With water clarity ranked amongst the very best in the world, Niue offers an unrivalled dive experience. Visibility is often over 70 metres with many caves, coral walls and drop-offs.
Pristine hard coral reefs are home to endemic species such as the Niuean sea krait, the katuali, which is very placid and highly curious, and often seen along with turtles, reef sharks, maori wrasse, schools of trevally, pufferfish, lionfish, eagle rays, ribbon eels, shrimps, clams and gorgonia fans.
Numerous dive sites offer a range of experiences and hidden gems, from Snake Gully to Bubble Cave. Snake Gully is Niue’s signature site, a cavern crammed with painted crayfish, sea snakes by the dozen (sometimes hundred), and schools of barracuda, all in less than 20 metres.
In Bubble Cave you can surface inside an enclosed chamber with an unworldly vista of large stalactites. nudibranchs, crayfish, lionfish and a nursery of hatchlings often head here to seek shelter. In the caves fish will often orientate themselves upside down!
Marine Protected Area
Niue’s Marine Protected Area (MPA) covers 40% of the island’s ocean territory, a massive 127,000 square kilometres including as well the nearby Beveridge Reef, an uninhabited, semi-submerged atoll with the largest density of grey reef sharks in the world. National Geographic’s Pristine Seas operation named it one of just 17 pristine sites in the world.
Niue Coral Reef Restoration Project
A coral nursery set up two years ago aims to propagate coral species to restore their numbers, particularly in rarer coral species. Recently the team made the exciting discovery of a Staghorn Coral (Acropora Nobilis) previously thought extinct there. The initial focus for coral out planting has been of Branch Coral (Acropora Florida) to make dive sites in Alofi South even more attractive to fish and divers.
Niue is one of the only places where you can swim with humpback whales just metres off shore. Migrating humpback whales come regularly between June and October each year. Niue is a signatory to the Whale Sanctuary for Endangered Oceania Humpbacks and committed to promoting understanding of the whales, hence interactions are only permitted with licensed operators, respecting the whales’ privacy and visitors’ safety. Swimming with, or even just seeing these whales can literally be a life changing experience.
Two fully certified, professional dive operators are on hand with “learn to dive” courses also available.