Visa and entry requirements Tokelau:
Passport required
No visa is required

Information from the Foreign Office about your Tokelau trip:

Tokelau is a remote archipelago in the Pacific Ocean with a population of around 1,600. The archipelago consists of the three islands Nukunonu, Atafu and Fakaofo and is politically part of New Zealand.

The two official languages of Tokelau are English and Tokelauan, and the New Zealand dollar is used as a means of payment.

The territory of Tokelau is located in the east of Tuvalu, in the south of the Phoenix and Line Islands, which belong to Kiribati, in the northwest of the Cook Islands and in the north of Samoa, around 500 kilometers away.

The three atolls of Tokelau are roughly the same size and have approximately the same population. The residents live in a total of four villages; there are only two inhabited settlements on the island of Fakaofo. What is interesting is that almost 95% of all island residents are overweight.

Tokelau's economy depends on New Zealand's financial support and the sale of its fishing licenses. In the surrounding waters off Tokelau, there are enormous stocks of tuna.

Agriculture is mainly carried out for personal use, with chickens and pigs being kept and mainly coconut palms and breadfruit trees being grown.

Small income is also generated through the sale of handicraft products and stamps.

Tourism is virtually non-existent on the islands as Tokelau has no airport or major ports. The only way to travel around the country is with a ferry from Samoa's capital Apia, which now runs weekly.

Apart from impressive white sandy beaches and paradisiacal areas for snorkeling, Tokelau has no other attractions to offer.

In February 2019, I embarked on the four-day adventurous boat trip to Tokelau, one of the most difficult countries in the world to travel to. However, the ferry I originally booked on February 5th, surprisingly the evening before my arrival, left on February 2nd. Due to urgently needed goods in the distant island state, the departure date was quickly changed. Since another ship left for Tokelau as scheduled on February 3rd, I unfortunately missed two ferries by just a few hours.

My new departure date was February 12th and there was a long wait in Samoa due to a cyclone warning.

On the evening before the planned departure, the ferry was initially postponed by one day due to strong winds. The start in the morning quickly turned into midday and a race against time began for me. Because I had already booked all onward flights for the rest of my trip the day before my originally planned departure, I had to quickly change two flights at the local Apia offices.

To my great relief, the ship finally set off shortly after midday on February 13th on its 29-hour journey to Atafu, the furthest atoll. A total of 54 passengers and 13 crew members were on board on the first leg. After each visit to the island, the number of passengers changed due to the disembarkation and boarding, but I still remained the only tourist. The ferry had 24 inside cabins below deck and 35 outside sleeping spaces on the upper deck. Fortunately, a few days earlier, on my boat trip between the Samoan islands of Savaii and Upolu, I had met a crew member of this Tokelau ferry who had reserved the best bed for me with a pillow and two available electrical outlets. All passengers usually had to bring their own bedding, which of course wasn't possible for me. I quickly borrowed a towel for the trip from my hotel in Samoa, where I had also left my large suitcase.

In any case, this trip to Tokelau was a very exciting adventure and a unique experience. After the ocean was very choppy on the first day and didn't allow me to eat, the waves flattened out significantly afterwards, making it a very pleasant trip.

The three inhabited islands of Tokelau felt like entering another world. The consistently friendly residents of Tokelau live in simple, unpretentious houses, do not own any overly valuable material things and enjoy their predominantly carefree life there. Very few people there have a cell phone, the Internet is a foreign word for many, there are no asphalted roads and cars are almost in short supply, although of course they do not have license plates. Furthermore, there are no hotels, restaurants or bars there and no dogs or cats, what an idyllic life. Interestingly, alcohol is not sold to women and is limited to two bottles of beer per day for men.

Even if it was only a short moment, this trip to Tokelau was something very special. On the ship I also had many conversations with almost all of the passengers, who were always very helpful and courteous. For example, on the crossing from Atafu to Nukunonu, the newcomers even brought two grilled pigs with them and distributed them to all fellow travelers. As a world traveler, I didn't experience such great hospitality very often.

This four-day trip was over quickly and was never boring. In any case, Tokelau will always remain in my memory as one of the most pleasant travel destinations ever.