TOKELAU comprises three small low coral atolls: Atafu, Nukunonu, and Fakaofo lying in the Pacific typhoon belt. The geographic locations of Tokelau’s atolls: Atafu: 8°33’6”S, 172°30’3”W Nukunonu: 9°10’6”S, 171°48’35”W Fakaofo: 9°21’55”S, 171°12’54”W.
One of the least visited countries in the South Pacific, only a few yachts make their way to this isolated group of atolls, which lack natural harbours and for most of the year are completely cut off from the outside world. Some formalities have to be complied with before sailing for the islands, but any difficulties are justified, as they give an opportunity to visit one of the most isolated communities in the Pacific.
There are no ports or harbour facilities whatsoever, only passes for small boats through the reefs, but these are too shallow for most yachts but may be suitable for superyacht tenders, subject to weather. Normally a superyacht must anchor on a shelf outside the reef, in the lee of the atoll and it is common for conditions not being suitable to anchor. At Fakaofo, there is an anchorage due west of Fakaofo islet, but it is exposed to the SE tradewinds. An alternative anchorage, recommended by the islanders, is NW of the island, off Fenua Fala islet.
The island of Fakaofo is reported as being incorrectly charted. Facilities are extremely limited and there no airports on the islands. There are radio stations and a hospital on each island and one cooperative store selling some staple foodstuffs, mostly imported. It is possible to buy some locally grown produce. Water is scarce everywhere.