Visitors Having a ‘Whale of a Time in Niue.’

DESTINATION 🐳 Niue the ‘humpback highway.’

Niue has welcomed the first migratory Oceania humpback whales to their shores this week. The arrival marks an early start to the traditional season, which runs from July/October. During this time, pods of humpback arrive to calve and nurse their young in the sheltered sanctuary of Niue. The deep, pristine, tropical waters of Niue and its rich feeding grounds make Niue an appealing stop for the whales on their epic journey south along what is now known as the ‘humpback highway.’

Regarded as one of the premier locations in the world for whale watching and only
one of only three countries where people can swim with these majestic creatures this
season looks to already be one that mother nature will ensure the “bucket list” can be
fulfilled by the tourists now flocking back to the island since covid restrictions were fully
lifted in April this year.

Land-based whale watching is probably some of the best in the world. Visitors at the
‘Crazy Uga Café’ this week were treated to a lunch time special of breaching whales
just metres from shore while they enjoyed their fresh fish sandwiches. The arrival of
the whales is an addition to an already exciting array of nature-based experiences the
island is renowned for.

Director of Tourism Micah Fuhiniu-Viviani says, “The arrival of the whales is celebrated
across the island, but there is nothing quite like the spontaneous delight they bring to
visitors who may be just at a café, the hotel or one of our many scenic sites when a
pod swims by to show off their young or erupt into a display of “whale gymnastics.” No
matter how long you have been living in Niue, there is still something completely aweinspiring about the presence of these majestic marine mammals, especially how close
they come to our everyday life in Niue. In the past week, we have even had some
visitors report being woken by whale calls during the night.”

While not ones to take nature for granted or hold her to a schedule, the island’s small
band of tourism operators does gear itself up in anticipation of their arrival with several
ways for visitors to experience the whales from land or sea.
Land-based viewing platforms are positioned at vantage points around the island. At
the same time, ocean-side cafes and the Scenic Matavai Niue Resort offer excellent
viewing points with the added benefit of great local hospitality. The distinctive attribute
of whale watching in Niue is how close they come to shore. As a coral atoll that rises
out of the ocean, there is little-to-no shelf on Niue’s’ shoreline, meaning outside of the
lagoons and coves, it is sheer deep blue which also adds to the fishing or diving

For those wanting to immerse themselves into the world of the whales, on and
underwater experiences can be had with experienced local operators. In-water
interactions are carefully monitored and managed to uphold the safety and respect of
both humans and whales. New Zealand’s multi-award-winning tourism and dive
operator, Dive! Tutukaka, operates a Niue-based dive company, Niue Blue offering
experiential and educational encounters. Fish Niue also adds guided whale
encounters to their folio of exceptional water and nature-based activities.

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