things to see and do by Dr J Floor Anthoni, Sept 2005
Niue does not offer night life, beaches, shopping
and other niceties that the modern tourist expects but in a way it offers
more, if one only knew what to look for. This chapter discloses some of
Niue's best kept secrets, there for anyone to discover during a visit to
Niue. In this document we've restricted ourselves to Niue's natural wonders,
which are always available. Its cultural events have been documented in
other web sites.
introduction: an overview of what you
can do and how to plan your time. Mode of transport, skills, safety and
walking the forest: an unforgettable outing
in which you learn about the secrets of the forest
going north: what to find going from
Alofi northward toward Liku
going south: what to find going from
Alofi southward towards Liku
introduction Most tourists visit Niue for seven to nine days. Few stay longer. Even
so, we've met people who didn't know what to do. This chapter helps you
get the most out of your visit, and perhaps entice you to come again. It
is not our intention to provide what the tourism sector already provides,
but to bring Niue to life; and share with you our amazement about what
you can discover.
Discover is the right word because unlike most touristic areas in the world,
Niue does not have organised trips. It is not even famous for anything
in particular. Niueans are not after your money but they welcome you to
their Rock and there you are invited to use your initiative to discover
what for Niueans has become ho-hum but for outsiders exciting experiences.
In general you can do the following activities:
sight-seeing by car, motor bike, bicycle or on foot: Transport can
be hired in several places. Depending on your physical fitness and the
weather, you can easily move across the island as it is essentially flat.
swimming in the crystal clear sea: It would be hard to find a place
in the world with clearer water. The water is pleasant but cool and you
can easily stay for an hour in winter, while swimming.
snorkelling with mask and fins: In Niue the water is deep, immediately
past the reef flats. There are a number of places where you'll find an
abundant variety of life but not a lot of each. Because the water is so
clear, you will be able to see about 40m distant and clear details as far
as 30m. Underwater visibility of 60m occurs regularly, particularly in
the dry season.
rockpooling: The rock pools are very interesting, and many are deep
enough to swim in. For children they are entirely safe, and with mask and
snorkel you can discover a large variety of life hiding there. The reef
flats of Niue are incredibly rich in rock pools. Many rock pools are covered
in a layer of cool fresh water, which is a first-time sensation.
reef exploration: around low tide the reef flats of which there
are many, dry up allowing you to walk from one flat to the other, exploring
sea caves and whatever lives on these flats and its many rock pools. It
is a very interesting activity for children because there is so much to
discover, and it is entirely safe. But this activity depends on the timing
of the tide, which requires you to plan ahead.
cave exploration: Niue is a coral limestone island which is riddled
with sinkholes, tunnels and caves. Some of these are large and well known
and a smaller number is very easy to reach and safe to enter. For most
caves you will need to walk a little.
fishing: with their small canoes, the locals catch large fish close
to home and in such clear waters. For some visitors a day's fishing is
an irresistible attraction.
diving: with the local dive business you will be able to visit the
best spots Niue has to offer, depending on wind and weather. Usually two
dives are done in succession, which takes all of a morning or afternoon.
whale watching: Niue is visited by adult humpback whales in the
winter season from July to October. The females give birth and also mate
for the next season. But a visit depends not only on suitable weather but
also on the chance that a whale stays nearby and tolerates the visit. Niue
also has one or two pods of common dolphins which can be approached in
a boat but not while swimming because they are rather wary. When diving
or snorkelling, the whale's song can often be heard from as far as a couple
of kilometres away. People in Niue always know where the whales have last
been seen, and the high rock terrace allows for excellent
visiting a local celebration: Niueans have plenty of reasons or
excuses to meet and celebrate. Usually a large part of the island turns
up. There is always a market with food, and of course music and song. Enquire
which celebration will coincide with your visit.
other things: your tourism brochure points to other things to visit
like the museum, weaving and so on.
Disappointment in Niue has often come from not understanding what it offers,
or rather what it does not offer. So here is a list of them:
shopping: there are no tax-free malls with enticing goods. The shops
in Niue provide for the bare necessities, and even then supply often depends
on the arrival of the next container ship.
dancing and disco: on the Friday and Saturday nights there is some
of this activity for the young, with very loud music.
eating out: don't expect five or even three star restaurants. Eating
in Niue is basic but the choice is improving. A decent cup of espresso
coffee has recently become available from the Washaway Cafe in Avatele
and the Crazy Uga in Alofi.
surfing: Niue has no surf beaches and the surf it has is more of
the dumper kind and often deadly where the trade swell arrives.
beaches: Niue has no beaches of mention because the shore drops
so steeply away to bottomless depths. Avatele has a lovely lagoon which
is little larger than a swimming pool but most of it too shallow for swimming.
But it is safe water with a lot of interest and yes, there is a beach which
has been destroyed by Heta and plans for its restoration are underway.
horse riding: Niueans have never taken to horses as the grass and
pastures necessary for keeping them, are not there.
camping/tenting: although Niue is perfectly safe for camping, it
does not have enough demand. Accommodation is relatively cheap and budget
accommodation is readily available. The one and only camp site near the
Huvalu forest is abandoned and unkempt.
cathedrals, temples & monuments: Niue has never had the prosperity,
population and hierarchy to build large edifices. Living on a small island
with few resources and scourged by hurricanes does not provide for this
kind of expenditure.
What do you need to bring? One often brings the things one doesn't need
while needing the things one didn't bring. Relax. Niue is basic and you
are not expected to dress up. Take your most casual gear and not too much
of it either because it can be washed and dried there. Here's my
swimsuit: always bring your swim suit because opportunities for
a cool refreshing swim are found in the most unexpected places.
mask, snorkel and fins: yes I put this a first priority because
the sea there is so inviting. I love a morning swim of an hour or so, just
in swimsuit and snorkelgear. It gets you fit quickly and active for the
day. Can't get enough of it. Rockpooling and snorkelling become just so
much more. You will notice that swimsuit and mask are necessary to swim
in the many inviting pools at the ends of the many sea tracks you will
long light trousers, long shirt, sun block cream: one day of tropical
sun from a clear sky can get you blistered. Bring your shorts and tee shirts
as well, because it can also become hot even though Niue's climate is cool-tropical
with a pleasant trade wind.
insect repellant? you may not believe this but insect attack is
entirely unpredictable in Niue. It does not have stagnant pools of water
to breed mosquitoes in and there's precious little that house flies can
feast on. The evenings are balmy with many harmless moths but few mosquitoes.
Just be prepared for the one exception.
first aid kit: when you got it, you won't need it and when you need
it, you haven't got one. But Niue is not a paved first world. Wherever
you go, there is sharp coral and it is so easy to stumble and fall. Then
there's no doctor or first aid within an hour's walking or driving. You
are entirely on your own. To meet someone else is a chance event. So what
should the kit contain? Big and small plasters and a potent disinfectant
because a live coral scratch won't heal easily (like six weeks!). Hydrogen
peroxide is recommended, and failing that betadine iodide. Even pure bleach
is recommended. I prefer pure kitchen bleach (chlorine).
shoes: you will walk over sharp coral which tears shoes to bits.
Jandals are out of the question. You will walk over wet reef flats and
your shoes get wet. Tennis shoes are okay or something similar but a thicker
sole is recommended.
walking stick: a walking stick or pole is not a bad idea because
one can easily stumble and fall. In many places the coral is so sharp that
grabbing it could tear your skin. A walk through the bush with Misa reminded
us how helpful a stick can be.
What should you do first? It depends - on the weather and tides.
So here is a list of those conditions and what you could do.
waves: waves very quickly spoil the water fun. The sea becomes tricky
or dangerous to enter. Use the calm seas for snorkelling, swimming and
low tide: the low tide allows you to explore the reef flats and
to do rockpooling. Make it your first priority as the low tide occurs 50
minutes later each day. Calm seas, low tide and sunny weather are best
for reef exploartion, swimming and rockpooling.
fine and sunny: sunny days are best for touring and walking the
cool forests. They also make for good photography, both above and under
water. Sun-lit days are also excellent for diving and snorkelling as the
sea looks really inviting and blue.
overcast and cloudy: excellent for caving as the sunlight penetrates
f220607: bikes, motorbikes and cars can be rented at reasonable
f045115: swimming with mask and fins in the giddy blue waters
is one of the most enjoyable experiences.
f047600: a coral wonderland awaits divers. Recovery from
cyclone damage is usually rapid.
f044829: nearly every reef flat is tunnelled under by extensive
cave systems that can be explored on SCUBA. For some a torch is needed.
walking the forest Niue is fortunate to have Misa Kulatea (pronounce as Koolasha)
who is passionate and knowledgeable about Niue's dwindling native forests.
Misa lives opposite the High School, where you can make arrangements for
his forest walk. It is something not to be missed.
In a car or small bus you are guided to his patch in the bush, owned by
his extended family. You will be given a walking pole, which you'll discover
is an important tool to keep your balance on the uneven terrain. The track
leads from one small clearing to another, past many interesting items.
Each of the clearings has natural seating on logs and in these places Misa
brings one surprise after another, including a small snack from Misa's
Misa teaches you about the forest's food and cultural values, how to
find your way and how to survive, how to make fire and how nearly every
item found in the bush had a purpose.
0507457: the trip leads through regenerating bush and through
the dark tall rain forest. Bring sensitive film.
0507446: Misa shows the edible sprouts of a tree epiphyte.
In order to survive, one must know what is edible without being cooked.
0507463: in one of the clearings stands the beginning of
a primitive but adequate forest shelter. Just weave the epiphyte leaves
on and tie them down with strips of tough bark. Then light a smouldering
smoky fire to keep insects out.
0507481: with a stick and bark of the fou tree, Misa shows
how to make fire by rubbing the two together. Here he has transferred the
smouldering dust to a coconut husk.
0507473: wood from the fou tree can also be soaked and turned
into a fine, strong tissue.
0507455: a papaya (pawpaw) fruit is used to snag birds
but it also makes an unforgettable refreshment, sprinkled with lime (a
0507428: with a bit of luck and some courage you may hold
Misa's coconut crab, here 'parked' on his walking stick.
going north We'll begin our half-round trip at the main intersection in Alofi by
the police station and Government House. As you will notice, most of the
things to see and do are on the seaward side of the road. First follows
a description and then the photographs that give you a better idea.
Utuko Reef & track: just behind us on the other side of Government
House is Utuko sea track which leads to a recently protected reef and sea
area around it. Good rockpooling.
Togalahi track: on the wharf side of Government House is another
sea track, which has not been restored yet, also leading to the protected
Tomb Point: the lookout point and flagstaff looking over the Sir
Robert Wharf area. One sees the yachts on anchor and the local fishing
fleet. This lookout can become a busy place when the container ship arrives
with long-awaited goods. A good whale lookout.
Sir Robert Wharf: it is safe and easy to enter the water from the
wharf, even at high tide and with moderate waves. Just make sure not to
interfere with commercial activities. Swim out around Government House
where the reef and sea became protected in 2005 as a 'temporary' measure.
The wharf is also a good starting point for night dives in the immediate
Omahi sea track and reef: after Niue Rentals
Togalupo reef and sea track: immediately opposite the Alofi-Tokelau
Nuku Tutaha Club on right, the last sea track before the steep coast of
the new marine reserve.
Vaila sea track: (to be updated)
Marine reserve lookout: leads to the steep shore of the Vailoapu-Anono
marine reserve but has no sea access. Good whale watching. The marine reserve
ends just before the Makefu Bush Road on right.
Peniamina's Grave: after Makefu bush road but before the houses
of Makefu, on your left, is the grave of spiritual leader Peniamina who
played such an important role in bringing religion to the Niueans. The
Coral GArdens motel and restaurant comes next, then Makefu Village.
Avaiki sea track: Avaiki (from the word Havaiki, the ancestral
centre of Polynesia) is where the first canoe landed, later the bathing
place of kings. You enter through a beautiful dripstone cave with several
branches. Across the reef flat on your right is the bathing place of Kings,
a deep pool with cool water but no swimming here on Sundays! The reef flats
are interesting too. At a certain time of year the reefs are home to a
myriad small fish, kalamoana, which is prized for food.
Palaha sea track and cave: Palaha cave is not to be missed as it
is large and beautiful, opening wide to a bordering rock pool and reef
flats. An unforgettable experience.
Tavahihi sea track: before Tuapa village a wide track gives access
to the sea.
Tuapa sea track: at the end of Tuapa an inconspicuous sea track
leads to the extensive reef flats of Tuapa.
Hio reef and sea track: immediately adjoining Tuapa is Hio with
its wood carving artist (Al Posimani) on your right. A track leads to the
sea and a sandy beach with a small cave. Peruvian 'blackbirders' wrecked
one of their ships here and the locals poured their liquor into the sea
under loud protest. Soon you'll come to where the road splits. Follow the
Namukulu sea track and reef: just before the village of Namukulu
is the Namukulu sea track, of economic importance because it has a very
small natural harbour (an L-shaped channel) with easy access to the sea,
and a wide road with parking leading to it. Ardent snorkellers may meet
the challenge of swimming northward to where a mooring buoy marks the point
of two deep caves entered from a deep shaft to 30 metres depth! This of
course, is for experienced divers. Take note of the current!
Limu Pools: a steep track leads to one of the most favourite
places on Niue, Limu Pools. The area is sheltered and has two main pools.
On the left the enclosed pool which eventually leads out towards the sea.
This pool was once full of living coral and colourful fish but cyclone
Heta has set it back. There are picnic tables and seats. To your right
is the other pool which leads through an archway to the sea. A torrent
of almost fresh (but always cool) water flows into this pool. On reasonably
calm days you can swim out into the sea to snorkel the seaward reefs.
Hikutavake sea track and reef: there's little left of the village
of Hikutavake but where the houses are, a sea track leads to the local
reef, with a small challenge at the end (some climbing). But your effort
will be rewarded, as this reef has enjoyed de-facto protection because
there are so few local villagers left to exploit it. Very good reef exploration
although deep rockpools are few.
Matapa chasm: the road ends in a grassy parking area and a walking
track leads to the Matapa Chasm, a place favoured for its cool, safe swimming.
You can also swim out to sea on a calm day. An underground stream enters
here with cool fresh water.
Talava Arches: the matapa track immediately splits to a long walk
(30mins) over a rough path to the arches. Although perhaps too far for
those who do not walk easily, this is not to be missed. Through a narrow
sea cave which opens up wide, one arrives at an enchanted long pool of
blue water. Halfway through the cave one clambers down to the Talava Arches,
which once were the majestic openings of a very large sea cave. In the
distance one sees another archway to be explored by walking over the reef.
Opposite the far arch, one can enter a small cave with excellent stalagtites
but a torch is needed and low tide.
Vaihoko: the track is difficult to find and follow but leads to
a reef with channels and caves. It was used as a canoe landing for the
preparation of arrow root (pia).
Highest point: Follow the road further, which now climbs up the
Mutalau ridge, towards the island's highest point (but not indicated) near
the village of Mutalau. Very little is left of the village of Toi.
Uluvehi sea track: a wide road leads to a shaded parking and then
steeply to a place where canoes can be launched with difficulty. Canoes
are garaged in small natural caves. The sea is usually wild, but this is
a good whale watching point.
Vaitafe: a broad stretch of reef with a good swimming hole with
a steep climb down to reach it.
Anatola cave: the road leads past coconut groves to Anatola cave
but the cave is not easy to find. It was originally the home of a dangerous
god. (to be updated later)
Lakepa sea track: off the village green of the tidy village of Lakepa,
one can find a scruffy track leading through the changing coastal forest
to a small parking lot where concrete steps lead steeply to the reef flats,
but there is no canoe access. It is a memorable drive.
Liku sea track and reef: from the village green of Liku a well maintained
track leads to the sea, tar sealed where it winds down steeply to a small
parking place. From here concrete steps lead you through a sea cave to
the reef flats which are well worth exploring.
f221312: Government House, located on a promontory, escaped
destruction by cyclone Heta as the water flowed around it.
0507092: Tomb Point overlooks the harbour and boat moorings
and is excellent for whale watching. When the container ship arrives, one
can spend hours here.
0507085: Sir Robert wharf is too shallow and small for berthing
ships. Here the containers are ferried by a small tender to the wharf where
large cranes lift them onto transporters. In the distant Niue's fledgling
fishing fleet can be seen on their moorings. Because the sea is easy to
enter and exit, this is a good place to do night dives.
0507207: the Omahi sea track leads to a wide reef.
f220521: Tavahihi sea track gives easy access to the reefs.
f220528: the Namukulu sea track gives access for cars to
an L-shaped channel in the reef. Cyclone Heta caused terrible damage but
the track and sea access have since been restored. It is of economical
f220613: this beautiful dripstone cave gives access to the
Avaiki reef and caves.
f220631: the Avaiki royal swimming hole is in the distant
cave. The entrance to this reef is on right, outside the photo.
f220620: it is like swimming inside a cathedral. The water
is crystal clear but cool from a freshwater spring in the distance. No
swimming on Sundays!
f223021: Well maintained grounds bordered by coconut trees
invite you to visit Palaha cave, not to be missed.
f223024: the track to Palaha cave seems to end here but suddenly
veers to the left towards an unlikely small entrance.
f223026: the Palaha cave opens up wide to the reef flat,
with good swimming pools in front and an excellent opportunity for rockpooling.
f223104: the Palaha cave is large and deep, its ceiling 'supported'
by pillars. Can you find the person in the picture?
f223111: another part of the Palaha Cave dwarfs the person
on its pulpit.
f220530: the main pool of Limu is large, with clear calm
water, corals and fish. Swimming is always safe but watch out for sea urchins.
In the distance it connects through a narrow channel to the sea.
f044522: coral fishes frequent the Limu pools, so don't forget
to bring your mask. It is an excellent place for children.
f044504: an experienced snorkeldiver dives into one of the
small caves of Limu pools. After rains, fresh water lays on top of the
salt, particularly in the archway pool where a torrent of brackish water
pours out of the cliff.
f044533: the archway pool is deeper and connects through
an archway and a narrow channel to the sea. It is a worthwhile swim for
the more experienced, as the outer reefs are interesting. From here one
can swim back to the Namukulu sea track.
0507289: the Hikutavake reef is one of the most interesting
reefs to explore because rich reef life is still found there.
0507219: the Hikutavake sea track is still messy and perhaps
will always remain so.
0507221: a small hurdle must be overcome at the end of the
track, due to damage from cyclones.
f223016: the outer reef of Hikutavake is well alive with
grazing animals. The calm sea for the moment allows one to explore the
very edges of the reef. Make use of calm seas because they are much rarer
than wave-swept ones.
f222925: the sea track to the Matapa chasm is well maintained
f222928: swimming in the Matapa chasm is safe and refreshing
due to underground freshwater streams. The chasm connects to the sea.
f222933: the Talava arches are reached through a magnificent
dripstone cave as shown here and on right.
f222931: a sink hole now acts as a roof light.
f223204: the Talava arches are worthy of the long walk to
get there. A natural bridge spans two archways and in the distance a third
can be seen.
f223209: view from the main arch towards a distant arch and
high reef flats in between. The long rock pool is full of life and worth
f221208: the Uluvehi sea track ends here where the reef is
shallow but the sea usually wild.
f221211: the sea caves and overhangs are used as natural
boat houses to park outrigger canoes in.
going south We'll begin the southward tour from the centre of Alofi, the crossroads
by Government House, going southward in a counter clockwise direction to
finish at Liku. First come the descriptions and then the photos.
Utuko sea track and reef: by the new Crazy Uga cafe, a well maintained
sea track leads to the Utuko reef which is excellent for rockpooling. This
track is lit at night.
Kalaone sea track and reef: a short and easy track leads to the
sea where only a few steps over the reef flat bring you to a deep cleft
through which you can enter the sea. It is an excellent starting point
for a swim and snorkelling the outside reefs. The reef flats also has some
interesting rock pools with a surprising variety of life. At its southern
end is a sea cave. The track is lit at night.
Opaahi sea track: after leaving most of Alofi, past the Church of
Jesus Christ on your left, the Opaahi sea track leads direct to a place
where you can step into the sea to swim and snorkel the seaward side of
Opaahi reef on the right. This is the site of Captain cook's landing in
June 1774 as he met with a hostile reception and was himself almost hit
by a spear.
Whale lookout: opposite Alofi Rentals, whales are often seen. Here
the shore drops steeply to 40m depth, which allows whales the depth to
come close. There is no special facility.
Amanau reef and sea track: you've now passed Alofi Rentals, the
fuel station on right, the Airport turnoff on left. Opposite the fish processing
plant the Amanau track leads steeply to an interesting reef, excellent
Anaana lookout: you've now passed the quarry on left and the rubbish
dump on right, and there's a small loop road to your right. From here a
narrow track leads further to the rough coast of Anaana Point and an invisible
blowhole below. The trade swell curves round Tepa Point and arrives at
Anaana Point where it breaks in roaring fury and salt spray. Veer off the
track over the razor sharp coral rocks to see sculptures of the original
fossil corals embedded in this rock, carved by fast rain drops to their
Tamakautoga reef and Togulu sea track: in the village green of Tamakautoga
a short road leads to the sea. Steps lead down to a small beach and calm
water at high tide, a good place for small children. At low tide the reef
flats can be explored.
Pofitu sea track: you have passed the turnoff to the airport, Niue
Dive and the Matavai Resort. The Pofitu sea track ends in steep steps to
the reef flat. This is a large reef flat which extends from south of Anaana
Point almost to Avatele.
Avatele harbour: from the village green the road veers right and
descends into Avatele Harbour, the only place with a beach and a small
lagoon. There is a well used boat ramp and a derrick for hoisting boats.
A number of frequently used outrigger canoes are parked in a corner. The
Washaway Cafe overlooks the area and is a good place to be on weekend nights.
Avatele lagoon is an amazing place for snorkelling, even though fresh water
flows at the surface, troubling the water below. Should you swim out of
the harbour, be aware of strong outward currents when waves wash over the
reef into the lagoon at high tide. In such a case, swim back by the reef
side, with the waves, rather than against the main current in the deep
side by the cliff. The outer reefs are amazing and two coves further to
the left is Snake Gully.
Fatiau Tuai: at the end of the village green in Vaiea is an uneasy
track to the sea, but there are more tracks and one is easily lost. (to
be updated later)
Tuhia-atua reef and sea track: you pass the Vaiea nonu farm on your
left and arrive at Hakupu village. Somewhere on your right, past the old
school building is a good track to the sea. Make sure you keep going towards
the sea, oterwise you may get lost in the back blocks. The last bit is
a walked through a beautiful little sea cave onto a wide reef flat.
Anapala chasm: At the bottom-right of the parking, a sign leads
to a track towards the Anapala chasm which has a pool of fresh water. The
track is good and swimming in the fresh water of the chasm is a terrific
Vaotoi chasm: between Hakupu and Liku the road is not tar sealed
but leads through lush bush on both sides. (to be updated later)
Togo chasm: inside the Huvalu forest park is the entrance to the
Togo chasm. An interesting but not too difficult walk leads you through
the coastal forest to the saltspray zone where the forest abruptly ends.
Here begins an alien landscape of razor sharp pinnacles and sink holes
but a cemented path leads the way to the famous Togo Chasm. A long ladder
leads down into the chasm which is an inland beach, thrown there by the
sea during storms. In the chasm stand mature coconut palms. At the far
end the side collapsed, requiring one to climb over the rubble to the end
of the chasm, to find a green freshwater pool. By the ladder an interesting
cave with a roof window, leads out to sea, where a natural bridge can be
seen spanning the seething water.
Vaikona chasm and high pools: a long and arduous walk leads you
over the Namuke sea track, through the coastal forest with all its variety,
over razor sharp bommies and sink holes, under dense foliage to the Vaikona
cave (chasm) and a few steps further to the edge of the sea. Here you can
see the sea lashing the coast and spouting high up in the air to fill the
famous high pools of the tradewind side, protected by their atrocious conditions.
The Vaikona cave appeals to adventurers for its challenges. Along a steep
slippery slope one enters the underworld with ferns, lit from a chasm.
One comes to an underground pool of fresh water, which has to be crossed
by swimming and a long breath-hold dive to reach yet another one further
on. But signs at its entrance warn people off. It is a risky undertaking,
discouraged by the local community, the tourism operators and the police.
Perhaps there's a guide for you. Remember, there are no rescue teams around.
Even without entering the cave, the Vaikona track is an awesome experience
but one that requires reasonable fitness, good shoes and for safety, a
Ulupaka: a cave with many beautiful stalactites and stalagmites.
This is the territory of Tali's Cave Tours. Absolutely fantastic!! There
are wonderful rock formations, stalagmites and stalactites at every step
of the way, and this is a real winner. Because the caves are flat it's
not very difficult, although it can be slippery and there are a couple
of quite narrow squeezes. We were in each cave for about an hour and a
half. Tali is a great guide. Book Tali Magatogia (pronounce: Mangatongia)
at the tourist office in Alofi's shopping centre, or by email email@example.com
or firstname.lastname@example.org, Ph 683 3405.
0507363: the Crazy Uga cafe looks out over the sea and Opaahi
reef. The sea track begins on left. The reef was protected from exploitation
f045135: the Opaahi reef pools are clear and interesting
and full of life.
0507121: Amanau reef with excellent rock pools. This is the
left view of a panorama of the reef.
0507120: the right hand side of the Amanau reef panorama.
A steep ladder gives access to the reef.
f220503: as the trade swell curves round Tepa Point, it breaks
on the coast at Anaana Point, dousing the landscape in salt spray. The
rocks here are sharp and hard.
f221523: explore the fossil corals at Anaana Point excavated
by fast moving rain drops as the salt spray prevents vegetation from taking
f220505: from the centre of Tamakautoga village, a convenient
and short track leads to this small sandy beach with safe rock pools at
low tide. It's a little gem. In the distance Tepa Point that protects this
part of the shore.
0507351: At the end of the Pofitu sea track, steep steps
lead you onto the wide reef, here covered by the high tide.
f223127: the convivial Washaway Cafe at Avatele in the setting
sun light, a meeting point for visitors.
f220636: the Avatele boat ramp and derrick is of economic
importance for launching fishing boats, dive charters and so on.
f046324: many species of fish can be discovered when snorkelling
in Avatele harbour. Here a small school of convict tangs can be seen.
f046301: in the shelter of protecting rocks, corals can be
found in Avatele harbour.
f220718: the Tuhia-atua sea track leads through a small cave
to the reef flats.
f223226: the Tuhia-atua sea cave frames the view of the sea
and reef flats.
f220815: the forest ends abruptly at this sentinel coconut
tree which already shows salt spray damage.
f220732: an alien landscape of razor sharp craggy rocks with
poorly developed soils and minimum vegetation, is the coastal salt spray
habitat. A concreted path saves your shoes and leads safely to the Togo
f220801: a long ladder stands in the far distance where visitors
enter the Toga chasm. Mature coconut trees managed to establish them here
on this sandy beach.
f220809: next to the ladder is a small entrance that widens
to this sea cave with roof light. From the sea cave, the natural bridge
and seething sea can be seen. A cool trade wind blows through the cave.
f220814: from the top one can also see the natural bridge
and swell crashing onto the shore.
f223303: the Vaikona track is arduous but adventuresome.
It leads between and over sharp coral bommies and at times under the forest
f223304: Pandanus stilt roots are a sure sign of the coastal
zone. The track leads around and through them.
f223315: The Vaikona chasm, seen from above, is vegetated,
indicating that fresh water is around.
f223313: this is the foreboding entrance to the Vaikona chasm.
It leads down a 45 degree slippery slope with little to hold on to. One
must be well prepared for further exploration, which includes swimsuit
and snorkel mask, safety ropes and first-aid kit. Never enter alone.
f223307: at the edge of the sea, the vegetation suddenly
thins out. From here access to the reef flats is only for mountaineers.
f223310: this is a calm day at the Vaikona reef, as the waves
do not show white-caps further out in sea. It is low tide, yet the waves
still wash over the entire reef flat.
f223309: from here the high pools can be seen and waves
spouting 20 metres up in the air. These pools grow slowly upward and they
contain fish trapped there for life, sustained by mysterious mini ecosystems.