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This tiny nation, located between Tonga and the Cook Islands, is one of the world’s largest coral atolls, offering stunning natural scenery, rich culture and abundant marine life. Niue is a self-governing state in free association with New Zealand, meaning that Niueans are New Zealand citizens and enjoy visa-free access to many countries. Niue is also one of the first countries to be certified as a Dark Sky Place by the International Dark-Sky Association, making it an ideal destination for stargazing.
Niue has a range of accommodation options to suit different tastes and budgets, from guesthouses and motels to cottages and villas. However, if you are looking for something more sustainable and eco-friendly, you might want to consider some of these places:
– Lau’s Getaway: This adults-only retreat features two split-level villas perched on a clifftop overlooking the ocean. The villas have two balconies, one with a freestanding bathtub to enjoy the views in style. The villas are equipped with full kitchen facilities, super king-sized beds, double-head showers and tasteful Niuean-inspired decor. The owners also provide complimentary airport transfers, breakfast hampers and a bottle of wine on arrival. Lau’s Getaway is located in the village of Avatele, about 15 minutes drive from Alofi ¹.
– Namukulu Cottages: This boutique property offers four self-contained cottages set in lush tropical gardens. The cottages have spacious living areas, kitchenettes, ensuite bathrooms and private decks with ocean views. The property also has a swimming pool, barbecue facilities and free Wi-Fi. Namukulu Cottages is situated in the village of Namukulu, about 10 minutes drive from Alofi ².
– Stone Villas: This modern and stylish property features two villas with two bedrooms each, ideal for families or groups of friends. The villas have open-plan kitchens, dining and living areas, ensuite bathrooms and private patios with outdoor furniture. The property also has a shared swimming pool, laundry room and free Wi-Fi. Stone Villas is located in the village of Makefu, about five minutes drive from Alofi ³.
Niue has plenty of activities to keep you entertained, whether you are into nature, culture or adventure. Here are some of the highlights:
– Snorkelling and diving: Niue is surrounded by a coral reef that creates clear and calm waters for snorkelling and diving. You can explore the colourful coral gardens, swim with tropical fish and turtles, and even encounter dolphins and whales (from July to October). Some of the best snorkelling spots are Matapa Chasm, Limu Pools and Hio Beach ⁴. For diving, you can join one of the local operators that offer guided tours to various sites around the island, such as Snake Gully, Chimney Cave and Beveridge Reef ⁵.
– Hiking and caving: Niue has a network of sea tracks that lead you to some of the most spectacular coastal formations on the island. You can hike through forests, caves and chasms to reach natural arches, pools and beaches. Some of the most popular sea tracks are Talava Arches, Togo Chasm and Avaiki Cave ⁶. You can also join a guided tour to explore some of the hidden caves on the island, such as Palaha Cave, Vaikona Cave and Huvalu Cave ⁷.
– Cultural experiences: Niue has a rich and vibrant culture that you can learn more about by visiting some of the local attractions and joining some of the cultural tours. You can visit the Taoga Niue Museum to see displays of Niuean history, art and crafts ⁸. You can also join a weaving workshop to learn how to make traditional baskets and mats from coconut leaves ⁹. Or you can join a village tour to see how Niueans live off the land and sea, sample local food and drink, and participate in cultural activities [^10^].
Niue is not only a beautiful island but also a responsible one. The island has taken several steps to protect its environment and empower its community. Some of these initiatives are:
– Niue Nukutuluea Multi-Use Marine Park Declaration: In 2018, Niue declared 40% of its exclusive economic zone as a marine park that aims to conserve its biodiversity, support sustainable fisheries and promote ecotourism ¹¹.
– Pacific Bee Sanctuary: In 2019, Niue became the world’s first Pacific Bee Sanctuary that aims to protect its endemic honey bees from pests and diseases, promote beekeeping as a source of income for locals, and raise awareness about the importance of pollinators ¹².
– Green Destinations Story Awards: In 2020, Niue won the Green Destinations Story Awards for its efforts to reduce plastic waste and promote responsible tourism. Niue has banned single-use plastic bags and straws, installed water refill stations, and launched a Responsible Tourism Policy that outlines its vision and goals for a sustainable tourism industry ¹³.
Getting to Niue is not as difficult as you might think. The island has direct flights from Auckland, New Zealand, operated by Air New Zealand. The flight takes about 3.5 hours and there is a 24-hour time difference between the two countries. Flights are available twice a week on Wednesdays and Saturdays ¹⁴. Alternatively, you can also get to Niue by cruise ship or private sailing yacht, but these options are more limited and depend on the weather and sea conditions. Niue has a small port in Alofi that can accommodate small vessels, but there is no marina or anchorage. Yachts can use one of the 15 mooring buoys around the island, but they need to follow the customs clearance process.