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> Tokelau
post Aug 31 2009, 06:54 AM
Post #1

Rolling Stone

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While researching information for a starter kit/information guide for Tokelau to post in the forms it became apparent that Tokelau is rather
I did learn that Tokelau is one of the most isolated places on earth and for this reason it’s also probably why I experienced problems gathering information I required for this starter kit.
Tokelau’s name is Polynesian for “North Wind”
It is so remote that it takes a rather epic 20hr boat trip to sail there from its nearest neighbour Samoa.
Flying is not an option as Tokelau does not have an airport or airstrip of any kind. This from what I’ve read is the main factor why its indigenous culture has been preserved to a far greater degree than anywhere else in the Pacific.
The official currency in Tokelau is the NZ dollar, though Samoan tala will sometimes be accepted. It should be noted that *there are no banks in Tokelau.

Getting to Tokelau
Getting to Tokelau could prove, by the sounds of things, an ordeal (at best) but a place so inaccessible and remote would have to be worth the effort. Being so remote it goes without saying that Tokelau’s tourism would borderline non existent and I’m not clear on wether there is a process in which visitors may need to go through in order to visit. I will research deeper into this topic and post more information if I am successful in finding any.
As Lonely Planet states:
“Getting to Tokelau is not something you do on a whim - planning, waiting and keeping your fingers crossed all carry equal weight. And make sure you've got sea legs - there's no airstrip on Tokelau so the only way to get there is by boat or yacht.”

Below is some information about boat services to Tokelau that may provided useful to anyone venturing out that way.

Several ships service Tokelau, with one departure every 12 days or so (usually there are two or three sailings per month) from Apia in Samoa. The Tokelau Administration owns a cargo ship, the MV Tokelau, which makes the trip to Tokelau every two or three weeks. In addition, there are larger, dual-purpose passenger/cargo vessels that are hired to make the round trip every month or so. If you have a choice, and are keen on comfort (relatively speaking), go for a hired vessel - they have many more passenger bunks than the one-cabin MV Tokelau.

Bookings on these ships are made through the
Tokelau Apia Liaison Office
(TALO; 685-20822, 71805; zak-p@lesamoa.net; PO Box 865, Apia) in Samoa.

Allow plenty of time to process your booking, and be aware that tourists are a lower priority than locals. Also remember that the sailing schedule published by TALO is not set in stone - actual departure dates can vary by more than a week from those originally announced.

The trip to Fakaofo (the closest atoll to Samoa) takes about 20 hours, and travellers have a choice between cabin fare (NZ$530 return) and deck fare (NZ$290). In either case there will be plenty of company on the voyage - you'll be travelling with a boatload of Tokelauans from Samoa and NZ returning home to see their families. The round trip from Apia to Tokelau and back takes about eight days.
There is no harbour on any of the atolls. The ship waits offshore while passengers and cargo are transferred via small boats and dinghies - a hair-raising experience if seas are heavy.

*The abovementioned “boat” information was sourced from :

Further information can be found at :
LonelyPlanet - Tokelau

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post Aug 31 2009, 07:00 AM
Post #2

Rolling Stone

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Posts: 5348
Joined: 24-May 07
From: Sydney, Australia
Member No.: 56605

for some silly reason i did not notice tokelau.org.nz where i found helpful information such as
There are no seaports. Landing conditions at the main settlements of all three atolls require occasional blasting of the coral to provide adequate small boat channels through the reef. Larger vessels normally anchor about 360 m from the channel entrances to load and off-load cargo.

Languages. Tokelauan is normally spoken on the atolls. It is related to Samoan and Tuvaluan. English is taught as a second language and is widely understood.

Tokelauans are citizens of New Zealand

Tokelau consists of three atolls located about 483 km north of Western Samoa. Atafu is the northernmost atoll, 92 km north of Nukunonu, which in turn lies 64 km north of Fakaofo.

Each atoll consist of a number of reef-bound islets (motu) encircling a lagoon. The islets vary in size from 90 m to 6 km in length and from a few metres to 200 metres in width. The largest atoll is Nukunonu at 4.7 sq km. Fakaofo and Atafu are 4 sq km and 3.5 sq km respectively. From Atafu in the north to Fakaofo in the south, the group extends for just under 200 km. The atolls are three to five metres above sea level.

Tokelau has a total land area of approximately 12 sq km. The reef extends only a short distance from the shore then drops sharply into deep waters. Each of three atolls has its own administrative centre.

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