Little known and even less visited, Niue was, for a long time, just solitary dot on the map, at the heart of the Polynesian triangle, in the south of the vast South Pacific Ocean. As tourism beat tracks into the neighbouring Cook Islands, Samoa and Tonga, Niue remained untouched. One plane flew in each week, from Auckland, bringing expat. sons and daughters for a brief return home, along with a few visiting officials and the very occasional traveller. But generally, as a tourist destination, Niue was largely unheard of and completely overlooked. But not anymore! Now, Niue is emphatically “on the tourist map”. Niueans are showing the world that they have much to be proud of, a great deal to offer and an eagerness to share it.
First and foremost, Niue can boast of a landscape like no other. The island known affectionately around the region as “the rock” is a raised coral atoll (at 269 square kilometres, it is the largest in the world in fact) 69 metres above sea level on its high side and 28 metres above sea level on its low side. It is edged with rugged cliffs which drop down to small, sheltered, secluded beaches with natural rock swimming pools, cleaned by the sea and warmed by the sun.
Surrounding the atoll is a hard coral reef, a haven for a host of marine life and, with its clear, warm waters, a mecca for divers. The whole atoll is pierced with a labyrinth of caves, many of which have never been explored. Some caves shelter secret, pristine pools many of which have never seen a swimmer. Others shelter rock formations, straight from a fantasy movie set.
Niue’s Huvalu Rainforest is home to a wide variety of natural fauna and flora and has been declared a conservation area to protect these. The warm sheltered waters around Niue teem with fish and at certain times of the year humpback whales come to breed.
Interestingly it is the things that Niue doesn’t have that are perhaps its greatest source of pride. Niue has no crime, no traffic congestion, no traffic lights and no pollution. As the world’s smallest independent nation, with a population of less than 1500, it has no crowds!
So, if you’re looking for an unspoiled, uncrowded, perfect Pacific Island for your first post-Covid holiday, head to Nuie!