Niue is a very isolated Pacific island, which is about 2,400 kilometres away from New Zealand. The coral island is a self-governing territory with 14 villages and several smaller settlements. Even the capital of Alofi is only a small village with 600 inhabitants. Altogether the island has a population of about 1,200 people. The climate is subtropical to tropical with an average yearly temperature of 25 °C. Niue regularly suffers tropical storms.
About 20 percent of the island are vegetated by tropical rainforest. Considering the island's small area, that is quite a lot. There are no lakes, rivers, waterfalls or noteworthy towns. Especially the latter condition makes it difficult for the island to establish itself as a tourist destination. Of course, the enormous distance to other states plays a major role as well. The coast of the coral island is very harsh and sharp-edged. Bright rocks tower up and have created fascinating formations in the course of the centuries. The gigantic rock bridges, which project into the sea, are particularly impressive. Niue is one of the greatest raised atolls on earth. The island's origin is connected to several earthquakes. There are many caves and gorges, which were already used by people centuries ago. One famous example is Talava Cave. This system consists of rock gates and caves and is located in the north-west of the island near the small village of Hikutavake.
Niue has been populated for a very long time and has developed in isolation from the outside world. The population never had any contact with the inhabitants of other islands and it is still a challenge to travel to Niue. James Cook reached Niue in 1774 but he was unable to set foot on the island because its inhabitants scared him off. That is why Cook named the island "Savage Island". Today, Niue is an autonomous region in free association with New Zealand, which means that is has a special status regarding international law. The island is only populated by 1,269 people at the moment but there are many more Niueans in New Zealand. About 20,000 of them have emigrated there.
Niue is not really prepared for tourism with its 1,200 inhabitants. There are no leisure facilities but the sea appeals to all travellers. Swimming, diving and snorkelling on a coral island is a unique experience. Sailing trips around the island are popular too.
Niue offers little accommodation for tourists. Visitors should plan a trip to this isolated island well beforehand. Besides the Niuean language, the people also understand and speak English.