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.Boat
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; firstname.lastname@example.org; 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 : LonelyPlanet
Further information can be found at :LonelyPlanet - Tokelau