Laidback, friendly and unremittingly beautiful, tiny Niue is an idyllic retreat from the modern world.
The island nation’s rugged coastline, crystal clear waters and coral reefs offer excellent diving, snorkelling and whale watching. Birdwatchers are also well catered for: parakeets, white-tailed terns and other exotic birds and butterflies can be spotted darting among hibiscus and orchids.
Despite its remote location in the South Pacific, Niue is rarely short of visitors, with regular flights from Auckland bringing planeloads of sun-seeking Kiwis. At the same time however, there are only a handful of hotels, so it never feels crowded – sometimes it’s easy to imagine you have the island all to yourself.
Arrive between July and October, and you can not only witness the annual humpback whale migration, but even join them for a swim. And if your trip doesn’t coincide with these gentle cetaceans, spinner dolphin pods are resident year-round.
The island is literally the tip of an undersea mountain, so head offshore and the land plunges rapidly into the deep. You can hook marlin, wahoo and skipjack tuna without having to sail miles from the coast.
Directly beneath the water’s surface, snorkellers and divers can explore an underwater paradise of hidden caves and chasms rife with colourful sea creatures. And above water, Niue’s limestone caves conceal fossils, secret passageways and ancient burial places, while alluring trails lead you through tropical rainforest to secluded sandy coves. There’s even room for nine holes of golf.
If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, sign up to the Rally of the Rock, an annual bike ride that takes Lycra-clad participants through a mixture of bush tracks and paved roads.
Whatever you do in Niue, it’s usually not long before you’ve got to know half the island’s population, who make sure you have the time of your life.
262 sq km (101 sq miles).
1,612 (UN estimate 2016).
4.5 per sq km.
Self-governing territory in 'free association' with New Zealand. (New Zealand retains responsibility for external affairs.)
Queen Elizabeth II since 1952, represented locally by Governor-General of New Zealand Sir Jerry Mateparae since 2011.
Premier Toke Talagi since 2008.
240 volts AC, 50Hz. Plugs have three flat, angled pins, as in New Zealand.
Most visits to Niue are trouble-free but you should be aware of the global risk of indiscriminate international terrorist attacks, which could be against civilian targets, including places frequented by foreigners.
This advice is based on information provided by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in the UK. It is correct at time of publishing. As the situation can change rapidly, visitors are advised to contact the following organisations for the latest travel advice:
British Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Tel: 020 7008 1500.
US Department of State