Sunday, August 23, 2015

Niue: It's not the size that matters...

One of the amazing shots taken
by Marie-Claude Osterrath of Amelie IV
Niue is a tiny country that I had never heard of until we reached the Pacific. In fact, they claim it's the smallest sovereign nation in the world.  The week we spent there was one we'll never forget. The area is a breeding and migration area for humpback whales and we saw more whales than we have ever seen before and will probably see again. They would swim through the anchorage daily and at night we heard their songs through the hulls of the boat.

Up close and personal with one of the sea snakes in the anchorage.
Courtesy of Owen MacMahon of Seabbatical.
Niue had me at the whales and then threw in unique terrain and dozens of sea snakes for good measure. Niue is one of the largest coral islands in the world and is riddled with easily accessible caves and caverns.  The boys loved exploring the caves and actually took time out their busy schedule of having stick fights to proclaim "This is cool."

Avaiki cave
We decided to rent a less-than-new 12-seater van/bus/death trap to explore the island with our friends on Seabbatical and Amelie IV. Owen on Seabbatical was nominated to drive because he is Australian and is already used to driving on the wrong side (to us) of the road. The kids got to see a fire show,  visit a monthly village fair, watch a humpback repeatedly breach for 20 straight minutes,  and pig out at a fantastic island feast (roast pig is soooo goooood).
Talava arches.
Even though there are only 1300 people on the island, each of them seemed friendlier than the next.  Everyone waves as they pass each other, be it by car or walking.  It took all of 45 seconds to have a car stop to allow Matt to hitchhike up the far side of  the island.  The customs officers pick you up at the dock and drive you to their offices.  We decided that the people of Niue are the friendliest we have encountered.
Fire show at the Scenic Matavi Resort

Mark going up the ladder at Togo


  1. What a wonderful place. I want to go there. Aren't sea snakes poisonous ? Don't think I would like swimming

  2. They are highly poisonous but their mouths are too small to bite most parts of a person. Some people recommend that you ball up your hands and place them over your ears to avoid having them chomp your fingers and lobes. They're not aggressive though.


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