Culture

Niue is a pious place. Visitors are advised not to wear swimming gear in villages or towns, and not to go fishing or boating on a Sunday (but you can play golf, go for a swim or do some sightseeing – or better yet, go to church and belt out a few hymns with the locals).

Polynesian heritage in Niue is championed by a government strategy called 'Taoga Niue', an integrated community initiative aimed at preserving Niuean language, culture and traditions – all of which are on display at 'Village Show Days'. There are 14 of these events every year, with dancing, umu (earth oven) feasts and local arts and crafts on display and for sale (check out the amazing weavings): try to time your visit so you can join in the fun.

Environment

Don’t expect palm-fringed beaches or languid lagoons in Niue – instead, get set for a jagged landscape of limestone caverns, hidden sea caves and a rocky, untamed coast.

As with all South Pacific islands, tropical cyclones regularly threaten lives and wreak havoc here. Alofi’s southern area was badly damaged by Tropical Cyclone Heta in 2004 and abandoned structures still punctuate the cliff tops. Reconstruction is ongoing across the whole country, but many locals chose not to rebuild and emigrated to New Zealand instead.