Saturday, 11 February 2012

Back from the rock, Niue that is...

We're back from vacation, and an amazing week it was.

Friday arrived in Niue around midday to intense heat (around 85, coming from low 70s made worse by moving from air conditioned plane to the heat of the tarmac). Got the rental car and drove to the resort. Matavai is the most upmarket place on the island, but by western standards it was like a really nice motel but not a wow resort. Although location omg to die for. And staff, brilliant.

Niue is a gorgeous and the people amazing. But some things never ceased to amaze me, like derelict houses everywhere and chickens just running around. There were even chickens in the airport. Its not third world, I guess its developing world. They have to import so much because the island is small (you can drive around the whole thing within 2hrs doing 35m/h speed limit) and is a coral atoll so very little grows food wise. But there is so much to do, it is so beautiful and we are intending on going back.

There is little crime on the island, only around 1400 people so its sort of a case of everyone knows everyone. The locals got to know us, we'd get greeted warmly when we returned somewhere (partly because we had little blonde kids so we stood out!). The people are so trusting there is a self service bar (you just get your own drink and put the money in the till) and one cafe we went to we arrived just as they were opening so the guy was like just help yourself to the bar I'm just getting the kitchen sorted.

View from our room at Matavai

One of the pools at Matavai

In the pool after a day in the ocean instead of having a shower we just jumped in the pool

While there cyclone Jasmine gave us a wee kiss (70km+ winds), it was exciting with a slight hint of danger. Seeing the locals boarding up and listening to the winds was incredible. In 2004 they had a cyclone that created a surge wave that managed to sweep 200m inland, which is amazing considering the wave had to get over a 35 feet cliff first. Still even with Jasmine we got a chance to see waves crashing so high up the cliffs the power was scary. Pics don't do it justice, nor does the video. I'm being blown around so much you can see from how the camera jiggles.

Matapa Chasm, this use to be the reserved spot for the chiefs to swim. Alas the day we went the weather was drizzly (tail end of cyclone Jasmine)

Lizards everywhere. Each morning we'd open our room and there would usually be around 4 lizards hanging out on the roof enjoying bugs. A short walk down to the restaurant for breakfast we'd easily see 20 of these lil guys (size from 1-3inches).

Togulu Sea track (Tamakautoga village), an amazing spot especially for the kids. The fish came within 5cm of the shore, the water was so clear I just couldn't get over it. This pic is taken looking through the water (there are actually two fish there) while standing on the beach, it just looks like a photo of the beach.

One of the reef pools at Togulu. We got to see lots of different species of fish, sea snakes (very venomous, yet pretty impotent as they can't really bite you unless you try and shove your fingers down their throat, more a deterrent from anything eating them), sea cucumbers and crabs.

More Togulu pics

While driving the road at night you have to watch out for these guys, big crabs crossing the roads

When on a tropical island, one must drink cocktails!

The island is a coral atoll, all cliffs and coral, lots of caves (some of these are from Avaiki cave)

We didn't get a chance to go to some of the really popular places due to having the kids (steep slippery walks, deep pools etc) so our plan is to go back during the whale season (Humpbacks pass through from June-October, and you can see them in the bay at the resort) without the kids :) And silly me I didn't take the camera with us a couple of days so don't have pics from some other spots.


  1. Lovely photos!! It looked like an awesome vacation! :)You babies are soo adorable!

  2. Beautiful pictures! I am curious about how long it took you to get to the island. Did you travel there by plane or boat?
    I am now longing for a dunk in ocean waters (sigh).

  3. It looks amazing! What a beautiful place.