Untouched, Underdocumented: Photos from the Island of Niue

It has been a little while since my last entry, largely because I recently returned from a 10-week stint in the South Pacific with a mountain of raw files. The wet weather we’ve had in Banff this past week has allowed me to start putting a dent into the editing, so here I am with some images from Niue.

We moved around a lot on this latest visit to the South Pacific (check out my wife & freelance writer Meghan Ward’s blog at AdventurousParents.com for more on that). Until the dust settles I am left with a whirlwind of memories involving beaches, turquoise waters and exotic creatures. Out of those jumbled recollections, our week on the tiny island of Niue emerges as one major highlight. 

Despite its size, Niue, the world’s smallest independent nation, stands out – largely because of its unique geography. Unlike the vast majority of the landmasses that speckle the South Pacific, Niue is practically devoid of beaches, due to the fact that it is a raised coral atoll. What it lacks on the more traditional vacation seekers’ list (beaches, tourism infrastructure, nightlife, shopping, etc.) it makes up for in caves, arches, cliffs, adventurous hikes, crystal-clear waters and a truly remote feel. From a strictly photographic standpoint, not a whole lot has been done in Niue, and I felt I was given a fresh canvas to work with. Even if I had wanted to let my vision be influenced (for better or worse) by online images, that would not have been an option since very few photographers have explored the island thoroughly with modern gear.

It rained five out of seven days while we were on Niue, but I tried to make the most of the windows we were given to document that magical place as best as I could. Here is a photographic summary of how amazing and unique this place really is.

Please click on the first photo to start the slideshow.