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Niue / Beveridge Reef
 

Niue: The Islander call it "The Rock", it means "Behold the Coconut". Captain Cook got it utterly wrong and dubbed it "Savage Island", but it's best known as Niue, one of the Pacific's smallest, friendliest and most unassuming nations.

The terrain of Niue consists of steep limestone cliffs along the coast with a central plateau rising to about 60 m above sea level. A notable feature of this Island is the number of amazing limestone caves both under the ground and the sea, chasms, sea tracks and unique geological formations. Many caves are still being formed with stalagmites and stalactites in all stages of development. 

On 4 January 2004, Niue was hit by Cyclone Heta, which killed two people and caused extensive damage to the entire island, as well as wiping out most of the south of the capital, Alofi. After the cyclone many people moved to New Zealand. Some of the little villages looks like ghost towns with their run-down houses.

Niue is one of the world's largest coral islands. But what a sad experience to see al the destroyed corals from cyclone Heta.

Beveridge Reef is a submerged atoll, 9,5 km north-south, 7,5 km east-west, total 56 km2, located in the Exclusive Economic Zone, 240 km  southeast, of Niue. A small part of the reef is only visible during low tide, as a white sandy beach, 200 m long and 10 m wide. The lagoon reaches 11 m deep, but the single entrance is only 6 m. Most of it is under shallow water which has been the cause of several fishing boats running aground.

This was the most special place that I have ever seen on this planet. By the cruising book it's a fair weather anchorage but this atoll brought us shelter from a 50 knots storm. The water was so crystal clear, that I couldn't believe it's water. The sharks had an absolutely unusual aggressive behaviour which I've never seen before. This place was so indescribable beautiful and uncanny at the same time.


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