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Dive Review of Dive Niue/Matavai in

March, 2003, an Instant Reader Report by Ann & Dan Goldsberry, CO, USA
Report Number 420
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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,
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, rainy  
calm, surge, noCurrents  
Water Temp
82   to 84    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
100   to 200    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Be safe and have fun.  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  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
Boat Facilities
Overall rating for UWP's  
Shore Facilities  
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):
3 stars
4 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
1 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
4 stars   
4 stars    
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

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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