The island rolls out the welcome mat for visitors, and everywhere we went we were met with friendly waves and welcoming smiles. Although only a 3-1/2 hour flight from Aukland, there are surprisingly few tourists, and only one small resort in addition to a few guest lodges. When the airport went in a few years ago, the population dropped from over 6,000 to its current level, as folks flocked to the big city for jobs and education. Now an estimated 90-95% of Niueans live abroad, mostly in New Zealand.
So what did we enjoy the most in our 2 week stay on "The Rock of the Pacific"? The Big Two were the cave exploring and the people. The rock is also one of the most photogenic places we've ever had the pleasure of visiting.
|Applying for our Niue drivers licenses.....no worries!|
So here, then, is a quick photo tour of the sea caves and hikes that we took during our 10 day stay on the 10 mile island.....
|Cathy ('Mystic Moon'), Nicole ('Bella Star') and Cindi|
As mentioned earlier, the Niuean people are some of the friendliest that we've met in the South Pacific. There are 14 villages on the island, and every month one hosts a festival day. Sort of like a county fair, we were lucky to attend the gala for August, and thoroughly enjoyed the day of food, dance performances, games and just milling about with the locals having a good time. As they say....."they didn't throw this party for us....." But we were made to feel most welcome by all.....
|Rehearsal before the big show!|
|Gangsta rap.....Niuean style!|
|Golfing for booze.....gotta like it!|
|On the left, a happy winner of a bottle of wine!|
Finally enjoyed an interisland rugby match....these big boys hit HARD!!!
|"BEER...helping white men dance since 1892".....obviously the sign lied!|
Hopefully this has given you a good feel for the country of Niue. We found it one of the most approachable, welcoming, and just plain fun places to explore. Don't miss it!!!
We've now sailed on to the Kingdom of Tonga, and have been exploring the Vava'u group for the past week or so. We were last here 29 years ago, and it's wonderful to be back.......more to follow, stay tuned!