We took a driving tour around Niue with a few of our cruising friends in order to better see all that Niue had to offer us. The car let us reach a few really amazing places: Limu Pools, the Talava Arch, the King’s Bathing Chamber and Togo Chasm.
The most striking thing about the flora of Niue is the massive amount of diversity contained in such a tiny island. It took us less than a full day to drive all the way around the island while making several stops and during this time we saw tropical rainforests, mahogany forests, went spelunking and climbed over ancient coral mountains to find soft sandy beaches at the bottom of a 30 foot gorge. Niue does a lot of nature and it does it all ridiculously well.
The Limu Pools were a pair of shallow, sandy pools that were deep enough to swim and snorkel in, but unlike the rest of the island’s beautiful snorkeling areas they are protected from the surging waves that crash against the coral. We went for a dip at the beginning of our tour to get into the swing of things.
Next stop was Matapa Chasm, also known as the King’s Bathing Chamber, where the ancient king and queen of Niue had their private piece of water to enjoy.
When we stopped here for our lunch break, we encountered the most fearless butterflies. Which again begs the question: We are over 300 miles for the next point of land and about 1000 miles from the nearest continent so how did butterflies manage to get out to a completely remote island in the south pacific!?
The Talava Arch was right near Matapa Chasm, so of course we went there also. To reach it, we did actually need to do some hiking through a tropical forest that was growing on a coral bed and Tiffany was again reminded that the coral was extremely sharp as a chunk of her shoe got torn off!
We also got introduced to the Niuean spiders, which lacked smallness.
After fighting our way through the vegetation and dodging the spiders-the-size-of-Greg’s-thumb (!) we found what passes as a highway rest stop on this island
(Greg just loved that they had put the effort in to actually erect a sign)
Before we had to climb through a cave and scramble down a rope just to get to this place
But and once we arrived it was amazing to just sit and watch the water surge in and out of the chasms in the coral and crash into the Talava Arch. The waves and spray were huge!
To be cont…
For more about the land of the South Pacific check out our exploration of the remote island of Fatu Hiva by clicking on “Fatu Hiva, a French Polynesian Paradise!“
About the authors
Greg and Tiffany are traveling around the world on sailing yachts and keep a video blog of their (mis)adventures. If sailing to Tahiti on a 44 ft sailboat, getting pooped on by seagulls, opening coconuts with dull machetes, sailing past tornadoes and ukulele Christmas carols are for you, then check them out at www.CoastGuardCouple.com!