Arches & Caves
ready for another unforgettable
adventure in Niue. Now, you're going to leave
civilization behind and enter a world so pure and
beautiful you'll feel like stepping back in time. Sorry no
Dinosaurs found there yet, but the sensation in Talava
Arches is that a Dino is around the corner. Talava is a
complex place of Caves and Arches located at the Northwest part
of Niue. It is not too difficult to reach by foot
taking between 35 to 50 minutes walking, depending on the
pace you take and the fitness level you have. The track
is not mountainous with not many steep hills to climb, but
it has lots of sharp corals and unlevel parts that may not
be suitable for people with mobility problems or for the
very young and very old. The only thing we can say
is...:" If you think you can make it, do not miss
it". A pair of walking sticks will be of great value
and tennis shoes not sandals. You don't need to
carry snorkelling gear because there is no place for such
activity there, but bring plenty of water with you. In
Australian terms, it is classified as "moderate"
adventure stars near
the village of Hikutavake at a point where the bitumen road does
a sharp curve from the coast to the interior of the
Island. You'll see a large grassy area with toilets where
you can park your car. It is the same car park you use to
go to Matapa Chasm, the only difference is that instead of
strait down to Matapa, like Celia is doing in the photo,
you must take the track up at your right, just behind the
coconut palm on this photo is a soft inclination that
ends up becoming a flat trail in less than 50 meters.
the track become very uneven with plenty of sharp coral
rocks to walk on. It is not as difficult as the photo
shows but one must take care and watch every step. The thicker,
the sole of your shoes is the better. This is the ideal time to
use your walking sticks, but we did the
entire track without one and without any problems. There are
two rest areas which consists of a trunk of a tree supported
on two coral rocks. Along the track you may see
plenty of butterflies, crabs, Hermit crabs, lizards, and
with luck a coconut crab. When you are about to arrive,
there is a 50 meters part which is downhill but not too
steep. It ends up at the entrance of a cave.
the cave gives
a great sensation. There is not too much clearance for the
head and tall guys may have to bend to make its way in. A
huge stalagmite, force a decision if one goes around by
the left or right side but both are going to the same
place. Than, the whole cave shows its explendour. Huge columns
of Stalatactites and Stalagmites are everywhere,
the colours are breathtaking and you must take care with
some slippery wet parts. Usually, any wet part with any colour
except green and brown are safe to walk on it, but
of course take care, especially when doing inclinator areas or doing small jumps from one rock to another.
cave has two exists,
one to the sea and is dangerous when waves are big, and
the other is a semi-circular gorge where the Arches are.
This area is also breathtaking with the huge arches above
your head and the walls of the gorge which also have smaller caves. We spent about half
an hour just appreciating
the magnificent work of nature, listening only to the
sound of waves crashing over the reef and water dropping from the cave and arches, falling on small water holes.
Unfortunately, no dinosaurs appeared. To go down to the
green area which is the bottom of the gorge (photo) one
will have to make its way down a steep but short rocky
part using your hands to grab firmly in the rock slots. It
is just 4 or 5 metres, and also not very difficult to do.
Once under the arches, the big Arch that meets the Ocean
can be seen (bigger photo on the top of this page).
spent about 5 hours exploring
Talava Arches including the time that took us to go and
come back to the car park. It is beautiful, it is fantastic, but please
remember that any help you need will be
very far away, so, take care and watch your step the same
way you look for cars when cross a street. There is a reef
flat from the two first arches to the third arch but it
can be crossed only with very calm see and at very low
tide, other ways, it is very dangerous to go there. Have
fun and don't miss this place.
on the track on will find rest areas to rest your
feet from the sharp coral
end of the track and the entrance of the cave
the cave in a colourful world
our way inside the cave and pillars The ceiling looks like gold
two arches just outside one exit of the cave
the way to the first arch. It is not as scary as
the photo suggests.
the arch (now wearing reef shoes).
caves on the walls of the gorge
On the way back from Talava, at the car park, just take
the short and easy track to have a refreshing swim at
Matapa Chasm. It will be a great adventure.