Sunday
- Washaway Cafe – 11am until everyone goes home
- Vaiolama Cafe – 11am to 4pm
- Hio Cafe & Bar – 11am to 3pm
- Gill’s Restaurant – 4pm to 9pm
- Dolphin Restaurant (Scenic Matavai Resort) – All day with entertainment evenings (bookings recommended)