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Saturday, 1 March 2014

#132: First postcard from Niue

Niue basket-weaving

Purple-capped fruit dove, humpback whale, coconut palm and landscape stamps

Received from Mark from Alofi.

Niue, pronounced "new way" is pretty high up on my list of places to visit. Its a small (100 square mile) island in the South Pacific, but it is also one of the largest coral islands in the world. The population is pretty small at around 1,400 as a lot of Niueans live in New Zealand. It is a New Zealand protectorate, but interestingly the time difference between the the two is 23 hours (or 24 hours in the summer) owing to the the International Date Line which passes between them. Niue is the first Wi-Fi nation - free wireless internet is available all over the island. It has its own language and distinctive culture.

Mark Cross is a New Zealander who has bucked the trend and moved the other way. His website is here, and you can see Mark's interesting and lovely Niuean-inspired paintings along with his wife Ahi's stunning weaving. Also on the website is a shop where you can buy a selection of his works. If you visit the island, their gallery is called Tahiono Art Gallery and is in the capital, Alofi. If you can't make it to Niue, the good news is that Mark also exhibits in Auckland, New Zealand; Hawai'i; Rarotanga, Cook Islands; Mykonos, Greece and Zurich, Switzerland.

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