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Dive Review of Dive Niue/Matavai in
Niue

 
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Dive Niue/Matavai, Mar, 2003,

by Ann & Dan Goldsberry, CO, USA . Report 420.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Bahamas, Saba, USVI, BVI, The Three Caymans, Cozumel, Belize, Akumal, Panama, Hawaii, Great Barrier Reef, Coral Sea, PNG, Maldives, Thailand, Myanmar
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, rainy Seas calm, surge, noCurrents
Water Temp 82 to 84 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 2
Water Visibility 100 to 200 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Be safe and have fun.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas None
Dolphins Schools Whale Sharks None
Turtles None Whales None
Corals 3 stars Tropical Fish 3 stars
Small Critters 3 stars Large Fish 3 stars
Large Pelagics 1 stars

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter N/A Boat Facilities N/A
Overall rating for UWP's N/A Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments Diving is done from hard-bottom inflatables. One can bring a camera and they'll be glad to hand it to you and retreive it upon return. There are rinse facilites available after the few minute trip back to shore.

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 3 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 1 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments Niue is an island of uplifted coral so there are no beaches, but all rainflows down into the island instead of entering the ocean as runoff. This means exceptionally clear water. Poor visibility in Niue is still well over 100 feet. No beaches also means the inflatable hard bottom dive boats are lowered into the water by winches as most of the island's coast consists of dramatic cliffs. The people are very friendly and helpful and everyone, from the dive operators to the hotel staff, went out of their way to make sure we were comfortable and taken care of. Niue is a totally unspoiled island with a minimum 'touristy' development. It makes for a holiday in a quiet and natural setting.

The diving consists mostly of close in sites with a wealth of caves, chasms and swim throughs filled with crayfish and schooling fish. One cave, the Bubble Cave, opened up to a cathedral of stalactites above the water. Ledges above the water in the caves frequently had sea snakes taking a break from the water. In fact sea snakes are prevalent on every dive. And on one dive, at Snake Gulley, snakes were so plentiful that their behavior of returning to the surface for air left a curtain of snakes in almost every direction. The night dive at this site was quite exciting as the snakes would constantly move into and out of view. Diving with the snakes at Niue was different than in Thailand or Myanmar in that the Niue snakes are not
timid or easily spooked. In fact they are curious and frequently follow along to see what divers are doing. As in much of the South Pacific we found many beautiful hard corals and a fair number of soft corals. Octopus, three species of lion fish, squadrons of squid, an occasional anemone fish, blue ribbon eels, nudibranchs, bump-headed blue parrots, three species of moray eels and the occasional white tip shark made every dive a discovery. And of course, being the South
Pacific there were the colorful giant clams, including baby giant clams. Oh, I almost forgot, there were schools of dolphin along side the inflatable several times and in their winter whales are present right off shore.

The water was virtually flat, though we were told this was the rough season and the water temperature ranged from 82 to 84 degrees.

If you go, Dive Niue is the only operator and they're are great to dive with. Ian and Annie are ex-Mike Ball dive instructor trainers and trip directors that we had dived with previously at the Great Barrier Reef and in the Coral Sea. Dive Niue usually does a two tank dive trip in the morning, getting back just after lunch time. They will do afternoon or night dives on request and will even recommend the best days for it based upon weather and tides. They have a new gear wash and lock up facility so you only lug your gear to and from the shop on the first and last day. They are a pleasure to dive with!

There are a handful of places to stay on the island that are quite
comfortable. There are no luxury accommodations but one, the Matavai
Resort, has air conditioning and very nice rooms. It also has one of the better restaurants on the island.

Getting there is pretty much by Polynesian Air via Auckland or Samoa.
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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

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