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Travel Directory / Oceania / Tokelau

Tokelau Travel Guide

Tokelau is colonial territory of New Zealand which is composed of three tropical coral atolls located in the South Pacific Ocean. The Tokelau Islands are sometimes referred as by Westerners as "The Union Island". Tokelau is not a very wealthy community, as it's an annual purchasing power is about US$1,000 per capita.

Do you want to get away from it all? Do you need rest and relaxation? Well head off to Tokelau. In Tokelau there is no capital city, no airport, no harbor, no cars, no banks and no guns. What it can give you is the fantastic lagoon diving and Polynesian culture at its most untouched.

The best date to visit Tokelau is starting from april to october. The rain eases a little bit, and brings some relief from the heat. Between decembers to march is cyclone season, when the trip from Samoa to Tokelau could be rough.

Each atoll of Tokelau has a school and hospital, which is a good thing for the natives and tourists. Many Tokelauan youth travels to New Zealand to further improve their education and the ship is full around Christmas time, as there are a lot of students returning home and then heading off again for another year of study.

Atafu (or Duke of York Island) is the north-western atoll of the Tokelau or Union group. Atafu is a low coral atoll and is triangular in outline. A partial break in the island nearly divides Atafu into two islets.

Atafu is the smallest and northernmost of Tokelau's three main atolls. It is the most traditional of the three atolls. There are rationed alcohol sales and a greater reliance on old-style dugout canoes. Building wood is abundant in Atafu, and is the island with most kanava (traditional houses), but they are increasingly being replaced by cyclone-proof housing.

The main settlement on the atoll Nujunonu is located on Nukunonu Island near the south west edge of the lagoon; A Concrete bridge joining the two areas of settlement. Tokelau Islands have only one hotel, the Luana Liki Hotel. And only one resort, Falefa Resort, both hotel and resort are situated on Nukunonu. Tokelauans wants to keep the country unaffected by the outside world, as they know the pollution and destruction affecting the countries all over. But despite their self preserving attitude, visitors are greeted with traditional Polynesian hospitality. The Luana Liki Hotel's main function is to serve as comfortable accommodation to official visitors of the country.

Fakaofo is another major atoll, and is formerly known as Bowditch Island. The actual land area of Fakaofo is ranges only about 3 km², and consists of small islets on a coral reef surrounding a central lagoon of some 45 km². The main settlement on the island is located on Fakaofo Islet, which is situated towards the western side of the atoll. To the west of it is the relatively large Fenua Fala Islet. The other islets in the Fakaofo includes Teafua, Nukumatau, Nukulakia, Fenua Loa, Saumatafanga, Motu Akea, Matangi, Lalo, and Mulifenua.