Islands, Niue (Nie-oe-wee)

One of the largest coral islands in the world, discovered by Captain Cook at the end of the 18th century. The original inhabitants were the migrants from Tonga, Samoa and the Cook Islands. The island is now known for swimming with dolphins and whales.

General

The island of Niue is located in the Pacific Ocean, approximately 2,400 km northeast of New Zealand (east of Tonga and south of American Samoa). Niu = coconut and e = to behold. The capital is Alofi. The island is approximately 260 kmĀ² in size and one of the largest coral islands. Characteristic of the island is the amount of limestone rocks that can be found just off the coast. Rain usually falls between November and April (the most cyclones occur between December and March), and the island has a tropical annual climate of approximately 25%. It is an oval island with two bays on the west coast, Alofi Bay and Avatele Bay. Most residents live close to the west coast. About 80% of the land can be used for agriculture, the remaining 20% consists of tropical rainforest. Only one mammal lives on the island, the Tongue Flying Fox (a bat from the genus Pteropus). According to 2006 censuses, the population at that time consisted of 1,625 inhabitants, of which 802 were men and 823 were women.

History

The original inhabitants are the migrants from Tonga, Samoa and Cook. The island was discovered by Captain Cook in 1774 and he named it Savage Island. In 1900 the population worked together with England to avoid being dominated by American or French troops. In 1901, Niue was added to New Zealand by England. The latter declared the island independent in 1974. The island has a national football team, it is not a member of Fifa, and does not participate in qualifying for the world championships. In the 1980s they played against Papua New Guinea, where they lost 19-0. They also played against Tahiti and again there was a defeat, namely 14-0.

Sights

Togo Chasm / Source: FearlessRich, Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-2.0)

Togo Chasm

This spectacular gorge at the edge of the sea is hidden within a rocky outcrop landscape. The Togo Gorge can be descended via a staircase to a beautiful beach surrounded by palm trees. On the way to the beach, you pass through a piece of forest where trees and ferns grow under the pinnacles. Guides may be available to get here.

Huvalu Forest

The tropical rainforest, where animals still live in the wild. The forests are an important source of traditional food, especially for the village of Hakupu. There is a wide variety of flora and fauna. The volcanic origins of the island are still clearly visible in the rainforest.

Limu

Here is a place for great swimming, snorkeling or just lying in the sun. There is an excellent range of pools and picnic areas.

Whales and dolphins

In other places in the world it is possible to admire and observe whales and dolphins. Here on Niue, however, these animals come towards you, approaching within about 50 metres. Due to the low number of tourists, the animals still feel safe here and it is possible (often at your own risk) to get closer to the whales and swim with them. There are more dolphins in the area, which actually reside permanently in the waters around the island. Obviously it is safer to swim with them than with the big whales. In addition to the dolphins and whales, there are also beautiful underwater panoramas with beautiful colored fish. Snorkel in the clearest tropical water in the world, with beautiful corals.

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