If you plan your arrival to Niue with that of the annual Humpback whale migration you may well get the opportunity to experience something that very few people in the world can say they have done… swim with the whales.
Generally from July to October each year Humpback whales arrive in Niue’s waters to nurse their young. Niue is one of only a handful of places in the world where you are allowed to swim with the whales. Mother nature of course doesn’t guarantee an experience so whale interactions are strictly dependent on the whales being around, within range, settled and the weather conditions being safe.
For those not so keen on the swim, these gentle giants can be viewed from the land at dedicated viewing areas, where their gymnastics provide a spectacular show sometimes only 20 metres from shore. Niue is a signatory to the South Pacific Whale Sanctuary and fully supports the conservation of whales so all interactions are conducted from a distance that respects their privacy and your safety.
If you're lucky enough to be in Niue when the whales are there it’s common for diners at the Matavai Resort to watch the whales performing from their table. At night, you can sometimes hear the whales slapping their giant fins against the water and you may even be kept awake by their calls, unlike anywhere else in the world - they can come that close because the water is so deep.
Organised viewing or swimming tours can be arranged - self guided experiences are not allowed. Whale interactions are very dependent on mother nature so if you don’t get to see them close up don’t be disappointed… you will still have a great time on the water with some spectacular coastal views.
There are three tour operators that offer whale watching trips and in water whale interactions:
Buccaneer Adventures Niue Dive
Buccaneer Adventures Niue Dive is a registered SSI and PADI store owned and operated by Shannon and Krystal Hunter. Whether you want to embark on an underwater tour with Scuba Diving, Freediving or explore the outer reef’s wide assortment or marine life while Snorkelling.
Contact: Shannon and Krystal Hunter
Ph: (+683) 4311
Fish Niue Charters
Manutahi (seabird) is a 6.3 metre stabicraft purpose built for Niue’s waters offering a range of options customised to your needs. Our vessel complies with Niue’s safety requirements and carries all appropriate safety equipment. Your local skipper BJ Rex is a certified PADI Divemaster and certified whale watching guide.
Contact: BJ Rex
Ph: (+683) 5697
Magical Niue Sea Adventures
Magical Niue Sea Adventures offers whale watching tours as well as in water interactions with the spinner dolphins and the Humpback whales. This operation is run by your guide Rami Oved who is an experienced certified PADI specialty dive instructor.
Contact: Rami Oved
Ph: (+683) 6737 or 6477
SPREP Year of the Whale 2017
The Pacific Island region is home to over half the world's species of cetaceans, whales and dolphins, including some of the least known, and as such members of the Secretariat of the Pacific Environment Programme (SPREP) agreed to focus their activities in 2016 and 2017 on a targeted regional campaign on whales.
The ‘Protect Pacific Whales – Ocean Voyagers’ Campaign provides an opportunity for SPREP and all its Members and partners to celebrate these magnificent creatures, raise awareness on whale conservation as well as ocean conservation.
Join us to celebrate whales and their place in Pacific cultures! Together we can work towards promoting their protection in the face of emerging threats and support measures to enhance their conservation.
For more information, click here to visit the SPREP website.