By Annie Gray, image Colin Gans
There is nothing new on Niue isnt that great?! In a world where everything is changing faster than we could ever imagine, Niue is one of the few places on earth where life is predictable and routine and what a wonderful routine it is!
Wake when the sun comes up (or with a little help from the neighbourhood roosters); enjoy a healthy tropical breakfast plucked from a tree in your garden; jump on the dive boat for a 5 minute ride to the dive site (get diverted by a group of playful dolphins); slide into 40 metre plus visibility; marvel at the healthy coral reefs and friendly sea snakes; have another play with the dolphins then dive into some caverns before returning for lunch.
Spend your afternoons lazing by the pool, snorkeling, caving, mountain biking, reef walking, or watching the sunset with cocktail in hand there are none of the latest get fit fads here just lots of good old fashioned fun.
Chances are the people who helped make your last trip so memorable will be there again on your next one the people running the accommodations, the dive trips, the fishing trips the bush walks, the cave tours almost all of them are owner operators so they all have a vested interest in making your holiday as special as possible.
There are no shopping malls, no ATMs, no video arcades and no plans to get them. When change does occur here, it tends to be low key and for the better.
Niue is the sort of place where the opening of a new cafÃ© makes headlines, where a change in menu at a restaurant is talked about for weeks and where new tourism developments blend into the local villages.
Underwater, the same anemone fish that captured your attention last time, will be there waiting for you next time. The Moorish idols will still be hanging out at the same spot. The ribbon eel will still be hopelessly camouflaged near the same piece of coral. The maori wrasse will still turn up for their regular appointment at the cleaning station. And the sea snakes will still be slumbering half their lives away at Snake Gully.
Visibility will still be outstanding no matter the weather, the caverns will always shelter hidden treasures and nature rather than schedule will always dictate where we dive.
The spinner dolphins will still be riding in our bow wave. The humpback whales will still show up every winter to mate and to calve and visitors to Niue will still be able to have intimate interactions with these creatures because mass tourism doesnt exist here!
You will still be able to find a sandy cove to have all to yourself; an idyllic reef pool where you are the only distraction for the fish; a bush track so deserted you wonder if youve stumbled across long forgotten territory.