Excursions to Niue - reef walking and secluded beaches

August 19-26, 2011 

From the main ring road around Niue, there are lot of trails (also called "sea track") bringing you down to the sea where, with low tide and taking care to not damage corals, you may walk on the reef searching for picturesque coves and secluded beaches.

Tamakautoga beach in Niue
Tamakautoga is one of the few beaches of Niue and from this beach, taking care to not damage corals or other forms of life, it's possible to walk on the reef, going to discover other secluded coves otherwise inaccessible. These walks are only possible during low tide when, walking in the sea, the water will rarely go above your knees.
Natural pool in the reef on Niue Niue
Near the beach there is a mushroom-shaped rock, beneath which you can have a refreshing bath is a small natural pool. Along the coast of Niue, over the reef, you can find natural pools and smaller holes very frequently, and them may be an excellent place where to have a bath after a long walk.
Niue island Niue atoll
I start to walk in different directions, exploring the reef. During low tide the water comes up to the knees and, keeping an eye on the clock, you can walk for hundreds of meters. Just make sure to schedule the return before the tide changes (and Niue the tide changes quite suddenly) thus avoiding getting stuck for hours in some paradisiac cove ...
Reef walking in Niue Tamakautoga
Low tide in Niue
Pictures of Niue. Walking on the reef is easy and safe, you just have to be careful not to damage the corals (a few) that are growing back on this reef after the passage of a terrible storm occurred in year 2004.
Secluded cove Secluded beach
Beach in Niue After several minutes of walking on the reef, I reach a cove in the rock that contains a small beach, a patch of sand looking absolutely heavenly and with no other footprints but my own. Niue is a tropical paradise with relatively few tourists, as travelers who decide to venture to this coralline atoll are only a few thousand per year (mainly from Australia and New Zealand). Niue is probably unattractive to mass tourism, either for the isolation and either for the lack of those characteristics that average tourists seek (large easily accessible beaches, luxury resorts, restaurants, night life, etc..) During these walks is pretty rare to run into other tourists.
Hiking on the reef
Utuko beach in Niue
I then go to explore Utuko, another beach with direct access to the sea and to the reef. Who has said that there are no beaches in Niue?
Utuko - Niue Niue
Niue reef
Small beach

I then take a short walk on the reef, where I find other small coves between the rugged coastline, as well as and numerous swimming pools where you can swim and snorkel.
Hio beach and reef in Niue
Hio is the next stop. Here there is another beautiful beach of white sand and, even in this case, with access to the sea and a large, spectacular reef where you can hike in low tide.
Reef walk in Niue
Niue Reef
I take a nice walk along the coast and towards the outer reef where the waves of the South Pacific Ocean breaks, but always keeping an eye on the clock in order to not be surprised by the high tide!

On this reef there are several colorful live corals and it is absolutely imperative to be careful not to damage them while walking.
Living coral
Corals and other invertebrates that can be seen in the numerous holes on the reef.
Vegetation in Niue Caper flower

I then ventured to the east coast of Niue, the wildest and the most swept by the waves. Here I take one of the many trails (also called "sea track") going through lush green carpets of capers and other typical plants.
South Pacific
A beautiful natural swimming pool where is possible to relax with a nice bath.

In this reef there are many large holes where you can freshen up comfortably.
Liku cave in Niue
I then take another trail, still along the east coast of Niue, which reaches Liku, a small cave (or, better, an hole in the rock) where a beautiful view opens to the large reef below.
Liku - Niue

A walk along the coast, always strictly in the low tide, reveals small secluded coves and a few small beach.
Secluded beach in South Pacific

Large boulders appear to have been scattered near this beach by a violent storm, while a deep hole in the reef coral and some glimpse of several colorful fishes.
Reef hiking in Niue
Anapala in Niue
There is a lot more walking to do along the east coast of Niue, but one week of travel makes it impossible to see everything, also in consideration that you have to wait proper tide. The last stop is at Anapala, swept by the violence of the Pacific Ocean.
Pacific ocean Big swell
Big swells

The waves are very high and after forming the "curl" on top, they breaks violently on the reef with an explosive thunder.
Avatele beach in Niue Avatele in Niue
I then return then to the west coast of Niue and I stop to Avatele, another small beach where you can also snorkel among colorful fish and many invertebrates that grow on the rocks.

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Niue travel guide

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