Niue is an island country in the South Pacific, it consists of a coral island of around 260 km² and lies in a triangle formed by the island of Tonga, Samoa and the Cook Islands. The small state has been associated with New Zealand since 1976.

Only about 1,400 people live on Niue. Around 2000 there were almost 1000 more. At the beginning of the last century it was said to have been several 10,000. Many were "conscripted" in World War I and II and died in Europe. The majority of the inhabitants emigrated to New Zealand for economic reasons.

Economy: The remaining residents now either work for the local government, in tourism (small shops, car rental, hotels) or live on government support, or expatriate relatives. However, the small hotels seem to be mostly run by immigrant "expats".

Captain Cook named the island "Savage Island" because it was here that he was forcibly evicted by the locals during a voyage through the Pacific. On all other islands in the Pacific, the reception had been friendlier.

Unlike most other South Pacific islands, Niue does not have a surrounding lagoon, but is a coral atoll raised above sea level, which is why it is also called "The Rock of Polynesia". As a result, there are no beaches on Niue worthy of the name, the only opportunities for swimming, bathing or snorkeling are in the so-called 'rock pools', which are distributed around the island.


Getting there

Getting to Niue is only possible by plane or by private boat.

By plane
Air New Zealand is the only airline currently operating a weekly flight from Auckland to Hanan International Airport on Niue (IATA code: IUE). Flight time from Auckland (AKL) is 3 hours and 30 minutes.

By boat
Since there is no port on Niue, boats and ships have to anchor in one of the bays in front of Alofi and you have to cross over by dinghy.

There is no public transport on Niue, so it is advisable to rent a car, scooter or motorbike. A Niuean driver's license is required and can be purchased from Alofi Police Station for a fee of NZD 22.50 (as of Dec 2014).

Particular caution is required when driving through built-up areas, as one often encounters chickens, dogs or children playing on the road. The dogs also like to chase mopeds or cyclists - sometimes even to the next town.


Niue is great for snorkeling, diving or swimming with dolphins. However, the main reason for holidaying on Niue is likely to be the humpback whales that pass by the island between July and October each year on their way to their birthing/breeding grounds. As Niue is one of only three countries in the world to allow swimming/snorkeling with whales, this may well be Niue's 'drawcard'.

All water activities are operated by Niue's only dive center. On the dives you can see the corals and reef fish usual for the South Pacific as well as big fish like e.g. B. stingrays and reef sharks. Something special, however, is the Niue flat-tailed sea snake (Laticauda schystorhyncha), which occurs there in masses and can be observed on almost every dive.

Shopping on Niue is rather limited, there is a larger 'supermarket' and a small shopping center in Alofi. Almost only souvenirs are offered there. Alcoholic beverages are rationed and you must show your airline ticket and passport to purchase them.

The cuisine of Niue is closely related to that of other South Sea islands, so there is a lot of fish, sweet potato, coconut and taro. A local specialty is Uga (pronounced Unga), the palm thief - the largest land crab in the world. This is served in most restaurants and at cultural events in the hotels. Since almost all groceries are imported, it can happen that bottlenecks arise and even fruits that we take for granted, such as bananas, are sometimes not available in the hotel.

There is accommodation on Niue in almost all price ranges, but the only hotel that also deserves the name is the Matavai Resort. All other accommodations are guesthouses or motels. The Matavai has the great advantage that it is right next to the dive center and is therefore only a short way to all water activities.

The average maximum daily temperatures on Niue are between 25° (July/August) and 30° (January/February), most precipitation occurs from January to April.

There is a storm season in Niue, during which strong tropical storms sometimes hit the island. This season lasts from December to May. The last bad storm was "Heta" in 2004, which caused extensive damage. That means, e.g. the local hospital was then destroyed. Many smaller buildings as well. The New Zealand government once undertook a construction project to build storm-proof homes for the residents. These were completed, but are heavily contaminated with asbestos and are therefore not used.

Practical hints
Thanks to some WiFi installations, Niue was the first country in the world with "free Internet" - each user was entitled to 60MB of free traffic at the time. The uplink is via satellite, there are also old telephone lines across the Pacific, which are not suitable for data use due to their age and length.