I don’t know about you, but personally, I’ve seen countless ‘what to pack’ blog posts and articles across the web and in print and so I never thought there’d be a need for me to write my own! I also find that everywhere I’ve been so far, I tend to pack exactly the same things, with a few adjustments for the climate I’m visiting. However, after a recent trip to the tiny pacific island of Niue, I now have a destination that I can share some helpful advice on.
- Reef shoes – Christian and I were lucky enough to borrow some from friends for this trip and I’m honestly not sure that we could have seen what we saw without them. The reef can be a little unforgiving under foot, with a large amount of coral on the coast lines and in the water, so having a pair of these in your luggage is a great idea!
- Snorkel equipment – if you don’t own any of your own or there’s no value in purchasing it, you can hire what you need from the dive shop (there’s only one on the island) for a very reasonable fee – snorkel masks and flippers are available for around $15-25 a day;
Sneakers – with so, so much exploring to do on this tiny island, sneakers are a must for seeing the sites! These will help you pass over the coral, tree stumps, rocks and the uneven ground that leads to most of the caves and cenotes around the coast.
- GoPro/underwater camera equipment – this island is a divers dream. The coral reef is teaming with sea life and in the right season you can also have the chance to swim with dolphins and whales! You’ll want to be able to capture as much of your time underwater as you can, so you can relive it over and over when you get home (and of course make your friends and family green with envy over your adventures in the deep blue).
- Thongs/Jandals/Flip flops/Sandals – whatever you call them, we all own at least one pair, and these will serve well as your every day shoe on the island! Don’t even think about packing your favourite pair of heels – they’ll never leave your suitcase. We even wore our jandals out to dinner and when we went dancing on Saturday night;
- Bathers – as many pairs as you can possibly pack! You’ll want to spend every minute that you can in the water so having enough options to work with is worthwhile;
- Clothes – when choosing what to take, keep in mind that the Niueans are quite conservative, so when you’re spending time in town, dining out or if you’re lucky enough to catch one of their cultural events, try to be respectful and cover up. Nothing as extreme as head to toe coverage – in the words of my friend Shanny ‘don’t show too much T(its) & A(ss)’! Take as many lightweight pieces as you can to help combat the heat such as flowing maxi skirts, shorts that come close to your knees (cotton or linen are best for comfort), light blouses/t-shirts, and dresses. A sarong is also a good option, to wear over your bikini in public so as not to offend the locals. You can get away with less coverage when you’re out exploring the gorgeous cave systems and some of the beaches, as you’re very likely to have those places all to yourself;
- Sunscreen – Don’t forget to pack a bottle of SPF 30/50+. On a clear, sunny day in the warmer months, the sun here can be a little unforgiving;
- Bug Spray – although we didn’t come across too many insects on the island, there are a few that can bite (namely mosquitos) so it’s best to use some spray, particularly in the late afternoon/evening.
- Beach Towel – this one is a no brainer for an island escape;
- Sunhat – I wore my straw boater so often during our stay, but the one morning that I didn’t saw my scalp suffer from some fairly painful sunburn. Save your poor head and bring a hat or two for some much needed protection from the sun!