Niue (pronounced new-ay) is one of the few places in the world you can swim with whales – often just 50 metres from shore or you may like to snorkel with the dolphins instead. You can swim and snorkel at your own private lagoon, small beach or swimming cave.
Don't expect the standard Pacific island experience: you won't be relaxing on palm-fringed beaches here, because there aren't any!
However, the calm, clear waters boast an amazing visibility for diving, giving you an easy glimpse into an underwater world that you’ll never forget. Most of these locales have preserved their natural habitats, so you can have a glimpse of the native flora and fauna and other colorful, teeming marine life as you plunge into these azure waters.
There are also wonderful walks and cave systems to explore - or you can just relax - it is a tropical island after all! There are plenty of incredibly quiet, isolated areas where you can still spend an entire day without seeing another person.
Nuie is just three hours northeast of New Zealand in the South Pacific Ocean, within the triangle formed by Tonga to the west, Samoa to the north, and the Cook Islands to the east. The island is commonly referred to as "The Rock", a reference to the traditional name "Rock of Polynesia."
The first European to sight Niue was Captain James Cook in 1774. He made three attempts to land but was refused permission to do so by the inhabitants. He named the island "Savage Island" because, as legend has it, the natives who "greeted" him were painted in what appeared to be blood. The substance on their teeth was hulahula, a native red banana.
For the next couple of centuries, Niue was known as Savage Island until its original name, Niuē, which translates as "behold the coconut", regained use.
Today, Niue is home to about 1,400 residents, who have dual citizenship dual citizenship, as a self-governing nation in free association with New Zealand.
A variety of Polynesian and European food is available in Niue. Naturally, many tropical fruits grow and depending upon the season most can be bought at the local market or ‘makete’ which runs every Tuesday and Friday morning in central Alofi, right next door to the Visitor Information Centre.
Traditional local foods such as coconut crab ‘uga’, taro ‘talo’, breadfruit, cassava, shellfish are also for sale – but be early!
The only way to get to Nuie is via Air New Zealand, which flies twice a week from Auckland.
Matavai Resort is Niue Island's premier accommodation. Designed to take full advantage of its unique environment, the resort blends into the breath-taking landscape of coral outcrops and tropical rainforest. With views over the Pacific Ocean, the cliff-top deck provides a vantage point from which to watch the resident turtles surface, spinner dolphins patrol, and humpback whales (in season) cruise right past the resort.