Niue’s Kaloama Season
The goatfish season, more commonly known as the kaloama season, is an important time in Niue where juvenile goatfish frequent Niue’s waters. A tradition in the Niuean culture is to fish them to feed their families. It’s a bittersweet time to be in Niue for tourists, as while it’s a great time to see authentic tradition in action, it means that some of the sea tracks to popular coastal attractions are closed. The season only happens once a year at an unpredictable time for an unpredictable length of time. We’ll go through the details in this guide to the kaloama/goatfish season in Niue.
Learn more about the importance of timing in Niue with What You Need to Know About the Tide Times in Niue. Plus, bookmark The Guide to the Niuean Culture for Travellers for even more advice on the local customs and cultural experiences.
What is the Kaloama Season?
The kaloama season is when kaloama, juvenile goatfish, spawn on Niue’s shores. Kaloama fishing is a tradition and sport for Niueans. They are fished by locals individually and typically fed to their family. The fish are highly treasured in Niue and are only available to catch at just one time a year.
See more Niuean traditions in The Guide to the Niuean Culture for Travellers.
When and How Long is the Goatfish/Kaloama Season?
No one can plan for the kaloama season. It does not occur at the same time every year. Typically, the kaloama spawns sometime in February, but they have been known to spawn in March. Locals can tell when the kaloama season has arrived when a local flower blooms. As soon as the kaloama season of the year has been identified, it is announced immediately, with signs on the closed sea tracks and Niue Tourism posting an update on their Facebook Page and other media.
As for the length of the kaloama season, it is usually one or two weeks. However, it has been known to go on for as long as three months. Again, it’s something that cannot be predicted.
Check out the other events and seasons you need to be aware of in the 10 Biggest Events in Niue.
Which Sea Tracks are Closed During the Goatfish/Kaloama Season?
While the kaloama season is a joyous event for locals, visitors hoping to walk all of the sea tracks on their vacation will have to select their sea tracks carefully, potentially missing out on top natural attractions like Avaiki Cave, Palaha Cave, Avatele Beach and Hio Beach. Nevertheless, there is still a huge range of alternative sea tracks visitors can make the most of while the kaloama season is in full swing.
Sea Tracks That are Closed in the Kaloama Season
- Avaiki Cave
- Palaha Cave
- Lalofou Sea Track
- Tavahihi Sea Track
- Tuapa Green
- Avatele Beach
- Pofitu Sea Track
- Tamakautoga Sea Tracks
- Hio Beach
Sea Tracks That are Open in the Kaloama Season
- Togo Chasm
- Anapala Chasm
- Motu Sea Track
- Uluvehi Sea Track
- Talava Arches
- Limu Pools
- Hikutavake Sea Track
- Matapa Chasm
- Vaila Cave
- Opaahi Sea Track
- Utuko Reef
- Amanau Sea Track
Learn more about the sea tracks in the 10 Best Sea Tracks in Niue.
How Can You Take Part in the Kaloama Season?
If you’re lucky enough to be in Niue during the kaloama season, then you’ll get to witness this authentic Niuean tradition in action.
To respect the local customs, you should only go goatfishing with a local. This can usually be arranged at your accommodation, at the Niue Visitor Information Centre, or simply by chatting to the locals at Sir Robert’s Wharf, which is the only place where you can fish in Niue without a license.
If you’re more into big game fishing mind, check out The Guide to Fishing in Niue for recommended charters and more information.