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Hio & Namukulu Sea Tracks

Hio Sea Track is just beside the road North of Alofi, after you pass the Palaha Caves track. Namukulu is about 500 metres ahead of Hio. The sign on the road is visible from the distance, and the track is short but steep, maybe taking 10 minutes or so to go down and an eternity to come back up. We arrived in Hio 1 hour before low tide. Our plans were to snorkel in open sea water because  the ocean looked more like a lake than like a sea. Unfortunately it didn't happened because once we got down on the little beach, we discovered that we forgot the snorkelling gear in the boot of the car. The day was pristine with no winds but with some rain developing in the far distance. That day was also very hot, but we went straight to refresh ourselves in the rock pools. I was planning to go back to the car to grab our snorkelling gear but in that heat we both decided it was not a wise thing to do.

After our bodies got refreshed, we decided to go for some reef exploration. At least, we didn't forgot the reef shoes and we spent about 1 hour walking on the reef. The first thing we noticed was some small volcano shaped shell strongly attached to the reef flat which some parts seems like harvested. Later, Rupina from Kololi's Guesthouse (the fantastic place we stayed in Niue) told us that these shells are not only eatable but they are also a delicacy in Niue. (two days later she got some for us to try it and It tastes fantastic!). Another inhabitant of the reef we found in large amounts were, black sea cucumbers. They were everywhere, and several times I almost stepped on some of them.

Different from other reef flats in Niue, this one had almost no corals or much sea life, suggesting it was badly hit by cyclone Heta. We've found some water holes with some blue fishes (Damsels) but no corals, neither re growing corals were to be found. This fact amazed us because 500 meters before in front of Palaha Caves we saw a forest of young corals about 20 cm high, but in this place there was nothing. The reef flat was just like a desert. Anyway, we spend some more time enjoying ourselves in the rock pools and went back to the car with our mind refreshed and ready for another exploration.

We drove a little bit ahead on the road and stopped again to explore another Sea Track. This one had no sign on the road but we've found out the name is Namukulu Village and the view from the top of the cliff was very inviting. The track was easier than the one in Hio, with a couple of wood bridges over rocks to facilitate the access. Is not as steep either, in reality a very easy one. The only problem with this track is that at the very end, there are some concrete stair near the water and they are very very very slippery. Celia tested her shock absorbers (bum) twice and I was like a spider, with legs and arms spread, trying to grab any peace of rock around me. Once again, we spend some time exploring the reef with the same results of the one in Hio, meaning there wasn't too many marine life to be seen, but at least the view of the coast from the reef flat was very beautiful.

With calm seas it is possible to snorkel or swim in the open ocean

View of Namukulu Reef at low tide

Sea cucumbers are abundant

A Mushroom shaped rock with shallow pools around

Namukulu Sea Track - Watch out for 2 very slippery stairs near the water edge.

The tide is coming up but the sea is so calm there are no waves washing the reef.

It is a long but deserted reef - Panorama of 4 photos stitched together

 

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