Tokelau is territory of New Zealand which consists of 3 tropical coral atolls located in the Pacific Ocean comprising of Atafu, Nukunonu and Fakaofo. The group of coral atolls lie approximately halfway between Hawaii and the mainland New Zealand. Each atoll in the area consists of a number of reef-bound islets which are called the Motu, encircling the lagoon. The atolls are from 3 to 5m above sea level. Tokelau is a Polynesian word which means North wind and it is considered as the most isolated place on earth. The area is inhabited by only 1500 hardy inhabitants who are thought to have settled the islands over more than a thousand years ago. They are generically recognised as Polynesians and are very proud of their culture. It is probably due to its remoteness that the indigenous culture has been preserved on Tokelau to a far greater degree than anywhere else in the Pacific. It has often been considered as part of the ‘’Holy Trinity’’ of the isolated inhabited place, along with Pitcairn Island and Tristan da Cunha. The only way to get to Tokelau is by sea, and it is better aboard an ocean-going yacht. The fact that it is so far away and so difficult to get is what attracts most of yacht charterers in the area, as it promise to be an amazing adventure at sea. It is everything from sleeping on deck through the high seas of the Pacific and enjoy swimming among the coral pillars.
During a visit in Tokelau, you will see that there are a large number of things to do and sightseeing places to visit. However the Tokelauans are not much for entertaining their visitors. You will rather be invited to experience the reality of their everyday lives. On the island of Fakaofo, you will have the opportunity to see the fishing pigs which is quite a sight to see, a herd of pigs being brought on the shore by the locals to catch fish. You can also visit the churches around the area which are the most beautifully kept buildings on all 3 islands. It is important to know that Christianity is a way of life in Tokelau, most of the visitors and yacht charterers visiting the area are expected to attend the church on the Sunday mornings. Regardless to your religious background, when you visit Tokelau, the churches are worth a visit as the architecture and the singing are just amazing. If you are more adventurous, you can also seize the occasion to enjoy some nice snorkeling in Nukumonu which is the smallest of the islands. Considered by most visitors as the best place for snorkeling, you will have the chance to see the colorful coral landscape of all the islands around. Yacht charterers can also enjoy some nice swimming, as the area does not have any industry, or pollution and most of the vessels in the area use motorized boating which means that the water is beautiful, clear and clean. You can swim anywhere in Tokelau as it is safe and very relaxing. Nukumonu is also the only island in Tokelau which hosts a restaurant and a commercial center. You can take the opportunity while being there to do some shopping and also taste the traditional dishes.
Yacht chartering in the waters of Tokelau is not a major activity in this part of the South Pacific. It is in fact, one of the least visited countries in the area and only a few yachts make their way towards this small group of isolated atolls. It is also important to know that there are only a few natural harbors and they are completely cut off from the outside world. There are some formalities that need to be complied with before sailing for the islands, but any difficulties are justified, as they give an opportunity to visit one of the most isolated communities in the Pacific. While visiting the area, in Fakaofo, you will find an anchorage to the West of the island’s islet, but it is exposed to the SE trade winds. An alternative anchorage, recommended by the islanders, is in the NW of the island, off Fenua Fala islet. The dinghy can be landed on the nearby beach, although a strong outboard engine may be needed to get through the surf line. The island of Fakaofo is reported as being incorrectly charted.