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Matapa Chasm

 Matapa Chasm is located at the Northwest part of Niue near the village of Hikutavake. It is the same parking grassy area at the start of the track, Talava Arches. At a point the bitumen road does a sharp bend from the coast to the interior of the Island, you will see the grassy parking area and toilets. The track is very easy and a person walking slowly won't take more than 10 minutes to get there. It is one of the most favourite places for locals to go as well as for few experts living in Niue. The sign beside the road showing Matapa and Talava is clearly visible and located at the bend.

  From the car park all you have to do is follow the large track. Don't take the right track otherways you'll end up at Talava Arches The track to Matapa is a soft hill down, very wide in some points, and narrow at the end. You don't need any special shoes to walk there because there is no sharp corals to negotiate or obstacles to trespass. Sandals are fine, but we recommend reef shoes which we used in most places in Niue until the end. The track itself is beautiful, cut in the coral cliff and surrounded by dense bushes surronded with butterflies along the way. (photo)

 If you wish, take snorkelling gear (don't need fins) because there is no currents in this long and narrow pool. The water  is a slow up and down movement due to the waves breaking outside the chasm. There aren't too many fish or corals to be seen, but it is fun snorkelling which seems especially tailored for beginners. The maximum depth is about 6 meters and visibility is good as soon as you dive to past the cold water layer that stays at the surface, the same way it happens at Limu Pools. The water is very refreshing but the place you enter the water (right side) is also the place the fresh water enter the pool, so, it is a bit cold at the beginning but as far as you swim into the chasm it will get warmer. If you visit Talava Arches, it is a good idea to stop and refresh at Matapa at the end of the journey.

The best time to visit Matapa Chasm is around noon due to the high walls on both sides of the chasm. The Sun can only penetrate around this time and can get quite cold in the shade specially if there is a breeze blowing. Some locals jump from the top of the wall in Tarzan style jumps, but to tell you the truth, I have no idea how they get to the top. Take special care when entering the pool because when we were there, rocks at the bottom were very slippery, covered with a layer of some kind of algae. The concrete platform was very slippery too. Passing 1 or 2 meters with shallow rocks at the bottom the rest of the pool was deep. At the left side of the chasm, along almost the entire length, you will find at water level, a long rock bump which you can seat on it to rest or for just appreciate the high walls of the Chasm. Matapa Chasm is a very easy, relaxing and refreshing activity to do in Niue. Don't miss it.

There are some rock platforms where you can sit down in the water to refresh and appreciate the beauty of the Chasm.

 

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