Niue Geography and Climate

About 2,400km northeast of New Zealand is Niue, which is surrounded by a triangle consisting of Samoa, the Cook Islands and Tonga. This is an island where most of the inhabitants are of Polynesian origin and which is usually called “The Rock” which refers to the island’s traditional name “Rock of Polynesia”. Niue is classified as a self-governing state in free association with New Zealand and it is precisely New Zealand that is responsible for a lot of Niue’s diplomatic relations. Those who live on the island have New Zealand citizenship and the British monarch acts as head of state.

Geography and climate

This island is a coral reef in the South Pacific, and there are three nearby coral reefs without land. These are: the Beveridge reef which lies below the surface but dries when there is low tide, the Antiope reef which is a round plateau with a diameter of about 400 meters, and the Haran reef.

Niue is considered one of the world’s largest coral islands and the coasts are lined with high limestone cliffs and coral reefs. The coral reef has only one proper opening on the west coast near the capital Alofi. Along the coast there are also plenty of limestone caves and a lot of nice beaches where you can swim and get close to nature. There are places where you can swim with sea snakes that are certainly poisonous but still harmless.

The island has an oval shape with a diameter of about 18 km. There are two large bays on the west coast. Alofi Bay is in the middle of the west coast while Avatele Bay is in the south. It is precisely on the west coast of these bays and around the capital that most of the island’s inhabitants live.

On this island there is land that has a fairly unique chemical structure. High levels of iron and aluminum oxides and also of mercury have been measured in some places. In addition, it has been possible to measure very high levels of natural radioactivity. The earth’s constituents are very similar to those found on deep seabeds, but it seems that the island’s soil originates in weathered coral reefs. The radioactivity found on the island has not led to health problems, which is probably due to the fact that it is not so high that the population would be affected by it.

According to, the climate on the island is tropical and this means that it is hot and humid and that you have a rainy season between November and April.


It is believed that the indigenous people of Niue came from Samoa and from Tonga. During the beginning of the 18th century, there does not seem to have been a national leadership or a leader. Instead, several different leaders led parts of the population. Sometime during the 18th century, the tradition of a royal house was introduced. The first European to see Niue was James Cook who came to the island in 1774. He made three attempts to land but did not get permission from the inhabitants to climb the island. He gave the name Wild Island, which must have been because those who came to welcome him were painted in what appeared to be blood. Niue was long known as Wild Island or Savage Island in English until they started using the original name Niu─ô which means “see the coconut”.

Niue Geography