|Facts about Tokelau|
|Tokelau Island||Territory of New Zealand|
|Coordinates||9° 10′ 0″ S, 171° 50′ 0″ W|
|Location||Atafu, Nukunonu Fakaofo|
|Area||10 km2 (233rd) 3.86 sq mi|
|Population||1411 ( Oct. 2011 )|
|Official language||Tokelauan,English, Samoan|
|Currency||New Zealand dollar|
Tokelau is New Zealand’s territory which includes three coral atolls, namely, the Fakaofo, Nukunonu, and Atafu. The atolls are stretched over an approximate area of 10 sq kms and record an approximate population of 1,400. Tokelau has been designated as the Non-Self Governing Territory by the United Nations General Assembly. This overseas territory was officially referred to as the Tokelau Islands until 1976. Often, it is also known as the Union Islands.
This overseas territory consists of three atolls in the South Pacific Ocean and lies in the middle of New Zealand and Hawaii. Tokelau is located in the Pacific tropical cyclone belt. Swains Island is a part of this overseas territory in terms of geographical, cultural and historical importance.
How to reach (transport)
By Air: There are no airports in Tokelau. However, there are some amphibious aircrafts that can plan for lagoon landings.
By boat: There are no harbors or ports in this overseas territory. But then, you will certainly come by offshore anchorage. These services run two times in a month from the MV Tokelau to Apia.
For getting around, most people prefer taking bikes or cars.
Tokelau is dominated by the trade winds, particularly in the months of April to November. The overseas territory enjoys an average temperature of 28 degrees Celsius and rainfalls are quite irregular here; but then they can get extremely heavy. Though situated at the edge of the chief hurricane belt, yet tropical storms sweep through Tokelau from the months of November to March. It has a history of hurricanes and has had three since 1846.
Points of interest (places to visit)
Some of the points of interest that you can witness at this overseas territory include:
- Atafu was earlier referred to as the Duke of York Group. This group consists of 42 coral islets in the South Pacific Ocean. Stretched across 2.5 kms, this is perhaps the smallest of all islands. It also comprises an atoll engulfing a central lagoon that covers about 15 kms. The atoll is located approximately 800 kms from the equator’s south. Moreover, there is also a reef connected to the islands. There are no boat passages through which one can reach the lagoon.
- Nukunonu consists of a group of coral islets and covers about 5.5 kms. It is the biggest amongst the other three islands that make Tokelau. Similar to Atafu, it also engulfs a central lagoon that itself covers about 90 kms. As per the records of 2006 census, nearly 426 people resided here.
- Fakaofo was previously referred to as the Bowditch Island and covers an approximate land area of 3 kms. It too engulfs a central lagoon of about 45 kms. The chief settlement here is Fale found on the western edge of the atoll.
- Swins Island is monitored by American Samoa and is considered a popular atoll in the Tokelau chain. It is also known by other names including Olohega Island, Olosenga Island, Gente Hermosa Island, Quiros Island, and Jennings Island and covers an approximate area of 1.865 kms.
The best way to prepare for a much desired vacation is to plan for a comfortable stay. However, there aren’t too many stay options in this overseas territory. Hence, while planning a visit to Tokelau , especially during the peak season, make sure that the reservations are made well in advance. Some options that can be counted on include the Fale Fa Resort, Luana Liki Hotel, and Feliti Lopa.