Alofi, the capital of Niue island, or “The Rock” as it is known to its inhabitants. The island has a population of only around 600 inhabitants, giving it the modest title of being the second smallest capital “city” in the world. The island does boast an international airport but despite this, tourism is not as rife here as in some of the other, better known Polynesian idylls.
Niue has a distinctive beauty all of its own. Think less of the sweeping, romantic beaches for which Polynesia is famous and more sheltered rocky coves, jewel-like reef pools, headlands, tropical forest, coconut plantations and neat, colourful villages scattered throughout the island’s 100 sq.m. The crystal clear waters and limestone caves of beautiful Alofi Bay offer spectacular snorkelling opportunities.
The island is sometimes referred to as its ancient name of Savage Island. Niueans’ nature of worship was in the past joyful and ecstatic. Islanders would receive the power of the divine by dancing around a campfire. These ceremonies, called tugi e mama (lighting the fires) were especially used before going to war, when a priest or shaman would light a fire and call out to the gods to come to the aid of the troops who were about to enter in battle. As one of Polynesia’s poorer islands, today Niue has no organised religion, although islanders are incredibly spiritual. Thus, there are no real places of worship but rather areas of land – known as taugas - marked out and reserved solely for the breeding of birds and crabs.