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Niue Travel Guide

North Niue

Houme Chasm at Alofi North, about three km from town, is behind the house across the street and slightly north of the Catholic Mission. A flashlight is required to reach the pool.

Avaiki Sea Cave is another six km north and an easy five minutes from the road. The pool in the main cave just north of the landing contains a variety of marinelife and is a great place to swim, but this is often prohibited. The limestone formations are outstanding.

Just 200 meters north of the Avaiki sign is the trail down to Palaha Cave, with stalagmites and stalactites. Hio Reef, a little over a km farther north, just before the point where the road divides, is a nice secluded sandy beach best for swimming at high tide. At low tide you can snorkel in the rock pool just north of here.

Farther north again, just beyond Namukulu, is the trail to Limu Reef, a perfect snorkeling locale with colorful coral and fish. A natural stone bridge over the lagoon is just a little north of here across the rocks.

The trail to Makalea Cave is 200 meters north of the Limu signboard. Near the road just opposite the southernmost house in Hikutavake is Makatutaha, a large pothole containing a pool connected to the sea.

The Arches of Talava

The Arches of Talava

Two of Niue's highlights are Matapa Chasm and the Arches of Talava, reached along an extension of the coastal road just north of Hikutavake. Follow the road straight down to Matapa, a wide, sunken chasm that was once the bathing place of Niuean royalty—very good swimming and snorkeling.

The Arches of Talava are harder to find. The trail branches off the Matapa track to the right just before the beginning of the descent.

Keep straight on the trail about 15 minutes, then watch for yellow marks on the trees, which indicate the branch trail on the left to Talava.

The site itself is entered through a cave. A great series of stone arches above the sea complement side caves with red and green stalactites and stalagmites in fantastic flowing formations. Behind the outermost arch is a large cave best entered at low tide with a flashlight. The constant roar of the surf adds to the overwhelming impression of the place.

It's fascinating to walk on the reef southwest of the wharf at low tide. Crevices, cliffs, and coral abound, and there are natural pools on the reef where you can safely swim.

Limu Reef and Matapa Chasm are good places to visit on Sunday, as swimming is allowed there that day when it's frowned upon elsewhere.

South of Alofi

From beyond the airport, the interior road drops to Tamakautonga, where you'll find a couple of small beaches behind the church. This is one of the best places on Niue for reef walking with the chance of observing shorebirds.

Farther south at Avatele (pronounced Avasele), there's another poor excuse for a beach at the canoe landing. Return to Alofi along the coastal road with a stop at Anaana near Halangingie Point, where you can sit atop a cliff by the road and watch as tons of water are thrown at your feet.