Alofi is the capital and largest settlement of the island of Niue and has a population of about 580 inhabitants. The village consists of two smaller vilages, aptly named Alofi South (434 residents) and Alofi North (134 residents). Tthe government headquarters are located in Alofi South. Alofi is located at the westcoast of the island along Alofi Bay, opposite the only break in the coral reef that surrounds Niue. You can base yourself in Alofi to explore the island or go out to snorkel or dive with whales.
In January 2004, Niue was hit by the fierce tropical storm Cyclone Heta which killed two people and did extensive damage to the entire island. Many of Alofi's buildings were destroyed, including the hospital. Government buildings were shifted to a less exposed site 3 kilometres inland from the westcoast, named Fonuakula, after the storm. This site is still within the village boundaries of Alofi South.
The two villages of Alofi South and Alofi North combine to make the capital city of Alofi.
Niue’s first festival of the year combines solemn prayers with lively ‘drive bys’ where people drive around in brightly-decorated vehicles. In fact, the word takai means ‘going around’ in English. Each day of this festival during the first week of January is filled with sporting competitions, dancing, and daily church services. Many motorists toss sweets to children while driving the full 40 miles around Niue’s main ring road. All government offices are closed during this island-wide holiday.
Each February 6, the people of Niue observe this New Zealand national holiday on the anniversary of the date the country’s founding document, the Treaty of Waitangi, was signed in 1840. Like their counterparts in New Zealand, Niueans celebrate this special day with speeches, concerts, and relaxation on the beach. Reggae music is sometimes played in honor of Bob Marley, whose birthday also falls on this date.
Every other April, Niue hosts this fascinating arts and culture festival to celebrate the island’s culture. Many Niueans who live abroad flock back to their homeland to reconnect with their families and loved ones. This festival attracts many of the island’s finest dancers, musicians, visual artists, photographers, and artisans from home and abroad alike.
Like their counterparts in Australia, New Zealand, and many other South Pacific islands, the people of Niue observe this April 25 holiday honoring military veterans. The island’s first Anzac Day in 1947 was also the same day the village of Mutalau unveiled its war memorial commemorating the villagers who served in the WWI Niue Contingent. This day typically includes a church service, and umu kai feast, and storytelling sessions.
Each second Sunday in May, the people of Niue celebrate this holiday in tandem with Mother’s Day. On White Sunday, children sing songs, perform skits, and give church sermons while dressed in new white clothing. A feast of chicken, taro, and sweets follows. This holiday is also celebrated in Samoa and Tonga.
This holiday, known as aho he maama in Niuean, falls on the first Monday after the island’s Constitution Day, which falls on October 19. This is the day Niue adopted the constitution which granted the island its current autonomous, self-governing territory status. Peniamina Day, on the other hand, is named after and celebrated in honor of the Niue-born and Samoa-trained pastor who successfully brought Christianity to the island.
Alofi features a tropical rainforest climate under the Koppen climate classification, with no discernable dry season. The city has a noticeably drier stretch from June through September. However, all of these months average more than 60 mm of rain, the limit for a dry season month. Like other cities with this climate, average temperatures remain relatively constant throughout the year, with temperatures averaging around 25 °C throughout the year.
There are no regular ferries or other boats making the trips to Niue, so your only option are by private yacht which can enter at Alofi wharf.
Transport in Niue takes place on a road network, and via an (international) airport and the sea port. A ring road around the island's coast is the major route, and roads cross the central plateau linking Alofi to the villages of Lakepa, Liku and Hakupu on the opposite coast. All villages in Niue are connected by roads. There are utility roads to the inland and some coastal areas, unsealed, used mainly for accessing taro plantations, coconut areas and walking access to the sea.
Because of Niue's size there is no public transport network. You can however order a taxi.
With a mix of sealed road, dirt track, slow drivers and almost no traffic makes the island a great place for cycling. Also every May there is an annual cycling race that circuits around the islands ring road.
Internet is widely available. Niue is the only country in the world to boost the fact that its Government offers everyone free access to the internet.
See also International Telephone Calls
Landlines are available, but there is no cell phone coverage at all.
The post office is located near South Pacific Bank in the Commercial Center in downtown Alofi.
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