I have always known it as, the Rock of Polynesia. With that, came the impression that is indeed a rock, with no beaches and little else.
This impression is even shared by travel agents throughout New Zealand and Australia, much to the demise of Niue as a destination. It does little to inspire or encourage positive thought about a place.
We spent 10 days in Niue with family and my God, it is such an amazing, authentic, colourful, exciting place with so so much to do and places to discover.
So, here's some myths about Niue that I will shut down today and forever:
Niue is just a rock, barren and very little grows.
Niue is the largest raised atoll in the world, and while in some parts, particularly the leeward side is uninhabitable, most of the island is thick with green growth and tropical rainforests and thriving plantations.
Niue also produced the most 'mapo' delicious taro in the Pacific.
Next Myth about Niue:
There are no beaches and you have to be physically fit to get to swimming spots.
WRONG! Not only are there many easily accessible swimming spots, when you get there - the snorkelling is the best in the Pacific.
This is Avatele Beach - you park the car and take 20 steps to the sea or to the wharf to jump off
Hio Beach - this took us 5 minutes to walk down to from the car - I am unfit as and I got down (:
Myth #3: It's so corally and no good for swimming.
It has the most amazing swimming spots - mainly because there are these rock pools all over the island, which teem with fish and very safe for all ages:
Standing on the reef and looking down into the rock pools
Another rock pool at Hikutavake, ---I walked along the reef and took a pic of this ----stunning.
4. There are scary sea snakes
Unless you go looking for these, you will probably never see you, and technically, they are scared of humans. They also have very small mouths, so if you do happen to be the dumb human that goes chasing a harmless sea snake, you won't get the bite you really deserve.
5. There are scary coconut crabs (Uga)
If you have not eaten a coconut crab yet - wow - you are missing out.
It's is delicious!
Coconut crab are called this because they eat, coconuts.
They rip apart the husks of a coconut and eat the aago (inside) of a coconut, they do this at night. To catch a crab, a light gets shone onto a coconut that a person would have laid as bait.
Uga is such a delicacy for Niueans (majority of whom live outside of Niue) that at the beginning of this year, Government had to impose a ban on the exportation of uga, mainly by family members.
Thankfully, I have amazing friends like Ina, Lau and Lina to introduced me to uga. Amen!
Uga that my darling friend Inangaro cooked for me, along with delicious Talo Niue.
6. Eh, but there's nothing else to do.
Shut up already. Because this is only a few of the things we managed to do:
Drank pina coladas on the deck at Matavai Resort
Drank coconut and beer at Oki Oki Mai and watched whales swimming
Found out about the Primary School sports day and got our boy to participate in the ECE comps, throwing the sika
Then I paid the kids $3 each to collect hihi at the beach, because I wanted to empower them:
Then snorkelling and sun bathed at Matapa Chasm (Calanque)...5 minutes easy walk from the car
which was a fun but got me hungry and ate some tekihi made by Lau's momma:
We had run out of drinks by then, so we hit the big smoke (ALofi) and stocked up at the Bond Store
On Mondays, we saw weaving done by the mamas of Tamakautonga at the main fale at Matavai
We found out that there was a Photo Exhibition commemorating the Niueans who were in the WW1 and I thought it would be great for the children to learn about this...
thankfully, the dignitaries were just leaving, and my unkempt crowd of little people headed straight for the food, and - like the real island fobs they are ---started eating. I died of embarrassment, but then Aunty Vaaiga came to the rescue and - encouraged them to eat.
Song in my head *Do your parents feed you*
Bless her heart! Thank you for feeding the starving children of the Savaii
Because all that was work was tiring, we drank some more 'coconuts' and then everything got a bit blurry....
NIUE, IS A MUST VISIT.
PS, this is not a sponsored blog update - I'm also just my own views and if you're offended by it, please go have a drink.
I loved seeing the Toume Race at the Niue Primary Sports Day: