I've found it surprisingly hard to find an answer to this question.

Niue is an uplifted coral reef jutting above the ocean. The rock is all limestone, and there is evidence for it being around for considerable time. There are many places where you can find caves that are exposed to air, and the formations inside those caves, while smoothed with time and exposure to the elements, are nonetheless impressive (Talava Arches and Avaiki cave are a couple of examples). The size of these formations suggests they were underground (but above water) for at least several hundred thousand years before becoming exposed to the outside world.

That's as far as I've got. Various histories of the Island I've read always seem to start with colonisation in 900 AD.

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    $\begingroup$ Could you be more specific as to which sources you have consulted? For example, have you read Christopher Wheeler and Paul Aharon, "Geology and Hydrogeology of Niue." In Geology and Hydrogeology of Carbonate Islands. Amsterdam: Elsevier 1997, pp. 537-564. " Niue began rising above sea level during the early Pleistocene (Dubois et al., 1975). " $\endgroup$
    – njuffa
    Sep 21 at 6:29
  • $\begingroup$ For the caves specifically, maybe take a look at: Paul Aharon, Michael Rasbury, and Valeriu Murgulet, "Caves of Niue Island, South Pacific: Speleothems and water geochemistry." In Perspectives on Karst Geomorphology, Hydrology, and Geochemistry - A Tribute to Derek C. Ford and William B. White. Geological Society of America 2006, pp. 283-295 $\endgroup$
    – njuffa
    Sep 21 at 6:41
  • $\begingroup$ Maybe also of interest: P. Terry and P. D. Nunn, "Interpreting features of carbonate geomorphology on Niue Island, a raised coral atoll." Zeitschrift für Geomorphologie. Neue Folge, Supplemental Vol. 131, May 2003, pp. 43-57 $\endgroup$
    – njuffa
    Sep 21 at 6:58


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