Discover the South Pacific "undiscovered gem" - Niue.
Niue is brought to you by House of Travel Cambridge consultant,
Tamsyn is an avid traveller, and has spent most of her life overseas, living in and exploring UK, Europe, Thailand, Bali and Australia. She also has a strong connection with the South Pacific having grown up in Fiji.
More recently Tamsyn spent her honeymoon in Rarotonga and Aitutaki. Niue is a destination close to her heart - with her must do list of exploring the various swimming holes, caves, chasms and rainforest.
A Tamsyn Tip - when in Niue make sure that you head down to Washaway Café on a Sunday to enjoy to hospitality at Niues only self-serve bar and mingle with the other tourists and locals. Email Tamsyn at firstname.lastname@example.org or call her on 07-823-0320
"The undiscovered gem"
As emerging destinations for 2012 go, Niue has enjoyed an explosion in popularity so far this year.
This Pacific Island situated 3 hours from Auckland, North East of New Zealand, still offers the pristine beaches and watering holes that enable travellers peace and tranquillity.
A NIU..E OF HOLIDAYING
Niue is an adventure lovers dream. To experience Niue, you need to see it from the water, and from the land. With some of the best coral reefs to be explored in the South Pacific, Niue offers renowned diving and fishing experiences.
Swimming with the whales and snorkelling with the dolphins are also incredibly accessible - in some cases as close to 50m from the shore line. Niue Island is approximately four times larger than Rarotonga and is easy to navigate by vehicle.
For land lubbers, the cave networks around the island beg to be explored. Or discover isolated beaches, private lagoons and watering holes, where you can enjoy your solitude for hours.
This is a boutique Pacific experience. The culture and people are warm, and inviting as you would expect.
There is a sense of the undiscovered and un-commercialised that you get when you explore Niue. It is still the secret gem of the South Pacific.
HOW TO GET THERE
Air New Zealand has one weekly service to Niue, so an island escape is usually for 7 days. With the temperate climate and multitude of activities, it is not hard to find something different to fill each day.
HOW TO GET AROUND
We highly recommend renting a car and exploring the island. Even though geographically it is not that big, without a vehicle it is difficult to find those special lagoons or secluded beaches that make this destination unique.
WHAT TO DO
Swimming with the Whales and Dolphins - The Humpback whales migrate to the South Pacific from July to October each year. Niue is one of the few countries which allow swimming with these majestic sea mammals who frequently move close to the shore line.
Large pods of spinner dolphins frequent their favourite playgrounds, and though it may take a little patience to locate them, swimming and snorkelling freely with these magnificent, free spirited mammals is a highlight of any trip to Niue.
Diving and Snorkelling - Because of the lack of waterways feeding the ocean, there is very little sediment around the Niue coastline. This makes for incredible visibility of the surrounding reefs and lagoons.
With a plethora of caverns and underwater caves to explore and abundant marine life, Niue has a lot to offer divers and snorkelers alike.
There are options for guided dive and snorkelling expeditions. And the island is also well sign posted for freedom snorkelers looking for hidden beaches and private coves.
Caving and Walking - The Niuean coastline is characterised by hundreds of cave formations that have been used in ancient times for storage and even ancient burial sites. Tours to see the most spectacular stalagmite and stalactite formations can be booked at the Visitor Centre, or self guided for the more adventurous tourist.
There are also a number of scenic walks around the island that can lead you through these spectacular cave systems and across lush rain forests and coral cliffs. The tracks are well maintained and signposted for recreational trekkers to enjoy.
Fishing - For the avid fisherman, Niue is a best kept secret. Whether you are fishing from the rocks, by way of traditional canoe (vaka) or chartering a boat, you will be enjoying one of the most accessible recreational options that the island has to offer.
Marlin, Yellowfin Tuna, Red Bass, Mahimahi, and Trevally are just some of the common species caught from the deep clear waters around the Niuean island.
WHERE TO STAY
For those looking for a resort style holiday, the newly expanded Matavai Resort offers resort style accommodations in a cliff top setting. Matavai offers themed evenings for diners and two swimming pools for guests to enjoy.
There are also a number of self catering options on the island
in bungalow style accommodations.
HOT TIPS FOR TRAVELLING TO NIUE
Niue operates on the NZ currency and is considered a destination offering great value for money.
Dining in Niue is a relaxed affair with little cafes dotted throughout Alofi town. This is not really the destination for those on a fine dining diet.
Bring a pair of good walking shoes and robust aqua socks. The little treks along the coastline are not to be missed, and the coral coastline of the island can mean that wading out to the water can sometimes be a little hard on your feet.
Remember some good books and your sun screen - youre on island time now.