photo by Christian Cabre

Tokelau is in Polynesia, a group of three atolls about half way between Hawaii to New Zealand.


Originally settled by Polynesian emigrants from surrounding island groups, the Tokelau Islands were made a British protectorate in 1889. They were transferred to New Zealand administration in 1925.

Tokelau's small size (three villages), isolation, and lack of resources greatly restrain economic development and confine agriculture to the subsistence level. The people rely heavily on aid from New Zealand -- about $4 million annually -- to maintain public services, annual aid being substantially greater than GDP. The principal sources of revenue come from sales of copra, domain names, postage stamps, souvenir coins, and handicrafts.


Tropical; moderated by trade winds (April to November)


Tokelau consists of three atolls, each with a lagoon surrounded by a number of reef-bound islets of varying length and rising to over three meters above sea level.


Tropical; moderated by trade winds (April to November)


  • Atafu

  • Nukunonu

  • Fakaofo

Getting there

By plane

Tokelau has no airports. Lagoon landings are possible by amphibious aircraft

By boat

Tokelau has no ports or harbors; offshore anchorage only. A twice monthly service runs from Apia onboard the MV Tokelau. This is subject to change and often unreliable. Foreigners take last priority in securing a place.


The Luana Liki Hotel in Nukunonu is the only public eating place.


Samoan beer is available in shops and at the Luana Like Hotel, but sale is strictly rationed in Nukunonu.


The Luana Liki Hotel in Nukunonu is Tokelau's only commercial accommodation. Homestays may be arranged in advanced through the Tokelau-Apia Liaison Office in Samoa.


The New Zealand dollar is used. Some Tokelauan-branded dollars have been produced but are hard to find.


Tokelauan, a Polynesian language closely related to Samoan and Tuvaluan, is the native language, and most people can speak and understand English.


Tokelau lies in the Pacific typhoon belt.

Contact & location

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The photos displayed on this page are the property of one of the following authors:

Christian Cabre

Some photos courtesy of: . The photos provided by Panoramio are under the copyright of their owners.

This travel guide also includes text from Wikitravel articles, all available at WikitravelView full credits

D. GuillaimeJani Patokallio, Todd VerBeek and Michele Ann Jenkins, Tatatabot, Ypsilon, Inas, Valtteri, Episteme, InterLangBot and CIAWorldFactbook2002

This travel guide also includes text from Wikipedia articles, all available at WikipediaView full credits

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(none; each atoll has its own administrative center)
Tokelauan (a Polynesian language), English - New Zealand dollar (NZD)
Area10 sq km
GovernmentTerritory of New Zealand
Population1,431 (July 2002 est.)
ReligionCongregational Christian Church 70% (mostly Atafu, Fakaofo), Roman Catholic 28% (mostly Nukunonu), other 2%
TimezoneUTC -11