There are a lot of destinations in the world that claim to be off the beaten track, or say they offer an untouched paradise.
But there are few places where such statements could be as true as on the South Pacific island of Niue.
That’s because few places in the world are as secluded, and as exclusive, as this tiny island nation, whose total population numbers just 1,500.
As guests at a recent Niue event in Melbourne discovered, Niue is one of the world’s largest coral islands, which means it doesn't have white sand shores, but rather spectacular limestone cliffs that meet the water.
Niue does offer a plethora of beautiful beaches and swimming holes however, in places visitors are guaranteed to have to themselves.
“We want to give you an island where you can experience something you will experience anywhere else in the South Pacific“ Tourism Niue’s Richard Skewes told Traveltalk at the event.
“You may not know us as a tourist destination but that doesn't mean we're backwards.”
In fact, travel to the island is moving forwards, with Skewes telling us the tourism market to Niue was becoming increasingly popular not just with divers, but also with honeymooners and even families.
And families heading to Niue can expect to meet the friendliest people on earth, we’re told throughout the evening.
“You’ll arrive as a visitor, but leave as a relative” seems to be the norm in these parts.
But the main theme behind the Melbourne event, as with much of Niue itself, is its scuba diving.
According to Buccaneer Adventures Niue Dive owner and operator, Shannon Hunter, underwater visibility in Niue can reach up to 87 metres, and never drops below 30 metres, giving it arguably the clearest waters in the world.
Add to this countless caves, nearly all of which are accessible to divers with just an open water licence, and a huge array of marine life, and visitors will find in Niue one of the world’s premier diving destinations.
What’s more, with the self-governed nation being just one island, there’s no need to travel to outer isles to reach any of its dive points, Hunter tells us.
Air New Zealand commenced flying between Auckland and Niue in 2005, and although it is not one of airline’s most well known or biggest destinations, according to Air New Zealand business development representative Kirstie Dyer Grose it is a very important market for the carrier, and one of which Air NZ is very proud.
Until recently, the Kiwi carrier had flown just one flight per week between Auckland and Niue, Ms Dyer Grrose said.
But following the success of the introduction of its twice weekly service this year, the carrier has decided to continue with two weekly flights to Niue between April and October 2015, Niue’s peak season.
The Melbourne event was organised by wholesaler, Allways Dive Expeditions, who have a dedicated Niue dive brochure. For more information on Allways Dive, visit www.allwaysdive.com.au
Niue trivia: The hit song “How Bizarre” was performed by Niue native OMC.
Note: “Fakalofa Lahi Atu” means “warm welcome” in Niuean, a Polynesian language.
Has Niue ever crossed your mind as a holiday destination?