Niue is a large upraised coral atoll, and is a standalone land mass in the centre of a triangle of Polynesian islands made up of Tonga, Samoa and the Cook Islands. Located 2400km north east of New Zealand, on the eastern side of the international dateline.
Niue is 11 hours behind Greenwich mean time.
Niue is a tropical island, warm during the day with a pleasant drop in temperature at night all year round. April – November (winter) the temperature range is 20-28 degrees Celsius. December-March (summer) the temperature range is 22-30 degrees Celsius. Year round it is worth bringing a light rain jacket and cardigan for cooler evenings.
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CURRENCY AND BANKING
The New Zealand dollar is legal tender in Niue.
Most businesses have EFTPOS and accept NZ debit cards, Mastercard and Visa. Some EFTPOS facility providers will allow you to withdraw cash.
Niue does not have ATM's on island but you can withdraw extra cash from Kiwibank in Alofi. Kiwibank accept ONLY NZ debit cards, Mastercard and Visa. Open 8.30am to 4pm Monday to Friday. Note also that Kiwibank does not handle foreign exchange. For more information you can contact Kiwibank on phone number (+683) 4220 OR (+683) 4221.
The Niue Tourism Visitor Information Centre is also able to accept all major credit cards for payment of accommodation, tours and some other essential services. There is a 5% surcharge which is incurred for use of this facility.
Tipping – while not expected it is always appreciated.
Niuean and English are widely spoken in Niue. The following Niuean words are handy to learn:
Greetings or hello: Fakaalofa lahi atu
Thank you: Fakaaue
Good luck: Kia monuina
Scattered throughout the 14 neat and colourful villages, Niue’s less than 1500 residents enjoy dual citizenship, as a self-governing nation in free association with New Zealand. They are bilingual, speaking both Niuean and English, and enjoy an independent lifestyle. The locals are very respectful, genuinely friendly and hospitable to visitors and have accepted tourism as an important component to their economic development and well being. They are well educated and enjoy life.
The Niue Foou Hospital is located at Kaimiti, Alofi. Clinic Hours Mon - Thursday 8am - 4pm, Fri 9am - 10am & 7pm - 8pm, Sat & Sun & Public Holidays 9am - 10am & 7pm – 8pm ph 4100. Emergency ph 999. Charges for health services will apply to all visitors.
Safe drinking water is from natural spring and rain water but there is bottled water available if preferred. If you have any special concerns, please check with us or contact your nearest travel agent before departure.
The church plays a large part in the community and there are many denominations catered for. Attending a mass is recommended no matter what your beliefs may be just to experience the beautiful singing.
Wearing swimwear in villages and the town is not advised. A paleu (sarong) should be worn around swimwear in public so as not to offend locals. Sunday is a respected and quiet day in Niue. Most people attend church in the morning and again in the afternoon. Throughout the country, Sunday is considered to be a day of rest and worship and visitors are asked to be considerate of the local Sunday observances. Many people play golf, go sightseeing and swimming on Sunday, but certain activities such as boating and fishing are not allowed. Anyone not sure of Sunday protocols are welcome to check at the Niue Tourism Visitor Information Centre for guidance.
Niue’s history falls into four defined periods: pre-Christianity, Christianity, the Colonial era and self government. The documentation of Niue’s history was primarily oral and passed down through the generations. It has only been since the period of New Zealand governance that a great deal of literature has been compiled on Niue’s history.
Niue is believed to have been inhabited for over a thousand years. Oral tradition and legends speak of the first settlement by Huanaki and Fao, together with the Fire Gods from Fonuagalo, the Hidden Land. Some authorities believe that the island was settled during two principal migrations, one from Samoa and one from Tonga with a smaller migration from Pukapuka in the Cook Islands.
In 1774, the English navigator Captain James Cook sighted Niue but was refused landing by the locals on three different attempts. He then named Niue ‘Savage Island’. Missionaries from the LMS (London Missionary Society) established Christianity in 1846. Niue chiefs gained British Protectorate status in 1900, and in 1901 Niue was annexed to New Zealand. In 1974 Niue gained self-government in free association with New Zealand and government to this day has followed a Westminster-style rule with a 20 member assembly. The Premier is selected by the House and the Premier then selects 3 other members for Cabinet posts.