Archive for July 26th, 2010

The Chasms of Niue

Monday, July 26th, 2010

Niue (“The Rock”) is an upthrusted coral atoll. Over time the limestone has dissolved in many areas to make a landscape worthy of science fiction.

NiueSaturday 038

We set off in the rental car on Saturday morning to see Togo and Vaikona Chasms. 

Steamy “trails” led through the karst formations. The jungle was pungent with sweet organic decay. Spider webs blanketed our faces in each narrow spot.

NiueSaturday 140 

The fact that anything lives in this landscape is amazing…

Niue2 019

The unexpected oasis of palms and and freshwater pools at Togo Chasm is worth the 1200 nm trip across the mid south Pacific.

NiueSaturday 047

A sturdy 50 ft ladder leads down to the sandy bottom of the chasm…

NiueSaturday 065

…where the palms queue up to share the slim shaft of salt spray sunlight.

NiueSaturday 078

A freshwater pool disappeared into the rock on one end,

NiueSaturday 071

and a sea cave opened to the surf on the other.

Niue2 057

It’s a magical place with few visitors.

NiueSaturday 066

The trail to Vaikona Chasm was more of a challenge, but we managed to find the entrance to the cave mouth.

Niue2 079

Niue2 080

In the end, prudence won the day and we settled for a grand view of the coastline.

Niue2 087

19°06.00’S 169°48.00’W   25-Jul-10 02:45 UTC