Beautiful Niue tops Lonely Planet Lists
Niue tops Lonely Planet Lists
23 November, 2010. Snorkeling just 20 metres above a whale and her calf saw the Niue ‘Snorkeling with the Whales’ top the list of Lonely Planet writer, Brett Atkinson’s five best experiences in the Pacific. The Auckland based travel writer has spent the past five years on the Lonely Planet circuit covering exceptional travel experiences right around the globe.
Atkinson first visited Niue in 2002 and has comfortably covered every Pacific destination on the map. A self confessed advocate for the destination, he says, “Niue is one of those places where once you go there, you become an absolute advocate for the place.” Atkinson also admits that his first visit to the island atoll was “surprising” in a way that exceeded his expectations.
Clearly, the word is getting out as Atkinson’s enthusiasm reflects the upward trend of kiwis choosing to visit Niue. Currently tracking at 40 percent up on the same time last year, the island’s Senior Tourism Development Manager, Hayden Porter remains firmly optimistic with the current marketing programme in place to finish the year with a 30-40 percent target of growth on previous year.
Activities such as snorkeling with the whales are make up just one of the number of compelling reasons to visit Niue says Porter citing other on and under water activities such as big game fishing and diving with 70m visibility as key attractants to visitors seeking a soft adventure holiday with a difference.
For a seasoned traveler such as Atkinson, the compact, yet idiosyncratic landscape and the people as key distinguishing features and highlights of the destination, Atkinson says it takes as little as “an hour and a half, and then everyone knows you, and you them.” Niue is one of the few places Atkinson has been, where from the moment you arrive, you cast off your shackles of city life and simply have to relax.